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And the idea that there was a titanic intellectual battle in the 1930s between Hayek and John Maynard Keynes is basically fan fiction; Hayek’s views on the Great Depression didn’t get much intellectual traction at the time, and his fame came later, with the publication of his 1944 political tract “The Road to Serfdom.”
Paul Krugman, "Wonking Out: A Very Austrian Pandemic"
Friedrich von Hayek, John Maynard Keynes, Keynes versus Hayek, Notorious Failures and Mistakes of Libertarianism, Paul Krugman, Quotations, Wonking Out: A Very Austrian Pandemic
The road to the free market was opened up and kept open by an enormous increase in continuous, centrally organised and controlled intervention.
Karl Polanyi, "The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time", p.140.
Capitalism, Coercion, Free Market, Karl Polanyi, Markets Are Created By Government, Quotations, Real Markets, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time
First, private property really isn’t necessary to facilitate liberty. How can we be certain of this? Because it has been conclusively demonstrated through excellent research. As one example, Elinor Ostrom’s work on common pool resource management that has arisen organically around the world definitively disproves the underlying assumption that a tragedy of the commons will always occur without private property rights. Instead, Ostrom documents a set of guiding design principles that allow cooperative, self-managing folks to utilizes shared resources without ownership.
T.Collins Logan, "Private Property as Violence: Why Proprietarian Systems are Incompatible with the Non-Aggression Principle"
Elinor Ostrom, Liberty, Local Commons, Private Property, Private Property as Violence: Why Proprietarian Systems are Incompatible with the Non-Aggression Principle, Property, Quotations, T.Collins Logan
The fact is that libertarianism has always been a refuge of racism and implicit support for authoritarianism, despite direct contradiction to their supposed ideology. Throughout history, the men who are considered the cornerstone of the right libertarian philosophy supported brutal dictators. Look at Mises’ support of Mussolini, or Hayek and Friedman’s backing of Pinochet. It is clear that the these people have always been willing to put aside ideology for what they see as an end that justifies the means, even in such morally abhorrent cases as supporting Apartheid in South Africa or the Confederacy under the pretence of ‘states rights’. This lingering white supremacy in the libertarian movement carried on beyond the mid twentieth century, into the ideologies of Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell. Rothbard himself wrote that “The proper strategy of libertarians and paleos is a strategy of ‘right-wing populism” Essentially, that means appealing to the racism held within the right of American society (not dissimilar to what we see in Donald Trump)
Elliot Gulliver-Needham, "Why Libertarians turn to the Alt-Right"
Discrimination, Elliot Gulliver-Needham, Extreme Right Wing, Quotations, Why Libertarians turn to the Alt-Right
If racism is the advocacy of discrimination, then Rothbard was a racist. He blatantly advocated discrimination and separation in the marketplace. I acknowledge that many libertarians do not advocate outright discrimination like Rothbard did. But they need to repudiate him!
Gary Anderson, "Peter Schiff Is Not Technically Racist But He Believes Racism Is A Civil Right"
Andrew Schiff, Discrimination, Gary Anderson, Murray Rothbard, Peter Schiff, Peter Schiff Is Not Technically Racist But He Believes Racism Is A Civil Right, Quotations
It is not infrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty - to oppress without control, or the restraint of laws, all who are poorer and weaker than themselves.
Samuel Adams, "Samuel Adams: America's Revolutionary Politician"
Liberty, Liberty for me, but not for thee., Quotations, Samuel Adams, Samuel Adams: America's Revolutionary Politician
The widely held current belief that policymakers often need to trade off "liberty" and "equality" ignores the Halean demonstration that law cannot affect the total amount of negative liberty (it merely distributes a fixed quantum). or, more basically, the continuing connotation that a "free" market or "laissez-faire" policy imply less governmental interference than, say, usury laws, ignores Hale's demonstration that the government's coercive force necessarily lays behind any regime of private property.
Ian Ayres, "Discrediting the Free Market"
Coercion, Discrediting the Free Market, Free Market, Ian Ayres, Inequality, Laissez Faire, Liberty, Positive and Negative Liberty, Private Property, Property, Quotations
But Hale, following Hobhouse and Hohfeld, argued instead that, as a conceptual matter, the total amount of legal freedoms must remain constant across different possible regimes... The formal and necessary conservation of total freedom suggests that the function of law is instead to distribute a fixed quantum of formal liberty.
Ian Ayres, "Discrediting the Free Market"
Discrediting the Free Market, Ian Ayres, Positive and Negative Liberty, Quotations
Men never commit evil so fully and joyfully as when they do it for religious convictions.
Blaise Pascal in Top Atheist Quotes
Blaise Pascal, Ideology, Quotations, Top Atheist Quotes
Libertarianism is by no means a unified movement. As many of its advocates proudly stress, it comprises a taxonomy of bickering branches – minarchists, objectivists, paleo- and neolibertarians, agorists, et various al. – just like a real social theory. Claiming a lineage with post-Enlightenment classical liberalism, as well as in some cases with the resoundingly portentous blatherings of Ayn Rand, all of its variants are characterized, to differing degrees, by fervent, even cultish, faith in what is quaintly termed the ​“free” market, and extreme antipathy to that vaguely conceived bogeyman, ​“the state,” with its regulatory and fiscal powers.
China Mieville, "Floating Utopias: On the degraded imagination of the libertarian seasteaders."
China Mieville, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Floating Utopias: On the degraded imagination of the libertarian seasteaders., Quotations, Unclassified Criticisms
Libertarianism, by contrast, is a theory of those who find it hard to avoid their taxes, who are too small, incompetent or insufficiently connected to win Iraq-reconstruction contracts, or otherwise chow at the state trough. In its maundering about a mythical ideal-type capitalism, libertarianism betrays its fear of actually existing capitalism, at which it cannot quite succeed. It is a philosophy of capitalist inadequacy.
China Mieville, "Floating Utopias: On the degraded imagination of the libertarian seasteaders."
Capitalism, China Mieville, Crony Capitalism, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Floating Utopias: On the degraded imagination of the libertarian seasteaders., Quotations, Unclassified Criticisms
Similarly, those selling an ideology also take advantage of antiscience conspiracy theories, and vice-versa. In other words, many conspiracy theories are tactical. In other words, the origin of some conspiracy theories is not genuinely held erroneous beliefs, but rather they are the result of an intentional campaign of disinformation designed to produce a political or ideological end... Conservative free market fundamentalists, who abhor anything that would justify a larger role for government or increased government regulation, are more than happy to spread the conspiracy theory behind climate science denial.
David Gorski, "Science denial: A form of conspiracy theory"
Conspiracy Theories, David Gorski, Fallacies Of Ideology, Global Warming, Ideology, Quotations, Science Denialists, Science denial: A form of conspiracy theory
The difference between a conspiracy theory and a real conspiracy is that conspiracy theories are virtually unfalsifiable and real conspiracies can be uncovered and demonstrated by standard investigative techniques.
David Gorski, "Science denial: A form of conspiracy theory"
Conspiracy Theories, Coronavirus disease 2019, David Gorski, Quotations, Science Denialists, Science denial: A form of conspiracy theory, Vaccination
The maintenance of a government apparatus of courts, police officers, prisons, and of armed forces requires considerable expenditure. To levy taxes for these purposes is fully compatible with the freedom the individual enjoys in a free market economy.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition"
Human Action: The Scholar's Edition, Ludwig von Mises, Private Charity, Quotations, Taxes, Voluntary
From this point of view one has to deal with the often-raised problem of whether conscription and the levy of taxes mean a restriction of freedom. If the principles of the market economy were acknowledged by all people all over the world, there would not be any reason to wage war and the individual states could live in undisturbed peace. But as conditions are in our age, a free nation is continually threatened by the aggressive schemes of totalitarian autocracies. If it wants to preserve its freedom, it must be prepared to defend its independence. If the government of a free country forces every citizen to cooperate fully in its designs to repel the aggressors and every able-bodied man to join the armed forces, it does not impose upon the individual a duty that would step beyond the tasks the praxeological law dictates. In a world full of unswerving aggressors and enslavers, integral unconditional pacifism is tantamount to unconditional surrender to the most ruthless oppressors. He who wants to remain free, must fight unto death those who are intent upon depriving him of his freedom. As isolated attempts on the part of each individual to resist are doomed to failure, the only workable way is to organize resistance by the government. The essential task of government is defense of the social system not only against domestic gangsters but also against external foes. He who in our age opposes armaments and conscription is, perhaps unbeknown to himself, an abettor of those aiming at the enslavement of all.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition"
Human Action: The Scholar's Edition, Ludwig von Mises, Ludwig von Mises Explains (and Solves) Market Failure, Private Charity, Quotations, Taxes, Voluntary
Praxeology is a theoretical and systematic, not a historical, science... Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience. They are, like those of logic and mathematics, a priori. They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts.
Ludwig von Mises, "Human Action: The Scholar's Edition"
Human Action: The Scholar's Edition, Ludwig von Mises, Quotations
Nevertheless, as I endeavor to make clear, large-scale capitalism is just as much an agency of homogenization, uniformity, grids, and heroic simplification as the state, with the difference that, for capitalists, simplification must pay. The profit motive compels a level of simplification and tunnel vision that, if anything, is more heroic that the early scientific forest of Germany. In this respect, the conclusions I draw from the failures of modern social engineering are as applicable to market-driven standardization as they are to bureaucratic homogeneity.
James Scott, "The Trouble with the View from Above"
James Scott, Quotations, Scott versus Hayek, Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, The Trouble with the View from Above
Workmen, on the contrary, when they are liberally paid by the piece, are very apt to overwork themselves, and to ruin their health and constitution in a few years... Almost every class of artificers is subject to some peculiar infirmity occasioned by excessive application to their peculiar species of work. .. Great labour, either of mind or body, continued for several days together is, in most men, naturally followed by a great desire of relaxation, which, if not restrained by force, or by some strong necessity, is almost irresistible... If it is not complied with, the consequences are often dangerous and sometimes fatal, and such as almost always, sooner or later, bring on the peculiar infirmity of the trade. If masters would always listen to the dictates of reason and humanity, they have frequently occasion rather to moderate, than to animate the application of many of their workmen. It will be found, I believe, in every sort of trade, that the man who works so moderately, as to be able to work constantly, not only preserves his health the longest, but, in the course of the year, executes the greatest quantity of work.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" VIII
Adam Smith, Labor, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations, Unions
We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform, combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and, one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of. Masters, too, sometimes enter into particular combinations to sink the wages of labour even below this rate. These are always conducted with the utmost silence and secrecy till the moment of execution; and when the workmen yield, as they sometimes do without resistance, though severely felt by them, they are never heard of by other people.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" VIII
Adam Smith, Labor, Minimum Wage, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations, Unions
The masters, being fewer in number, can combine much more easily: and the law, besides, authorises, or at least does not prohibit, their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work, but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes, the masters can hold out much longer.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" VIII
Adam Smith, Labor, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations, Unions
Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" X.2
Adam Smith, Labor, Minimum Wage, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations
Show me a libertarianism where there might plausibly be support for unions, or for respecting pensions, or for public employees; show me a libertarianism where there is at least a real internal debate about orientation towards money and power; show me a libertarianism that does not inevitably benefit the rich against the poor, the powerful against the powerless, the boss against the worker. Then maybe libertarianism will be worth taking seriously. Until then, libertarianism will be a wink, a dodge, a clever ruse, an exercise in shamelessness.
Freddie deBoer, "Libertarianism is not an ideology"
Class War, Freddie deBoer, Libertarianism is not an ideology, Political Libertarianism, Quotations, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
One of the best, most certain ways to help those who are frequently the subject of police misconduct is to remove them from the poverty and political dispossession that makes police misconduct against them possible. That is an effort that both Balko and the Cato Institute have worked tirelessly to oppose. If he’d like, Balko is perfectly able to ask what the preferred policies are of the poor black and Hispanic people who are most likely to be the victims of police misconduct and police violence. In large percentages, they favor a redistributive social policy that he abhors. If he bothered to ask them, he might even be compelled to ask why the people he purports to speak for have such little interest in his politics.
Freddie deBoer, "Radley Balko defends the Cato Institute"
Cato Institute, Discrimination, Freddie deBoer, Poverty, Quotations, Radley Balko, Radley Balko defends the Cato Institute
There is an alternative view of the state and law [...] found within the German historical school, the original American institutional economics, parts of the new institutional economics, and elsewhere. The basic proposition is that the state provides an essential social and legal scaffolding for all private enterprise. Consider property rights. Individual property is not mere individual possession; it involves socially acknowledged and enforced rights. Individual property is not simply a relation between an individual and an object. It requires some kind of customary, legal, and moral apparatus of recognition, adjudication and enforcement. Similar considerations apply to the market: rather than the mere ether of individual interaction, markets are social institutions. Most of them are structured in part by statutory rules.
Geoffrey Hodgson, "From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities: An Evolutionary Economics without Homo economicus", pp. 158-9.
From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities: An Evolutionary Economics without Homo economicus, Geoffrey Hodgson, Government, Law, Markets, Property, Quotations, Rights
Given the absurdity of restricting the study and definition of corruption to the public sector, one may ask why so many social scientists define it in these limited terms... One possible reason for their bias is the widespread influence of pro-market, antistate, libertarian ideology. A primary ideological target is the allegedly systemic abuse of power by politicians. The misuse of power by directors of large corporations— several of which are as big as some national states—does not raise the same level of concern among leading libertarian thinkers. According to this thinking, most voluntary contracts between consenting adults are moral and legitimate, as long as they do not harm others. Ignoring the negative externalities of corruption, libertarians further argue that bribery and other forms of malpractice in the private sphere have potential benefits and are expressions of entrepreneurial activity.
Geoffrey Hodgson, "From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities: An Evolutionary Economics without Homo economicus", p. 157.
Capitalist Corruption Of Government, From Pleasure Machines to Moral Communities: An Evolutionary Economics without Homo economicus, Geoffrey Hodgson, Government Corruption Is Bad, Quotations
Professor Hayek... does not see, or will not admit, that a return to ‘free’ competition means for the great mass of people a tyranny probably worse, because more irresponsible, than that of the State. The trouble with competitions is that somebody wins them. Professor Hayek denies that free capitalism necessarily leads to monopoly, but in practice that is where it has led, and since the vast majority of people would far rather have State regimentation than slumps and unemployment, the drift towards collectivism is bound to continue if popular opinion has any say in the matter.
George Orwell, "Review by Orwell: The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek / The Mirror of the Past by K. Zilliacus "
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Friedrich von Hayek, George Orwell, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Markets, Musical Chairs Theory Of Economic Justice, Quotations, Review by Orwell: The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek / The Mirror of the Past by K. Zilliacus, The Road to Serfdom, Tyranny, Unregulated Market
For most of American history only two dimensions are required to account for the fourteen million choices of the twelve thousand members who served in Congress. In fact, one dimension suffices except in two periods, roughly 1829-1851 and 1937-1970, when race-related issues introduced a second dimension.
Keith Poole, "Ideology and Congress: A Political Economic History of Roll Call Voting", 2008.
Ideology and Congress: A Political Economic History of Roll Call Voting, Keith Poole, Political Spectrums and Typologies, Quotations
What it means to be a “libertarian” in a political sense is a contentious issue, especially among libertarians themselves. There is no single theory that can be safely identified as the libertarian theory, and probably no single principle or set of principles on which all libertarians can agree.
Matt Zwolinski, "Libertarianism (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)"
Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Libertarianism (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy), Matt Zwolinski, Philosophy, Quotations, Single principles of Libertarianism, The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy, The many divisions within libertarianism
The downside of this approach [foundational philosophical commitments] is that anyone who disagrees with one’s philosophic foundations will not be much persuaded by one’s conclusions drawn from them—and philosophers are not generally known for their widespread agreement on foundational issues.
Matt Zwolinski, "Libertarianism (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy)"
Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Libertarianism (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy), Matt Zwolinski, Philosophy, Quotations, Single principles of Libertarianism, The "No True Libertarianism" fallacy, The many divisions within libertarianism
The weak logic and bad scholarship that suffuse libertarian responses to my article tend to reinforce me in my view that, if they were not paid so well to churn out anti-government propaganda by plutocrats like the Koch brothers and various self-interested corporations, libertarians would play no greater role in public debate than do the followers of Lyndon LaRouche or L. Ron Hubbard.
Michael Lind, "Libertarianism’s Apocryphal Past"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Fallacies Of Philosophy, False Claims to Rationality and Logic, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Ideology, Libertarian Fundamentalism, Libertarianism’s Apocryphal Past, Michael Lind, Philosophy, Quotations, Reason (propaganda sense), We libertarians are rational, they are not.
[...] the inequality of incomes in our society is largely a matter of luck rather than inherent personal ability, and that it is only distantly related to the social value of the contributions people make through their work. These conclusions undercut the idea that taxing those on high incomes will harm society by reducing incentives to work for the most able and social valuable workers.
John Quiggin, "Inequality and the Pandemic, Part 3: Risk and reward"
Desert, Inequality, Inequality and the Pandemic, Part 3: Risk and reward, John Quiggin, Laissez Faire, Quotations, Risk
Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods, both at home and abroad. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits; they are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains; they complain only of those of other people.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations" I.9, final sentences.
Adam Smith, Labor, Minimum Wage, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations
Walter Block once called Ostrom’s Governing the Commons “an evil book,” because it undermined belief in private property rights — “the last, best hope for humanity.”
Kevin Carson, "Capitalist Nursery Fables: The Tragedy of Private Property, and the Farce of Its Defense"
Capitalist Nursery Fables: The Tragedy of Private Property, and the Farce of Its Defense, Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Historical Revisionism, Kevin Carson, Quotations, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, Walter Block
When you hear someone demanding inchoate generalized “freedom,” ask whether he cares at all that millions of workers who clean the zoos and buff the nails and intubate the grandmas are not free. These people are cannon fodder for your liberty.
Dahlia Lithwick, "Whose Freedom Counts?"
Coronavirus disease 2019, Dahlia Lithwick, Liberty, Quotations, Whose Freedom Counts?
Indeed, libertarians generally have no model of society as an interdependent group with a common purpose and common interests. For instance, the canonized conservative economist Friedrich Hayek posited a stark choice between two alternative models—either a "free market" of atomized individuals rationally pursuing their self-interests in transactional relationships or an authoritarian, coercive "state" that seeks control over us.
Peter Corning, "What’s the Matter With Libertarianism?"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Methodological Individualism (propaganda), Peter Corning, Quotations, There's no such thing as society… only individuals and families., What’s the Matter With Libertarianism?
One problem with this (utopian) model is we now have overwhelming evidence that the individualistic, acquisitive, selfish-gene model of human nature is seriously deficient; it is simplistic, one-sided, and in reality, resembles the pathological extremes among the personality traits that we find in our society. The evidence about human evolution indicates that our species evolved in small, close-knit social groups in which cooperation and sharing overrode our individual, competitive self-interests for the sake of the common good. We evolved as intensely interdependent social animals, and our sense of empathy toward others, our sensitivity to reciprocity, our desire for inclusion and our loyalty to the groups we bond with, the intrinsic satisfaction we derive from cooperative activities, and our concern for having the respect and approval of others all evolved in humankind to temper and constrain our individualistic, selfish impulses (as Darwin himself pointed out in The Descent of Man).
Peter Corning, "What’s the Matter With Libertarianism?"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Methodological Individualism (propaganda), Peter Corning, Quotations, There's no such thing as society… only individuals and families., What’s the Matter With Libertarianism?
The definition of and proper scope of property rights is always contestable.
Steve Waldman, "Zoning laws and property rights"
Community Associations, Property, Quotations, Steve Waldman, Zoning, Zoning laws and property rights
Developers, whether of high-rise condominiums or sprawled out "golf communities", cobble together with a mix of contract and corporation law obligatory "community associations" that control and restrict the use of privately-owned properties (along with managing common spaces and other purposes). Developers don't abridge the rights of their customers out of some inexplicable, cruel perversion. They form these associations, and grant them restrictive powers, because customers demand it, because doing so maximizes the market value of the properties they wish to sell. As buyers, developers hate zoning law, but as sellers they promulgate it. It is "the market" that demands some mechanism of overcoming potential coordination problems among neighbors, not the acommercial mix of identity politics, misplaced environmentalism, and "NIMBY"-ism that Yglesias and Avent emphasize. The only reason city neighborhoods don't have restrictive covenants and powerful community associations is because they have city governments that serve the same function.
Steve Waldman, "Zoning laws and property rights"
Community Associations, Quotations, Reinventing Government Badly, Steve Waldman, Zoning, Zoning laws and property rights
Entirely missing from this discussion is the primary, upward form of income redistribution from poor to rich, through structural intervention to reduce the bargaining power of labor and increase the monopoly returns on accumulated property — a redistribution which dwarfs, many times over, compensatory downward forms of redistribution through the welfare state. Missing are the fundamental ways the state has been in structural alliance with capital — not just some hand-waving at “crony capitalism” and “corporatism” — since the beginning of capitalism five or six hundred years ago.
Kevin Carson, "Libertarian-splaining to the Poor"
Class War, Kevin Carson, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Libertarian-splaining to the Poor, Poverty, Private Charity, Quotations, Robber Barons, The Beneficence Of Plutocrats
The FIRST product sold in an "unfettered" market system would be fetters.
Mike Huben, "Libertarianism in One Lesson; The Third Lesson"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Free Market, Libertarianism in One Lesson; The Third Lesson, Markets Are Amoral, Markets in Everything, Mike Huben, Quotations, Repugnant Markets, Slavery, Unregulated Market
[W]e might describe a liberal as a libertarian who has been mugged by history. Libertarians, on this view, are liberals who cannot, or will not, accept the changes in American life that have occurred since the Civil War. In the face of all available evidence to the contrary, they continue to insist that an 18th century state is the only proper response to our 21st century economy and society.
Kim Messick, "Libertarians' reality problem: How an estrangement from history yields abject failure"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Historical Revisionism, Kim Messick, Libertarians' reality problem: How an estrangement from history yields abject failure, Quotations
We can all agree that coercion is a bad thing -- even a paradigmatically bad thing -- while also believing that freedom can be importantly abridged in other ways. In particular, we might believe that imbalances in the allocation of resources amount to imbalances of power, and that these can constrain my freedom when they reach a certain intensity -- especially when they concern resources directly relevant to my autonomy.
Kim Messick, "Libertarians' reality problem: How an estrangement from history yields abject failure"
Autonomy, Coercion, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Freedom, Kim Messick, Libertarians' reality problem: How an estrangement from history yields abject failure, Liberty, Quotations
Capitalism, arising as a new class society directly from the old class society of the Middle Ages, was founded on an act of robbery as massive as the earlier feudal conquest of the land. It has been sustained to the present by continual state intervention to protect its system of privilege, without which its survival is unimaginable. The current structure of capital ownership and organization of production in our so-called "market" economy, reflects coercive state intervention prior to and extraneous to the market. From the outset of the industrial revolution, what is nostalgically called "laissez-faire" was in fact a system of continuing state intervention to subsidize accumulation, guarantee privilege, and maintain work discipline.
Kevin Carson, "Studies in Mutualist Political Economy", Chapter 4 Introduction.
Capitalism, Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Capitalism Is Coercive, Coercion, Kevin Carson, Laissez Faire, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Quotations, State Support Of The Wealthy, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy
Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term "free market" in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they’re defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article in The Freeman arguing that the rich can’t get rich at the expense of the poor, because "that’s not how the free market works"--implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they’ll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of "free market principles."
Kevin Carson, "Studies in Mutualist Political Economy", Chapter 4 Introduction.
Capitalism, Crony Capitalism, Free Market, Free Market Theory, Kevin Carson, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Quotations, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Unregulated Market, Vulgar Libertarianism
This school of libertarianism has inscribed on its banner the reactionary watchword: "Them pore ole bosses need all the help they can get." For every imaginable policy issue, the good guys and bad guys can be predicted with ease, by simply inverting the slogan of Animal Farm: "Two legs good, four legs baaaad." In every case, the good guys, the sacrificial victims of the Progressive State, are the rich and powerful. The bad guys are the consumer and the worker, acting to enrich themselves from the public treasury.
Kevin Carson, "Studies in Mutualist Political Economy", Chapter 4 Introduction.
Kevin Carson, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Quotations, Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Vulgar Libertarianism
A member of the human race who is completely incapable of understanding the higher productivity of labor performed under a division of labor based on private property is not properly speaking a person… but falls instead into the same moral category as an animal – of either the harmless sort (to be domesticated and employed as a producer or consumer good, or to be enjoyed as a “free good”) or the wild and dangerous one (to be fought as a pest). On the other hand, there are members of the human species who are capable of understanding the [value of the division of labor] but...who knowingly act wrongly… [B]esides having to be tamed or even physically defeated [they] must also be punished… to make them understand the nature of their wrongdoings and hopefully teach them a lesson for the future.
Hans-Hermann Hoppe, "Democracy: The God That Failed" pg. 173.
Democracy: The God That Failed, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Make Or Break Views Of Libertarianism, Quotations
We may observe that the government in a civilized country is much more expensive than in a barbarous one; and when we say that one government is more expensive than another, it is the same as if we said that the one country is farther advanced in improvement than another. To say that the government is expensive and the people not oppressed is to say that the people are rich. There are many expenses necessary in a civilized country for which there is no occasion in one that is barbarous. Armies, fleets, fortified places, and public buildings, judges, and officers of the revenue must be supported, and if they be neglected, disorder will ensue.
Adam Smith, "Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms (1763)"
Adam Smith, Lectures on Justice, Police, Revenue and Arms (1763), Quotations, Taxes
A libertarian calling you a 'statist' is like a pedophile calling you an 'adult-fucker'.
Suetonius Jones (pseudonym)
Child Sex, Fake source, Quotations, Statist, Suetonius Jones (pseudonym)
"Otherwise, slavery wasn't so bad. You could pick cotton, sing songs, be fed nice gruel, etc."
Walter Block, cited in Walter Block (RationalWiki)
Defending the Undefendable, Quotations, RationalWiki, Slavery, Walter Block, Walter Block (RationalWiki)
Suppose that there is a starvation situation, and the parent of the four year old child (who is not an adult) does not have enough money to keep him alive. A wealthy NAMBLA man offers this parent enough money to keep him and his family alive – if he will consent to his having sex with the child. We assume, further, that this is the only way to preserve the life of this four year old boy. Would it be criminal child abuse for the parent to accept this offer? Not on libertarian grounds.
RationalWiki, "Walter Block (RationalWiki)"
Child Sex, Defending the Undefendable, Quotations, RationalWiki, Walter Block, Walter Block (RationalWiki)
One gratifying aspect of our rise to some prominence is that, for the first time in my memory, we, “our side,” had captured a crucial word from the enemy. Other words, such as “liberal,” had been originally identified with laissez-faire libertarians, but had been captured by left-wing statists, forcing us in the 1940s to call ourselves rather feebly "true" or "classical" liberals. “Libertarians,” in contrast, had long been simply a polite word for left-wing anarchists, that is for anti-private property anarchists, either of the communist or syndicalist variety. But now we had taken it over, and more properly from the view of etymology; since we were proponents of individual liberty and therefore of the individual’s right to his property.
Murray Rothbard, "The Betrayal of the American Right p.83."
History of Libertarianism, Libertarian (propaganda sense), Murray Rothbard, Murray Rothbard confesses to the theft of the word libertarian., Quotations, The Betrayal of the American Right
[T]here is a sub-culture of libertarian "philosophers" and scholars that have their own "institutes" and meet regularly at conferences around the world... This alternate universe is comprised principally of economists and scholars from third-rate colleges and state universities whose "theories" were generally ignored....
David Vickrey, "The (Sick) Mind Of Hans-Hermann Hoppe"
David Vickrey, Fallacies Of Ideology, Hans-Hermann Hoppe, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Ideology, Quotations, Radicalism, The (Sick) Mind Of Hans-Hermann Hoppe
There are also many positive acts for the benefit of others, which he may rightfully be compelled to perform; such as, to give evidence in a court of justice; to bear his fair share in the common defense, or in any other joint work necessary to the interest of the society of which he enjoys the protection; and to perform certain acts of individual beneficence, such as saving a fellow-creature's life, or interposing to protect the defenseless against ill-usage, things which whenever it is obviously a man's duty to do, he may rightfully be made responsible to society for not doing.
John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty"
Duties, Government, Harms Of Libertarian Policies, John Stuart Mill, Liberty, On Liberty, Public Goods And Club Goods, Quotations, Voluntary Failures
We want our individual lives to express our conceptions of reality (and of responsiveness to that); so too we want the institutions demarcating our lives together to express and saliently symbolize our desired mutual relations. Democratic institutions and the liberties coordinate with them are not simply effective means toward con­trolling the powers of government and directing these toward mat­ters of joint concern; they themselves express and symbolize, in a pointed and official way, our equal human dignity, our autonomy and powers of self-direction. We vote, although we are cognizant of the minuscule probability that our own actual vote will have some decisive effect on the outcome, in part as an expression and symbolic affirmation of our status as autonomous and self-governing beings whose considered judgments or even opinions have to be given weight equal to those of others. That symbolism is important to us. Within the operation of democratic institutions, too, we want ex­pressions of the values that concern us and bind us together. The libertarian position I once propounded now seems to me seriously inadequate, in part because it did not fully knit the humane consid­erations and joint cooperative activities it left room for more closely into its fabric. It neglected the symbolic importance of an official political concern with issues or problems, as a way of marking their importance or urgency, and hence of expressing, intensifying, chan­neling, encouraging, and validating our private actions and concerns toward them. Joint goals that the government ignores completely -- it is different with private or family goals -- tend to appear unworthy of our joint attention and hence to receive little. There are some things we choose to do together through government in solemn marking of our human solidarity, served by the fact that we do them together in this official fashion and often also by the content of the action itself.
Robert Nozick, "The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations", pp. 286-287. [Bolding added.]
Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Democracy, Institutions, Libertarian Admissions, Quotations, Robert Nozick, The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations
And theft is quite generally defined as the unlawful taking of property. It is NOT, except in ignorant lolbertarian circle-jerks, defined as the taking of property by force. And since in the modern world there are SO FUCKING many ways of committing theft without any "force" at all (identity theft, embezzlement, general misrepresentative fraud, or just straight up sneaky pick-pocketing), this definition fails UTTERLY to be remotely useful in our modern legal system.
critically_damped (pseudonym), "Makes sense..."
Critically damped (pseudonym), Makes sense..., Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft, Taxation Is Theft
I have long held that the Cato Institute was not called after a Revolutionary War pseudonym, but after the original Cato who advocated keeping slaves busy from dawn to dusk to get the most out of them and then freeing them when they got too old to work so he wouldn't have to feed an unproductive mouth. These recomendations are much more in keeping with the Institute's policies than those of our Revolution.
Mike in Nola (pseudonym), "CATO: Sub-Prime, Rates, Leverage Did NOT Cause Crisis"
CATO: Sub-Prime, Rates, Leverage Did NOT Cause Crisis, Cato Institute, Mike in Nola (pseudonym), Quotations, Slavery
In the real world, "monopoly rents" and "abnormal rates of return" are known as "acceptable profits", and serious investors have a word for someone who proposes to start a company in a field without barriers to entry. That word is "idiot", usually followed by remarks on the order of "Why are you wasting my time with crap?"
Cosma Shalizi, "Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!"
Cosma Shalizi, Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Market Power and AntiTrust, Quotations
The problem is that libertarian principles, which revolve [around] the abstract notion of self-interest, are really not principles at all; they have no content and allow anything to be attached to them. Abstract self-interest alone can provide no instructive rule of thought and can disqualify no particular course of action, because each person is free to concoct what is in their best interest, and because “aggression” can be and has been defined in a variety of spurious ways.
John Ganz, "Libertarians have more in common with the alt-right than they want you to think"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Fallacies Of Philosophy, John Ganz, Libertarians have more in common with the alt-right than they want you to think, Non-Aggression, Philosophy, Quotations, Rational Self-Interest
Where public choice people seem to perceive a “public” that collectively wants to return to work, I see something different – a set of asymmetric power relations that public choice scholars are systematically blind to in the ways that Chris, Alex Gourevitch and Corey identified eight years ago, when they wrote about “bleeding heart libertarians” (a constituency that strongly overlaps with public choice).
Henry Farrell, "“Public” choice"
Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Henry Farrell, Labor, Plutocracy, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Workplace, Unions, “Public” choice
In particular, public choice notoriously tends to define questions of private power out of existence, treating them as freely entered contracts that hence reflect the interests of the contractees. This is why Mancur Olson accused his public choice colleagues of “monodiabolism” and an “almost utopian lack of concern about other problems” than the unrestrained state. Public choice economists tend to wave away private power as being irrelevant to the understanding of outcomes, except when it acquires the additional force of state coercion.
Henry Farrell, "“Public” choice"
Henry Farrell, Labor, Plutocracy, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Workplace, Unions, “Public” choice
There is an interesting affinity between public choice and Marxism, another analytic approach with an associated political program. Both agree on the awful things that can happen when government and business interests are in cahoots, even if each sees a different party as the serpent in its paradise.
Henry Farrell, "“Public” choice"
Henry Farrell, Labor, Plutocracy, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Workplace, Unions, “Public” choice
Rather than starting from the many definitions of public choice offered by its enemies, I’ll begin with the definition provided by one of its major proponents. As described by the late Charles Rowley, longtime editor of the journal Public Choice, the public choice approach is a ““program of scientific endeavor that exposed government failure coupled to a programme of moral philosophy that supported constitutional reform designed to limit government.” In other words, it is not a neutral research program, but one that has a clear political philosophy and set of aims. Bluntly put, it starts from governments bad, markets good, and further assumes that the intersection between governments and markets (where private interests are able to “capture” government) is very bad indeed.
Henry Farrell, "“Public” choice"
Henry Farrell, Labor, Plutocracy, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Workplace, Unions, “Public” choice
Those values [expressed by markets] are not pretty. They are that the whims of the rich matter more than the needs of the poor; that it is more important to keep bond traders in strippers and cocaine than to feed hungry children. At the extreme, the market literally starves people to death, because feeding them is a less "efficient" use of food than helping rich people eat more.
Cosma Shalizi, "In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Cosma Shalizi, Economics Alternatives, In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You, Markets, Quotations
The conditions under which equilibrium prices really are all a decision-maker needs to know, and really are sufficient for coordination, are so extreme as to be absurd... Even if they hold, the market only lets people "serve notice of their needs and of their relative strength" up to a limit set by how much money they have. This is why careful economists talk about balancing supply and "effective" demand, demand backed by money.
Cosma Shalizi, "In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You"
Austrian Economics, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Cosma Shalizi, Economics Alternatives, In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You, Quotations
Both neo-classical and Austrian economists make a fetish (in several senses) of markets and market prices. That this is crazy is reflected in the fact that even under capitalism, immense areas of the economy are not coordinated through the market.
Cosma Shalizi, "In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You"
Austrian Economics, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Cosma Shalizi, Economics Alternatives, Ideology Underlies Economics, In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics
We don't have to go into "Monkey's Paw" territory to realize that getting what you think you want can prove thoroughly unacceptable; it's a fact of life, which doesn't disappear in economics.
Cosma Shalizi, "In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You"
Central Planning, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Cosma Shalizi, Economics, In Soviet Union, Optimization Problem Solves You, Quotations, Socialist Calculation Debate
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defence of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
Adam Smith, "The Wealth of Nations"
Adam Smith, Government, Property, Quotations, The Wealth of Nations
But -- speaking of economics -- there’s basically an infinite market for glib pseudo-academic bullshit, if it protects and enhances the political and economic power of the already wealthy and powerful. That, more than anything else, is the base on which the intellectual Potemkin village that Epstein and his ilk have built continues to rest so securely.
Paul Campos, "A Plague Of Libertarians"
A Plague Of Libertarians, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Coronavirus disease 2019, Economics, Ideology Underlies Economics, Law and Economics, Paul Campos, Propaganda, Marketing and Public Relations, Propaganda Mills, Quotations, Regulation, Richard Epstein
But the key thing that Hayek grasped that many modern advocates of laissez faire don't is that government regulation of markets is not the same thing and not even close to being the same thing as full-on central economic planning.
John Aziz, "Free markets need more regulation than you think"
Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire, Free markets need more regulation than you think, John Aziz, Laissez Faire, Markets Are Created By Government, Quotations, Real Markets, Unregulated Market
Global warming is the ultimate refutation of Lockean propertarianism. No one can pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere while leaving “enough and as good” for everyone else.
John Quiggan, "Libertarians Can’t Save the Planet"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Global Warming, John Locke, John Quiggan, Libertarians Can’t Save the Planet, Quotations, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
The short of is that environmentalists totally smash open the idea that property rights theories can really account for who is permitted to do what with the land that they own. Almost all uses of land will entail some infringement on some other piece of land that is owned by someone else. So how can that ever be permitted? No story about freedom and property rights can ever justify the pollution of the air or the burning of fuels because those things affect the freedom and property rights of others.
Matt Bruenig, "Environmentalism poses a problem for libertarian ideology"
Environment, Environmentalism poses a problem for libertarian ideology, Libertarians Misunderstand Property, Limited Property, Matt Bruenig, Private Property, Quotations, Rights, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
There is also the word “classical liberal,” but what is “classical” supposed to mean that is not question-begging? The classical liberalism of its time focused on 19th century problems — appropriate for the 19th century of course — but from WWII onwards it has been a very different ballgame.
Tyler Cowen, "What libertarianism has become and will become — State Capacity Libertarianism"
Classical Liberalism, Quotations, Tyler Cowen, What libertarianism has become and will become — State Capacity Libertarianism
Another example is the case of Nudge. The central point of this book is that people’s decisions are always pushed in a certain direction, either by advertising and packaging, by what the easiest or default choice is, by the way the choice is framed, or any number of other things. This completely destroys the idea of ‘free to choose’ – if people’s choices are rarely or never made neutrally, then one cannot be said to be ‘deciding for them’ any more than the choice was already ‘decided’ for them. The best conclusion is to push their choices in a ‘good’ direction (e.g. towards healthy food rather than junk). Nudging people isn’t a decision – they are almost always nudged. The question is the direction they are nudged in.
Unlearning Economics, "Economic Decision Making and Libertarianism"
Actual Human Rationality, Economic Decision Making and Libertarianism, Homo economicus, Nudge, Quotations, Unlearning Economics
By this point in history, free-market fundamentalists should be exiled to a similarly marginal status, left to fondle their copies of Free to Choose and Atlas Shrugged in obscurity. They are saved from this fate only because their ideas about minimal government, no matter how demonstrably at war with reality, remain so profitable to the world's billionaires that they are kept fed and clothed in think tanks by the likes of Charles and David Koch, and ExxonMobil.
Naomi Klein, "On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal" pg. 93.
Atlas Shrugged, Charles and David Koch, Free Market, Free to Choose, Market Fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, On Fire: The (Burning) Case for a Green New Deal, Quotations
In a word, ownership of land rests upon conquest.
Henry George, "Progress and Poverty"
Capitalism Is Coercive, Georgism, Henry George, Progress and Poverty, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Revisiting the labour admixture theory as foundation of the institution of private property, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
Ownership of natural resources – lands, forests, mineral deposits, water- power, harbor rights, franchises etc. – rests not on a natural right of workmanship but on the ancient feudalistic ground of privilege and prescriptive tenure, vested interest, which runs back to the right of seizure by force [...]
Thorstein Veblen cited in C.B. MacPherson, "Property: Mainstream and Critical Positions, 1978."
All Rights Are Coercive, C.B. MacPherson, Capitalism Is Coercive, Property: Mainstream and Critical Positions, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Revisiting the labour admixture theory as foundation of the institution of private property, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, Thorstein Veblen
Both historical and contemporary research suggests that Thoreau was wrong; the government that governs least does not govern best, whether the criterion is promoting the general welfare or promoting individual liberty.
Claude Fischer, "Libertarianism Is Very Strange"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Claude Fischer, Historical Revisionism, Libertarianism Is Very Strange, Minimal Government, Quotations
Interestingly, there has been an almost complete silence among MacLean’s critics about her chapter on Buchanan’s role as a critical constitutional and economic consultant for the US-backed Chilean junta in 1980. By helping the new government legally eliminate its political competitors, the economist also helped set the stage for decades of dictatorship, oligarchy, exploitation and the collapse of Chile’s economy .
Claire Potter, "What Are the Costs of Libertarianism? Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains, Revisited"
Chile, Claire Potter, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, James Buchanan, Quotations, What Are the Costs of Libertarianism? Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains, Revisited
If you want to know why a bushman hunting party divides its kill as it does, you read an anthropologist, not an economist.
Robert Heilbroner, "The Embarrassment of Economics"
Anthropology and Scientific Psychology, Ideology, Ideology Underlies Economics, Inequality, Quotations, Robert Heilbroner, The Embarrassment of Economics
In his book Free To Choose, Milton Friedman analyzes the difficult question of the inequality of rewards that is an obvious feature of the distribution systems we find in capitalism, and he raises for consideration whether this unevenness is "fair." If fairness means equality, he concedes, the distribution system under capitalism would not be fair, but Friedman goes on to say that inequality is part of life. Some people are born with better looks than others, some with more native abilities, some with musical abilities. Admitting that it is easier to interfere with the distribution of property than of talent, he asks "From the ethical point of view is there any difference between the two?" There is such a difference——although perhaps it escapes Friedman's eye——namely, that whereas the distribution of talents is a matter beyond human intervention, the distribution of property is not. Friedman is a brilliant man, but in his attempt to defend capitalism from the charge of unfairness he is not. He cannot see the differences because he is an ideologue.
Robert Heilbroner, "The Embarrassment of Economics"
Free To Choose, Ideology, Ideology Underlies Economics, Inequality, Milton Friedman, Quotations, Robert Heilbroner, The Embarrassment of Economics
[...] the irreducible atom of economic life consists of the "individual," whose activities we put under the microscope -- not the macroscope. What is this individual presumed to be constantly doing? Maximizing utility. I will avoid the easy task of exposing the vacuity of the words "maximizing utility." The phrase is consistent with all possible observed behavior and refutable by none. I ask instead that we watch the individual perform his allotted task and inquire why he is engaged in this balancing act. Almost invariably, he is deciding how to spend his income among the various options before him. And what is so ideological about that? It is the unnoticed intrusion of the innocent word: income. For you cannot have an income unless it comes from someone else. Hence the individual is an absurd -- dare I say "ideological" -- representation of the irreducible atom of economic life. Is there not something profoundly suspicious about taking a monadic individual, not the societal dyad, as the representative agent for capitalism?
Robert Heilbroner, "The Embarrassment of Economics"
Ideology Underlies Economics, Individualism, Joseph Schumpeter, Methodological Individualism (propaganda), Quotations, Robert Heilbroner, The Embarrassment of Economics
It is arguable that the success of business propaganda in persuading us, for so long, that we are free from propaganda is one of the most significant propaganda achievements of the twentieth century.
Alex Carey, "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty", page 21.
Alex Carey, Corporations, Propaganda, Marketing and Public Relations, Quotations, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.
Alex Carey, "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty", page 18.
Alex Carey, Corporations, Propaganda, Marketing and Public Relations, Quotations, Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
To have a theory of liberty that inherently involves particular property rules and particular moral rights is not to have a clearer and stronger theory. Rather, it is to attempt to have an unfalsifiable or uncriticisable theory. And that, as Karl Popper explained, is not clearer and stronger: it is really to avoid saying anything substantive at all. It is certainly to have no proper theory of liberty. Instead, it is in effect to assume the legitimacy or morality of certain rules or rights and then stipulatively or persuasively -- and thereby vacuously -- define those rules or rights as ‘libertarian’ and their flouting as ‘unlibertarian’ (or even ‘aggression’, or -- still worse -- ‘coercion’). Texts that are critical of libertarianism often note this.
J. C. Lester, "The Heterodox ‘Fourth Paradigm’ of Libertarianism: an Abstract Eleutherology plus Critical Rationalism"
Coercion, Jan Lester, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Non-Aggression, Quotations, The Heterodox ‘Fourth Paradigm’ of Libertarianism: an Abstract Eleutherology plus Critical Rationalism
Utilitarians, Kantians, Hayekians, and Objectivists may all profess a love of “liberty,” but they surely do not mean the same thing by it.
Irfan Khawaja, "Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism..."
Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Irfan Khawaja, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Liberty, Quotations, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism...
Doherty also shows us that the libertarian movement has had a dark side from its very beginnings. It is hard not to cringe at libertarian flirtations with neo- Confederate versions of states’ rights, or at their morally equivalent flirtations with the New Left. Milton Friedman’s apparent co-optation by the Pinochet regime still seems problematic, as does the embarrassing weakness of Ronald Reagan’s dealings with such right-wing regimes as Zia-ul-Haq’s Pakistan and apartheid South Africa (unmentioned by Doherty in the generally admiring pages he devotes to Reagan). Murray Rothbard provides decades’ worth of moral insanity on his own, with his praise for Joseph McCarthy and Strom Thurmond in one decade and for Black Power in the next (pp. 245, 254-56, 341); his apologetics for the Soviet Union (p. 383); his rejection of the rights of children (p. 560); his radical re-definition of the concept of assault (p. 559); and his insouciant avowal of the thesis that in the absence of plaintiffs against them, violent criminals ought to be allowed to go unprosecuted for their crimes (pp. 559-60). Over and above this one can’t help noticing the general decadence and eccentricity of the libertarian movement as a whole.
Irfan Khawaja, "Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism..."
Criticism, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Irfan Khawaja, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Murray Rothbard, Quotations, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism...
The five libertarians at the heart of Radicals adopt wildly divergent, incompatible positions on questions of epistemology, ethics, and politics. So what exactly do all five have in common that entitles all of them to be called “libertarians”? Presumably, they share a common commitment to liberty. But is it the same commitment? Is it a commitment to the same thing?
Irfan Khawaja, "Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism..."
Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Irfan Khawaja, Quotations, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism...
It’s an amazing fact that the nature of liberty is one of the least-discussed topics in what libertarians like to call “the literature of liberty.”
Irfan Khawaja, "Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism..."
Irfan Khawaja, Liberty, Quotations, Radicals for Capitalism: A Freewheeling History of the Modern American Libertarian Movement, Review Essay: Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism...
The laws of property have made property of things which never ought to be property, and absolute property where only a qualified property ought to exist. They have not held the balance fairly between human beings, but have heaped impediments upon some, to give advantage to others; they have purposely fostered inequalities, and prevented all from starting fair in the race.
John Stuart Mill, "The Principles of Political Economy"
John Stuart Mill, Limited Property, Property, Quotations, The Principles of Political Economy
Of course, laissez-faire private property gives to owners greater economic freedom to use, consume, transfer, and dispose of their holdings than more qualified property rights do. But this is trivial; it’s simply what laissez faire means. Laissez-faire rights and liberties do not mean that everyone’s liberty or freedom, in anything but this purely formal sense, is on the whole increased, maximized, or better realized. Depending on the distribution of property, and especially in a grossly unequal society where many reject laissez-faire property norms, all that really may be increased is the sum total of interference with and coercion required to enforce the laissez-faire property system against those who oppose it. Excerpt From: Brennan, Jason; van der Vossen, Bas; Schmidtz, David. “The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism.” Apple Books.
Samuel Freeman, "The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism", pg. 118.
Laissez Faire, Liberty, Property, Quotations, Samuel Freeman, The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism
It is a great fault of symbolic pseudo-mathematical methods of formalizing a system of economic analysis... that they expressly assume strict independence between the factors involved and lose all their cogency and authority if this hypothesis is disallowed; ... Too large a proportion of recent mathematical economics are mere concoctions, as imprecise as the initial assumptions they rest upon, which allow the author to lose sight of the complexities and interdependencies of the real world in a maze of pretentious and unhelpful symbols.
John Maynard Keynes, "The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money", 1936. Pg. 297.
Common Fallacies Of Economics, John Maynard Keynes, Quotations, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money
For four decades, since my time as a graduate student, I have been preoccupied by the kinds of stories about the myriad ways in which people depart from the fictional creatures that populate economic models [...]. Compared to this fictional world of Econs, Humans do a lot of misbehaving, and that means that economic models make a lot of bad predictions, predictions that can have much more serious consequences than upsetting a group of students. Virtually no economists saw the financial crisis of 2007 – 08 coming, and worse, many thought that both the crash and its aftermath were things that simply could not happen.
Richard Thaler, "Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics"
Homo economicus, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, Quotations, Richard Thaler
There are powerful forces having to do with the sociology of the profession and the socialization process that tend to push economists to think alike. Most economists start graduate school not having spent much time thinking about social problems or having studied much else besides math and economics. The incentive and hierarchy systems tend to reward those with the technical skills rather than interesting questions or research agendas. An in-group versus out-group mentality develops rather early on that pits economists against other social scientists. [...] [E]conomists tend to look down on other social scientists, as those distant, less competent cousins who may ask interesting questions sometimes but never get the answers right. Or, if their answers are right, they are so not for the methodologically correct reasons. Even economists who come from different intellectual traditions are typically treated as “not real economists” or “not serious economists.”
Dani Rodrik, "What is wrong (and right) in economics?"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Economics, Quotations, What is wrong (and right) in economics?
A peculiar deformation of mainstream economics is the tendency to pooh-pooh the real-world relevance of all the theoretical reasons market fail and government intervention is desirable.
Dani Rodrik, "What is wrong (and right) in economics?"
Dani Rodrik, Economics, Market Failure, Quotations, What is wrong (and right) in economics?
Similarly, when I questioned some of the excessive claims on the benefits of globalization I was simply reminding the profession what economics teaches. Take for example the relationship between the gains from trade and the distributive implications of trade. To this day, there is a tendency in the profession to overstate the first while minimizing the second. This makes globalization look a lot better: it’s all net gains and very little distributional costs. Yet look at the basic models of trade theory and comparative advantage we teach in the classroom and you can see that the net gains and the magnitudes of redistribution are directly linked in most of these models. The larger the net gains, the larger the redistribution. After all, the gains in productive efficiency derive from structural change, which is a process that inherently creates gainers (expanding sectors and the factors employed therein) and losers (contracting sectors and the factors employed therein). It is nonsensical to argue that the gains are large while the amount of redistribution is small – at least in the context of the standard models. Moreover, as trade becomes freer, the ratio of redistribution to net gains rises. Ultimately, trying to reap the last few dollars of efficiency gain comes at the “cost” of significant redistribution of income. Again, standard economics.
Dani Rodrik, "What is wrong (and right) in economics?"
Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense), What is wrong (and right) in economics?
But in reality what we teach our students in the classroom – the advanced students if not the undergraduates –and what we talk about in the seminar room are typically much more about the myriad ways in which markets fail.
Dani Rodrik, "What is wrong (and right) in economics?"
Dani Rodrik, Market Failure, Quotations, What is wrong (and right) in economics?
The point of the financial sector is not to allocate capital more efficiently, but to undermine the regulatory and tax systems that are supposed to make the economy work properly.
John Quiggin, "Cum/ex"
Cum/ex, John Quiggin, Quotations, The Financial Industry
The fact that employers have significant power over their workers has plenty of consequences for how we regulate labor markets, not just in terms of minimum wage, but regarding unions, antitrust law and many other policies. Supply and demand just doesn’t cut the mustard here.
Noah Smith, "The Virtues and Vices of Econ 101"
Economics 101, Labor, Minimum Wage, Noah Smith, Quotations, The Virtues and Vices of Econ 101, The Workplace
A capitalist society can never be a free society — it takes the constant presence of violent force to sustain private rights of ownership over society’s productive forces and resources for billionaires and business interests. Property or liberty — we only get to pick one.
John Laurits, "Private Property Is a Police State: Real Libertarianism Is Anti-Capitalist"
Capitalism, Capitalism Is Coercive, John Laurits, Left-Libertarian and Anarchist Criticism, Private Property Is a Police State: Real Libertarianism Is Anti-Capitalist, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Voluntaryism
What is the government doing when it 'protects a property right'? Passively, it is abstaining from interference with the owner when he deals with the thing owned; actively, it is forcing the non-owner to desist from handling it, unless the owner consents... The non-owner is forbidden to handle the owner's property even where his handling of it involves no violence or force whatever. Any lawyer could [tell] that the right of property is much more extensive than the mere right to protection against forcible dispossession. In protecting property the government is doing something quite apart from merely keeping the peace. It is exerting coercion wherever that is necessary to protect each owner, not merely from violence, but also from peaceful infringement of his sole right to enjoy the thing owned.
Robert Hale (1923), "Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State", Political Science Quarterly, V. 38, N. 3 (Sep): 470-494.
All Rights Are Coercive, Coercion, Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State, Initiation of Force, Non-Aggression, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Robert Hale
But a careful scrutiny ... will demonstrate that the systems advocated by professed upholders of laissez-faire are in reality permeated with coercive restrictions of individual freedom, and with restrictions, moreover, out of conformity with any formula of 'equal opportunity' or of 'preserving the equal rights of others'.
Robert Hale (1923), "Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State", Political Science Quarterly, V. 38, N. 3 (Sep): 470-494.
Coercion, Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Non-Coercive State, Laissez Faire, Quotations, Robert Hale
Essential though it may be, re-framing property as the threat of sanction and violence, and not some metaphysical linkage, brings it into a new perspective. From this standpoint there is nothing especially ‘non coercive’ about, say, anarcho-capitalism, unless you take it as given that the claims it makes about who is entitled to what are ethically just.
DePonySum (pseudonym), "Against Libertarian Criticisms of Redistribution"
Against Libertarian Criticisms of Redistribution, DePonySum (pseudonym), Libertarians Misunderstand Property, Non-Aggression, Property, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense), Voluntaryism
The political philosophy presented in Anarchy, State, and Utopia ignored the importance to us of joint and official serious symbolic statement and expression of our social ties and concern and hence (I have written [in "The Zigzag of Politics"]) is inadequate.
Robert Nozick, "The Nature of Rationality", p. 32.
Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Quotations, Robert Nozick, The Nature of Rationality
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
Abraham Lincoln, "Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln, 1832-1865, p. 138."
Abraham Lincoln, Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep., Liberty, Quotations, Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln
Ostrom stresses repeatedly that even the best functioning markets are undergirded by an array of collective institutions which order people’s market interactions, and that in the absence of such rules, self interested behaviour will have highly adverse consequences.
Henry Farrell, "The Ostrom Nobel"
Collectivism, Elinor Ostrom, Governing the Commons, Henry Farrell, Local Commons, Quotations, Rational Self-Interest, The Ostrom Nobel
Not for nothing have fellow libertarians described the LP as the Molestitarian Party.
Garden Mole (pseudonym), "Anarcho-Depravity"
Anarcho-Depravity, Brian Micklethwait, Child Labor, Child Sex, Children, Defenders Of The Unsavory, Garden Mole (pseudonym), Jim Peron, Libertarian Alliance, Libertarian Party, Lysander Spooner, Mary Ruwart, Murray Rothbard, Quotations, Richard Slomon, Walter Block
All political governments today behave as if consent to a social contract is tacit and implied: just as all libertarians behave as if consent to a system of property rights is tacit and implied.
Mike Huben, "Mike Huben's Criticisms"
Consent, Mike Huben, Mike Huben's Criticisms, Property, Quotations, Social Contract, Voluntary
[...] our economic life contains plenty of coercion; Nature coerces us, as a community, to provide ourselves with food, shelter, and other necessities; we mediate that coercion, reduce it with technology and self-organization, add to it with structures of power and authority, and apply it to individuals. Specifically, many individuals are coerced into labor. The curious nature of our economic system requires that this coercion take the _form_ of consensuality, but it is consensual only in the sense that a slave consents to slavery if she does not kill herself.
Gordon Fitch, alt.politics.libertarian Sat Feb 12 14:35:07 EST 1994
Gordon Fitch, Labor, Quotations, The Workplace, Voluntary
And it is certainly true that a lot of that decline in infectious disease mortality occurred as a result of improved sanitation and water chlorination. A 2004 study by the Harvard University economist David Cutler and the National Bureau of Economic Research economist Grant Miller estimated that the provision of clean water “was responsible for nearly half of the total mortality reduction in major cities, three-quarters of the infant mortality reduction, and nearly two-thirds of the child mortality reduction.”
Ronald Bailey, "Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk"
Quotations, Refusing Vaccination Puts Others At Risk, Ronald Bailey, Water
Friedman ignores all the non-propertarian elements of that society such as common lands (the almennin), communal self-government (the things), a compulsory welfare system (the hreppr) and such like (as discussed here). It survived because it was relatively egalitarian (something which Rothbard proclaimed as being “a revolt against nature”). As wealth inequalities increased, so did social conflict and the rise of lords.
Anarcho, comment on Libertarianism, Property Rights and Self-Ownership
Anarcho, Anarcho (pseudonum), David Friedman, Medieval Iceland, Quotations
"But who ever thought Rothbard was a serious philosopher in the first place?" you ask. Well, Rothbardians think he was; indeed, they regard him as a kind of "renaissance man," and their absurd overestimation of his significance in the history of thought is comparable to Objectivists' overestimation of Ayn Rand's significance.
Edward Feser, "Rothbard revisited"
Edward Feser, Murray Rothbard, Quotations, Rothbard revisited
... every public good problem [has an intractable second-best nature]. The only way to avoid the evident dangers and inefficiencies of government funding is to take the risk of private monopolistic behavior. No a priori answer tells us which loss is greater.
Richard Epstein, "The Libertarian Quartet"
Optimal Solutions, Public Goods And Club Goods, Quotations, Richard Epstein, The Libertarian Quartet
We need a book like "Seeing Like A State" written about corporations. To a corporations, employees are like cows. Costly inputs to be milked and slaughtered for profit.
Mike Huben, "Mike Huben's Criticisms"
Corporations, Mike Huben's Criticisms, Quotations, Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed
Libertarians do not want equal liberty, though they claim they do. Their liberty comes from their property; if the property is unequal, then so is the liberty. Hence, "I've got mine, fuck you."
Mike Huben, "Mike Huben's Criticisms"
Liberty, Mike Huben's Criticisms, Quotations
Milton Friedman asks us to think of a tree, with leaves, in the sunlight. Consider the density of the leaves around different parts of the tree. “I suggest,” says Friedman, “that the leaves are positioned as if each leaf deliberately sought to maximize the amount of sunlight it receives, given the position of its neighbors, as if it knew the physical laws determining the amount of sunlight that would be received in various positions and could move rapidly or instantaneously from any one position to any other desired and unoccupied position.” And thus we are distracted from the fact that in real life whole branches die off to achieve this distribution. And other trees are killed as their light is cut off.
Mike Huben, "Mike Huben's Criticisms"
Methodological Individualism (propaganda), Mike Huben's Criticisms, Milton Friedman, Philosophical Individualism, Quotations
[...] lacking the experimental method, economists are not strictly enough compelled to reduce metaphysical concepts to falsifiable terms and cannot compel each other to agree as to what has been falsified. So economics limps along with one foot in untested hypotheses and the other in untestable slogans.
Joan Robinson, "Economic Philosophy" , 1962, pp. 26-28.
Austrian Economics, Business Cycle, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Economic Philosophy, Economics 101, Free Market, Joan Robinson, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics
[...] here in America "libertarianism" is a Frankenstein's monster that got its lightning-bolt juice from massive resistance to the Civil Rights Movement. Dismantling the New Deal and rolling back the social insurance state were not ideas that had much potential political-economy juice back in the 1950s and 1960s. But if the economic libertarian cause of dismantling the New Deal could be harnessed to the cause of white supremacy—if one of the key liberties that libertarians were fighting to defend was the liberty to discriminate against and oppress the Negroes—than all of a sudden you could have a political movement that might get somewhere. And so James Buchanan and the other libertarians to the right of Milton Friedman made the freedom to discriminate—or perhaps the power to discriminate?—a key one of the liberties that they were fighting for in their fight against BIG GOVERNMENT. And this has poisoned American libertarianism ever since.
Brad DeLong, "A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..."
A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..., Brad DeLong, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, James Buchanan, Milton Friedman, Quotations, The New Deal
I have heard a lot of people who call themselves "libertarians" say and sagely nod at others’ saying that utility derived from satisfying a taste for discrimination is a proper thing to include in a social welfare function—and they are often the same people who are outraged at counting utility from redistribution, envy, or theft.
Brad DeLong, "A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..."
A Lazy New Year's Eve Morn on Twitter..., Brad DeLong, Consequentialism And Utilitarianism, Discrimination, Quotations
The actual case Brennan advances can be devastated rather quickly, since it suffers from a central logical flaw that renders the whole core argument worthless... By presenting democracy with all its warts, but giving no thought to how “epistocracies” work in practice, Brennan avoids confronting the difficult fact that his preferred system of government, if adopted, will almost certainly reinstate Jim Crow... But at least Brennan is honest in exposing the libertarian project as fundamentally opposed to the basic rights of human beings, its grand paeans to liberty being thin cover for taking the vote away from poor people.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Democracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Discrimination, Jason Brennan, Nathan Robinson, Quotations
Libertarians always insist that they are defending a philosophy of freedom, but what they are in fact defending is the freedom of a few to maintain their status privileges. The rest of us, without money or votes, always tend to remain distinctly unfree.
Nathan Robinson, "Democracy: Probably a Good Thing"
Aristocracy, Democracy: Probably a Good Thing, Freedom, Liberty, Nathan Robinson, Plutocracy, Quotations
The dread of democracy by libertarians and classical liberals is justified. Libertarianism really is incompatible with democracy. Most libertarians have made it clear which of the two they prefer. The only question that remains to be settled is why anyone should pay attention to libertarians.
Michael Lind, "Why libertarians apologize for autocracy"
Classical Liberalism, Democracy, Michael Lind, Quotations, Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
Without exception the great thinkers of classical liberalism, like Benjamin Constant, Thomas Babington Macaulay and John Stuart Mill, viewed universal suffrage democracy as a threat to property rights and capitalism.
Michael Lind, "Why libertarians apologize for autocracy"
Benjamin Constant, Classical Liberalism, Democracy, John Stuart Mill, Michael Lind, Quotations, Thomas Macaulay, Why libertarians apologize for autocracy
Theories of "natural law" and the "law of nations" are another excellent example of discussions destitute of all exactness. [...] "Natural law" is simply that law of which the person using the phrase approves[....]
Vilfredo Pareto, "The Mind and Society" p. 245.
Natural Rights, Quotations, The Mind and Society, Vilfredo Pareto
Patriarchal control of women is found in at least three paradigmatic contemporary contracts: the marriage contract, the prostitution contract, and the contract for surrogate motherhood. Each of these contracts is concerned with men's control of women, or a particular man’s control of a particular woman generalized. According to the terms of the marriage contract, in most states in the U.S., a husband is accorded the right to sexual access, prohibiting the legal category of marital rape. Prostitution is a case in point of Pateman’s claim that modern patriarchy requires equal access by men to women, in particular sexual access, access to their bodies. And surrogate motherhood can be understood as more of the same, although in terms of access to women’s reproductive capacities. All these examples demonstrate that contract is the means by which women are dominated and controlled. Contract is not the path to freedom and equality. Rather, it is one means, perhaps the most fundamental means, by which patriarchy is upheld.
Celeste Friend, "Contemporary Critiques of Social Contract Theory"
Celeste Friend, Contemporary Critiques of Social Contract Theory, Contract, Patriarchy, Quotations, Sex, Women's Issues
I know there are those who genuinely believe in privatizing everything. They are called profiteers.
John Dingell
John Dingell, Privatization, Quotations
I have long entertained a suspicion, with regard to the decisions of philosophers upon all subjects, and found in myself a greater inclination to dispute, than assent to their conclusions. There is one mistake, to which they seem liable, almost without exception; they confine too much their principles, and make no account of that vast variety, which nature has so much affected in all her operations. When a philosopher has once laid hold of a favourite principle, which perhaps accounts for many natural effects, he extends the same principle over the whole creation, and reduces to it every phænomenon, though by the most violent and absurd reasoning. Our own mind being narrow and contracted, we cannot extend our conception to the variety and extent of nature; but imagine, that she is as much bounded in her operations, as we are in our speculation.
David Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", "The Sceptic" pg. 163.
David Hume, Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, Greedy Reductionism, Murray Rothbard, Quotations, Richard Epstein, Robert Nozick
Libertarianism has always claimed to be scrupulously colorblind.... If the original sin of American history is slavery, then the original sin of conservatism and libertarianism is silence in the face of segregation.
Jennifer Burns, "Jennifer Burns' harsh review of Nancy MacLean's Democracy In Chains", pg. 644.
Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right's Stealth Plan for America, Discrimination, Jennifer Burns, Jennifer Burns' harsh review of Nancy MacLean's Democracy In Chains, Quotations
Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance — where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks — the case for the state’s helping to organise a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong…. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.
Friedrich von Hayek, "The Road to Serfdom" p. 134.
Friedrich von Hayek, Health Care, Quotations, Social Security, Socialized Medicine, The Road to Serfdom
Though free market theorists are reluctant to admit it, capitalists are not fond of free markets, since open and fair competition forces them to invest in product development while they cut their prices. Monopoly and the destruction of competition is the ideal condition for the entrepreneur, and he will strive to achieve it unless restrained not by conscience but by an outside agency enforcing “anti-trust” laws.
Ernest Partridge, "A Dim View of Libertarianism, Part VII -- Some Concluding Questions"
A Dim View of Libertarianism, A Dim View of Libertarianism, Part VII -- Some Concluding Questions, Capitalism, Ernest Partridge, Free Market, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Market Power and AntiTrust, Quotations, Unregulated Market
There is a wearying familiarity to The Libertarian Mind; Hayek wrote all of this in The Constitution of Liberty, then Rothbard wrote it again in The Ethics of Liberty, then David Friedman in The Machinery of Freedom. Read one sentence of one libertarian book and you’ve read every sentence of every libertarian book... libertarianism ranges from people who support small governments and free market capitalism to… people who support small governments and free market capitalism.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, Diversity In Libertarianism, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Constitution of Liberty, The Ethics of Liberty, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, The Machinery of Freedom: Guide to a Radical Capitalism, What Is Wrong With Libertarianism
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not just wrong but “impossible,” Boaz declares, because to declare education a human right mean that someone has to provide it, and since that’s not always possible, education cannot be a right. This weird little trick of language only works if you define a right to be a thing that can be provided at all times, instead of a moral obligation toward which all societies must aspire.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, Education, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom
Buchanan proposed that Virginia could finesse the question of full compliance with Brown and avoid leaving the impression that the state wished to revert to crude Jim Crow standards of race privilege. Buchanan’s innovative solution was the introduction of school vouchers... On paper, at least, Buchanan was advocating a market-based, seemingly race-neutral policy solution. In effect, however, it allowed for the continued perpetuation of segregation. For example, Virginia’s Prince Edwards County shuttered its public schools in 1959 while doling out vouchers to students who attended private schools that only accepted white children. As a result, black children in Prince Edwards County went without formal education for more than five years.
Andrew Hartman, "The Master Class on the Make"
Andrew Hartman, Discrimination, James Buchanan, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Master Class on the Make, Vouchers
The great demon of libertarianism -- environmentalism -- is actually about making sure that our collective property (Earth) is pleasant and habitable enough that you would want to own your own slice of it. The value of your home or land is increased if everyone sticks together to keep the world a clean, habitable place.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Environment, Quotations
Slapping a few admirable ideas about legalizing vice crimes on top of a larger philosophy that’s about restoring “local” control—i.e. making it easier for white men to directly oppress everyone else in their community without interference—doesn’t make them pro-freedom. It just makes the cover story sound better.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, Libertarians are neither right wing nor left wing., Liberty (propaganda), Liberty for me, but not for thee., Privatization of Power, Quotations
Without coming out and saying it, it’s easy to see how libertarianism, despite all the heavy-handed rhetoric about freedom, is fundamentally a right wing authoritarian philosophy... Getting the government out isn’t about rejecting authority, but making individuals of the proper sex (male), proper race (white), and proper socio-economic status (property owners and independent businessmen) the ruling classes of a series of small societies.
Amanda Marcotte, "A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing"
A small round of applause for decent Time Magazine writing, Amanda Marcotte, Descriptions Of Libertarianism, Discrimination, Libertarians are neither right wing nor left wing., Liberty (propaganda), Liberty for me, but not for thee., Political Spectrums and Typologies, Privatization of Power, Quotations
You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.
Lee Atwater, "Exclusive: Lee Atwater’s Infamous 1981 Interview on the Southern Strategy"
Discrimination, Lee Atwater, Quotations
[W]e have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.
George Orwell, "Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell"
All Rights Are Coercive, Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Capitalism Is Coercive, Capitalism is the best economic system ever devised. (Not!), Coercion, Expropriation, George Orwell, Historical Revisionism, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Ideology, Initiation of Force, Libertarian Propaganda Terms, Libertarian Self-Delusions, Non-Aggression, Philosophical Individualism, Property Is Coercive, Quotations, Review of Power: A New Social Analysis by Bertrand Russell, Self-Ownership, Society, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition, There's no such thing as society… only individuals and families., There Are Important Values Besides Liberty, Voluntary, We libertarians are peaceful, statists are violent!
All models are cartoons, but the standard model is particularly cartoonish, especially as it’s taught to students in Econ 101. They’re introduced to a fantasyland where perfectly rational people with perfect information in perfectly competitive markets come together in a beautiful dance of supply and demand -- with the “invisible hand” perfectly maximizing the welfare of society... The world of the standard model is a place where the free market is so perfect, government interventions only do harm; where workers are paid their marginal product, so exploitation doesn’t exist; where everyone is so rational, people are always best left to their own devices; where culture, history, institutions, identity, norms, emotions, and morals fall to the wayside, and human beings become cold equations narrowly maximizing their own pleasure (or “utility”). To critics, it’s a cocktail of fantastical ideas profoundly divorced from the real world—and textbooks force kids to slurp it up for crude ideological reasons... The fact that the standard model not only doesn’t accurately describe the world but also supports right-wing policies has led progressives to argue that the reason it remains central to Econ 101 is ideology.
Greg Rosalsky, "Freeing Econ 101: Beyond the Grasp of the Invisible Hand"
Economics 101, Free Market, Free Market Theory, Freeing Econ 101: Beyond the Grasp of the Invisible Hand, Greg Rosalsky, Quotations
There are other reasons to think that Hayek went too far in his opposition to progressive tax rates. First, he assumed that earned income accurately measures the value of the incremental contribution to social output. But Hayek overlooked that much of earned income reflects either rents that are unnecessary to call forth the efforts required to earn that income, in which case increasing the marginal tax rate on such earnings does not diminish effort and output. We also know as a result of a classic 1971 paper by Jack Hirshleifer that earned incomes often do not correspond to net social output. For example, incomes earned by stock and commodity traders reflect only in part incremental contributions to social output; they also reflect losses incurred by other traders... Insofar as earned incomes reflect not incremental contributions to social output but income transfers from other individuals, raising taxes on those incomes can actually increase aggregate output.
David Glasner, "Neo- and Other Liberalisms"
David Glasner, Friedrich von Hayek, It's my money!, Neo- and Other Liberalisms, Progressive Taxes, Quotations, Taxes, Taxes And Growth
[Hayek] is not evaluating a mixed system, in which there is a degree of personal freedom but also a degree of imposed order. A mixed system is what we and our peer nations have, and I have not been able to figure out what help Hayek offers for evaluating such a system.
Richard Posner, "Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique"
Central Planning, Friedrich von Hayek, Hayek, the Mind, and Spontaneous Order: A Critique, Mixed Economy, Quotations, Richard Posner, Socialist Calculation Debate, Spontaneous Order
There has been a good deal of confused controversy about the question of "value judgments" in the social sciences. Every human being has ideological, moral and political views. To pretend to have none and to be purely objective must necessarily be either self-deception or a device to deceive others. A candid writer will make his preconceptions clear and allow the reader to discount them if he does not accept them. This concerns the professional honour of the scientist.
Joan Robinson, "Freedom and Necessity" p.122.
Austrian Economics, Ayn Rand, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Freedom and Necessity, Joan Robinson, Objectivism, Quotations
Libertarians need to actively combat racial prejudice instead of relying on assumptions that the market will work it all out on its own. If libertarians are going to maintain that government answers to racism are usually inappropriate, then libertarians must be among those leading the private, society-driven remedies to injustice. It is not enough to be passively ‘not racist’—libertarians must be actively anti-racism. To do anything else is to accept the status quo and hide behind the logic of markets, despite the deeply seated, inherent illogic of racism.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
[T]here is a prevalent libertarian assumption that the dearth of black libertarians is traceable to black ignorance of the benefits of free markets, perhaps enabled by poor public schools. Yet one may argue that libertarians are largely ignorant of how exclusionary American markets were when its moneyed participants were left to their own devices.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
The dominant libertarian assumption that rational economic self-interest would trump racism if government just got out of the way fails to reckon with more than 200 years of evidence to the contrary. Consequently, the strident libertarian argument against positive law and government writ large flies directly in the face of the historical black experience. The federal government protected the rights of freedmen and established schools during Reconstruction, only to abandon blacks to Southern white terrorism in the name of States’ Rights. Positive law destroyed Jim Crow, breaking up both formal and informal segregation in accommodations not just in the South where it was law, but throughout other parts of the country where it was standard practice within a supposedly free market. The federal government took an active role in criminal justice because local police often did not investigate anti-black terrorism and murders -- or, if they did, sometimes testified in the murderers’ defense. And today, governments offer jobs with security and benefits in a job market that still disfavors blacks. This is not to say that blacks are particular fans of Big Government, but all of these government actions addressed problems in private society -- ranging from indifference to murderous hostility—that should test anyone’s faith in an unfettered free market.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
I would venture that many, if not most libertarians -- like the general American public -- haven’t come to terms with the widespread, systemic subversion of markets and democracy American racism wreaked on its most marginalized citizens. Consequently, libertarians have concentrated rather myopically on government reform as the sole function of libertarian social critique without taking full reckoning of what markets have failed to correct throughout American history.
Jonathan Blanks, "Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State"
Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Looking Back to Look Forward: Blacks, Liberty, and the State, Quotations
Barry Goldwater, generally believed to be the most libertarian major party presidential candidate of the past hundred years, famously voted against the Civil Rights Act, the most liberating piece of federal legislation since the end of Reconstruction... This sort of adherence to principle at the expense of the tangible freedom of millions of African Americans sent a clear message of whose liberty received priority. Fairly or unfairly, holding such a man up as a hero of liberty sends a mixed message, at best.
Jonathan Blanks, "Why Aren’t There More Black Libertarians?"
Barry Goldwater, Discrimination, Jonathan Blanks, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Quotations, Why Aren’t There More Black Libertarians?
But under capitalism some are more equal than others...
Iain McKay, "What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)"
Capitalism, George Orwell, Iain McKay, Inequality, Libertarian Dismissals Of Inequality, Quotations, What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)
"Libertarian"... was coined in opposition to the sexism of Proudhon, to note the illogicality of attacking the hierarchies of property and State while defending that within the home.
Iain McKay, "What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)"
Iain McKay, Libertarian (propaganda sense), Quotations, What it means to be libertarian (Anarchist)
Hayek's greatest failure is his neglect of the problem of private power. All his efforts go into the denunciation of state power, but he has little to say about private coercion.
Andrew Gamble, "Hayek: The Iron Cage Of Liberty"
Andrew Gamble, Friedrich von Hayek, Hayek: The Iron Cage Of Liberty, Private Coercion, Quotations
The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one.
Abraham Lincoln, "Timely Abraham Lincoln quote: Who defines Liberty?"
Abraham Lincoln, Corporate Threats to Liberty, Crony Capitalism, Freedom, Freedom for the wolves has often meant death to the sheep., Government Creates Rights, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Liberty for me, but not for thee., Public Expansions Of Liberty, Quotations, Things Government Should Do, Timely Abraham Lincoln quote: Who defines Liberty?, Tyranny
People love calling libertarians "Idea Guys." It pays to remember that every single libertarian "Idea" is an ad campaign to peddle plutocracy to majorities it harms.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense)
Initial regressive distributions of wealth are no less the product of government intervention than are subsequent progressive redistributions of wealth.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Labor, Quotations, Redistribution (propaganda sense)
Until unemployment no longer holds out the prospect of death or dishonor every employment contract is made under duress.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Basic Income, Coercion, Contract Feudalism, Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Labor, Private Government, Quotations, Sweatshops, The Workplace
"Let the Market Decide" Always Means "Let Rich People Decide."
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Aristocracy, Dale Carrico, Democracy, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Inequality, Market Fundamentalism, Plutocracy, Quotations
There has never once been an outcome attributed to the Invisible Hand of the Market in which the Heavy Hand of the State did not play an indispensable part, and in which all too many are not sure to discern the Hidden Hand of Conspiracy.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Invisible Hand, Market Fundamentalism, Quotations
To those who say they would shrink government without end, who say they would deregulate enterprise without end, who say they would cut taxes without end, it must forcefully be said, in the end, that you cannot have a civilization and eat it too.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Deregulation, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Government, Minimal Government, Quotations, Small Government
Taxes are not, however annoying they may seem, violations of our freedom so much as indispensable enablers of freedom -- and hence they are a precondition for the constitution of the very experience of the "voluntary" on which notions of the involuntary depend in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, It's my money!, Quotations, Taxation Is Slavery, Taxes
Those who declare taxes to be theft either forget or fail to grasp that it is taxes that pay for the maintenance of those institutions on which legitimate claims of ownership or theft depend for their intelligibility and force in the first place.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, It's my money!, Quotations, Taxation Is Theft, Taxes
Those who would dismantle all democratic government and those who would demand good democratic government will point to many of the same instances of government abuse, corruption, malfeasance, and violence in making their separate cases, but it is only a fool who in noticing this would mistake them for allies.
Dale Carrico, "Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies"
Dale Carrico, Dispatches from Libertopia: An Anthology of Wingnut Chestnuts and Democratizing Remedies, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Quotations
[N]eoliberalism is a political strategy promoting the interests of big money that utilises the economist’s ideal of a free market to promote and extend market activity and remove all ‘interference’ in the market that conflicts with these interests.
Simon Wren-Lewis, "How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market"
Can Neoliberalism Be Saved From Itself?, Colin Crouch, Free Market, Free Market Theory, How Neoliberals weaponise the concept of an ideal market, Quotations, Simon Wren-Lewis
If libertarians were simply to move to small-government societies, they would have to pay for the creation of their own infrastructure (ex. private roads and railroads), and would not be able to utilize the already finished, publically-funded, infrastructure of the developed countries. In this, the libertarians are trying to have things both ways -- they want to keep the infrastructure that was created by the “oppressive big-government taxation” on which to base their new libertarian paradise.
Josh Sager, "Libertarianism: A Luxury for Citizens of Developed Countries"
Infrastructure, Josh Sager, Libertarianism: A Luxury for Citizens of Developed Countries, Quotations
[T]he information revolution in economics that Hayek kicked off well over a half century ago, ended up pointing to a larger public role both in rectifying market failures and in addressing the problem of unaccountable power exercised by employers over employees.
Sam Bowles, "How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics"
Economic Power, Friedrich von Hayek, How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics, Market Failure, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Market Power and AntiTrust, Quotations, Real World Power, Sam Bowles
[T]he market, as Hayek says, processes information and on that basis, determines, for example, the best way to organize production. But applying this logic shows that hierarchical economic planning may not be such a bad thing at least when combined with markets. The boundary of the firm -- how big it will be -- is determined by the answer to the question, should this component be produced inhouse or purchased? But this is also the boundary between organizing things according to the market or according to the hierarchical structure of command that has led capitalist firms to be termed (ironically) as ‘mini-planned economies.” The ‘verdict of the market’ in this case is that both markets and hierarchies have a place in the economy!
Sam Bowles, "How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics"
Friedrich von Hayek, How Hayek’s Evolutionary Theory Disproves His Politics, Markets, Quotations, Sam Bowles
In essence, the Icelanders who compiled the Grágás manuscripts were doing the same thing as libertarian scholars who hold up Iceland as proof that a society with minimal government can work. They were creating a golden age that probably bore very little resemblance to any period of Iceland’s actual history. The society reflected in Grágás and in so many of the family sagas represents thirteenth-century Icelanders’ vision of what society should be like. In an age when they were beholden to powerful chieftains and made to pay tribute to a king, some bondi thought that a free and equal society looked ideal and played up these aspects of their laws and their history... If Grágás is meant to construct a golden age that never actually existed, its usefulness to libertarian scholars as evidence for a working stateless community must be called into question.
Thomas McSweeney, "Writing Fiction as Law: The Story in Grágás"
Medieval Iceland, Quotations, Thomas McSweeney, Writing Fiction as Law: The Story in Grágás
Your tone is that of a theologian examining scripture, not a social scientist tackling existing institutions to improve them, or an open-minded analyst of partial improvements. You treat Hayek as if he didn’t understand the simple largely a priori principles of economic analysis that constitute your armory. Truth to tell, he was trying to analyze a far more complex reality than you are prepared to admit exists. There are indeed market failures, externalities, conflicts of “ultimate” values, ruled out by logic but not by imperfect human understanding. Every question does not have a simple logical answer.
Milton Friedman on Walter Block, "Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom)"
Fanatical, Not Reasonable: A Short Correspondence Between Walter E. Block and Milton Friedman (on Friedrich Hayek ’s Road to Serfdom), Friedrich von Hayek, Libertarians Criticizing Each Other, Milton Friedman, Quotations, Walter Block
Bitcoin is Beanie Babies for Libertarian Nerds
Anonymous
Anonymous, Bitcoin, Quotations
[S]ocial relations abhor a power vacuum. When state authority contracts, private parties fill the gap. That power can feel just as oppressive, and have effects just as pervasive, as garden variety administrative agency enforcement of civil law. As Robert Lee Hale stated, “There is government whenever one person or group can tell others what they must do and when those others have to obey or suffer a penalty.”
Frank Pasquale, "From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon"
Corporate Threats to Liberty, Frank Pasquale, From Territorial to Functional Sovereignty: The Case of Amazon, Law, Liberty, Liberty (propaganda), Private Limitations Of Liberty, Quotations, Real World Power
Put another way, public choice theory turned the Marxist theory of the state on its head. As opposed to wishing to free the masses from a state controlled by the capitalist elite, Buchanan wished to free the capitalist elite from a state controlled by the unruly masses.
Andrew Hartman, "The Master Class on the Make"
Andrew Hartman, James Buchanan, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, The Master Class on the Make
The absurdity of public-choice theory is captured by Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen in the following little scenario: "Can you direct me to the railway station?" asks the stranger. "Certainly," says the local, pointing in the opposite direction, towards the post office, "and would you post this letter for me on your way?" "Certainly," says the stranger, resolving to open it to see if it contains anything worth stealing.
Linda McQuaig, "All You Can Eat"
All You Can Eat, Amartya Sen, Linda McQuaig, Public Choice Theory, Quotations
Lin [Elinor Ostrom] is emphatically clear on a number of key points:
  1. Self interested behaviour in perfect markets can be highly destructive.
  2. Appropriate norms and rules will not rely on pure self interest, but instead build on the capacity of (many) actors for conditional cooperation and reciprocity.
  3. Norms rely on collectively mandated sanctioning mechanisms if they are to work properly.
These are not, as I understand Hayek, Hayekian claims.
Henry Farrell, "The Ostrom Nobel"
Collectivism, Elinor Ostrom, Henry Farrell, Local Commons, Non-Libertarians Supposedly Supporting Libertarian Viewpoints, Quotations, The Ostrom Nobel
We live in the richest societies in history. We produce so many times more than past societies that we could abolish almost all poverty, as has been done in so many Scandinavian nations. We are at the point where we can ask what ALL people should have. All people should have the Four Freedoms. All people should have education, medical care, food, clothing, housing. Who should be excepted and why? Libertarians have no answer here: their obsession with property above all other values produces Procrustean solutions at best. Libertarians have no ideological guidelines for balancing property with other values, no way to go beyond "I've got mine."
Mike Huben, "Libertarianism Has Unbalanced Values"
Capability Approach, Four Freedoms, Ideology, Libertarianism Has Unbalanced Values, Mike Huben, Quotations, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty
Critics often point out that this emphasis on economics debases and sacrifices other important values such as equality, social inclusion, democratic deliberation, and justice. Those political and social objectives obviously matter enormously, and in some contexts they matter the most. They cannot always, or even often, be achieved by means of technocratic economic policies; politics must play a central role.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, There Are Important Values Besides Liberty, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Chile's neoliberal experiment eventually produced the worst economic crisis in all of Latin America.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Chile, Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
A journalist calls an economics professor for his view on whether free trade is a good idea. The professor responds enthusiastically in the affirmative. The journalist then goes undercover as a student in the professor's advanced graduate seminar on international trade. He poses the same question: Is free trade good? This time the professor is stymied. "What do you mean by 'good?'" he responds. "And good for whom?" The professor then launches into an extensive exegesis that will ultimately culminate in a heavily hedged statement: "So if the long list of conditions I have just described are satisfied, and assuming we can tax the beneficiaries to compensate the losers, freer trade has the potential to increase everyone's well being." If he is in an expansive mood, the professor might add that the effect of free trade on an economy's long-term growth rate is not clear either and would depend on an altogether different set of requirements.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Parables, Quotations, Refutation of Dogmas by Empirical Economics, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism
The basic competitive-markets model dating back to Adam Smith has been modified over time by the inclusion, in rough historical order, of monopoly, externalities, scale economies, incomplete and asymmetric information, irrational behavior, and many other real world features.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Adam Smith, Capitalism, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Neoliberalism and its customary remedies -- always more markets, always less government -- are in fact a perversion of mainstream economics. Good economists know that the correct answer to any question in economics is: it depends.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Capitalism, Dani Rodrik, Economics 101, Fallacies Of Ideology, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
There is nothing wrong with markets, private entrepreneurship, or incentives -- when deployed appropriately. Their creative use lies behind the most significant economic achievements of our time. As we heap scorn on neoliberalism, we risk throwing out some of neoliberalism's useful ideas. The real trouble is that mainstream economics shades too easily into ideology, constraining the choices that we appear to have and providing cookie-cutter solutions.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Capitalism, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Fallacies Of Ideology, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, How Libertarian Ideas And Attitudes Are Spread, Ideas Libertarians Do Not Own, Ideology, Markets, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
The fatal flaw of neoliberalism is that it does not even get the economics right. It must be rejected on its own terms for the simple reason that it is bad economics.
Dani Rodrik, "Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism"
Common Fallacies Of Economics, Dani Rodrik, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Mercantilism And Industrial Policy Works, Quotations, Rescuing Economics from Neoliberalism, Wall Street, Corporatists, Neoliberals And Plutocrats
Right. If your slave gets sick, then it's in your financial self-interest to hire a doctor to protect your investment. But if your wage employee gets sick, you can leave him to die and hire someone else. Apparently libertarians oppose slavery because it was too humane.
LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), in comments of "Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it."
Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it., Historical Revisionism, LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), Quotations, Slavery
It's interesting how libertarians believe that racism can get enough public support to win a local election, but somehow not enough to maintain a local restaurant.
LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), in comments of "Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it."
Capitalism defeats racism. Government maintains it., Discrimination, Historical Revisionism, LRonPaul2012 (pseudonym), Quotations
The essential unifying idea in this core of libertarian ideology is that the existence of rights and the propriety of liberty are either obvious, or matters of faith, or sufficiently explained by the word “natural”; accordingly, deeper moral or philosophic arguments in support of them are unnecessary. Why provide philosophic arguments for that which people can know by just opening their eyes, or closing their eyes, or waving their hands and saying “natural”? The fact is that people do not and cannot know anything about the nature of rights or the propriety of liberty by such means.
Craig Biddle, "Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism"
Craig Biddle, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Fallacies Of Ideology, Fallacies Of Philosophy, Ideology, Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism, Natural Rights, Objectivist Critiques Of Libertarianism, Quotations, Rights
The only self-evident fact about rights is that rights are not self-evident.
Craig Biddle, "Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism"
Craig Biddle, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Libertarianism vs. Radical Capitalism, Natural Rights, Objectivist Critiques Of Libertarianism, Quotations, Rights
Ideology is the curse of public affairs because it converts politics into a branch of theology and sacrifices human beings on the thoughts of abstractions.
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "Foreign Policy and The American Character"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Fallacies Of Ideology, Foreign Policy and The American Character, Ideology, Quotations
The ideology of radical libertarianism is both mistaken and harmful -- not least, to legitimate free expression in the service of truth. The error lies in exalting freedom "to such an extent that it becomes an absolute, which would then be the source of values.... In this way the inescapable claims of truth disappear, yielding their place to a criterion of sincerity, authenticity and 'being at peace with oneself'" There is no room for authentic community, the common good, and solidarity in this way of thinking.
Pontifical Council for Social Communications, "Ethics in Internet"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Ethics in Internet, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Quotations
Ideology means taking some idea -- often legitimate in its own sphere -- to the extreme... Ideology offers certainty -- clear cut choices between good and evil, truth and falsehood. It pretends to have scientific answers to complex problems and holds out one easy standard to judge all cases. It thus relieves thinkers of the tedium involved in making difficult distinctions. In Procrustean fashion, ideologues cut facts to fit their ideas, rather than ideas to fit the facts. More often than not, their claims to science turn out to be little more than manipulative quackery.
Walter Adams and James Brock, "The Bigness Complex: Industry, Labor, and Government in the American Economy, Second Edition"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, James Brock, Quotations, The Bigness Complex: Industry, Labor, and Government in the American Economy, Second Edition, Walter Adams
Libertarian capitalism... is a curious ideology in many ways... On the one hand, the sanctity of private property and private contracts is held to be a matter of inalienable natural right, guaranteed by the fundamental facts of morality, if not a basic part of Objective Reality; capitalism is the Right Thing to Do. On the other hand, much effort is devoted to arguing that unfettered laissez-faire capitalism is also the economic system which will produce the greatest benefit for the greatest number, indeed for all, if only people would just see it. Natural right therefore coincides exactly with personal interest. A clearer example of wishful thinking could hardly be asked for.
Cosima Shalizi, "Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!"
Analyzing Libertarian Arguments, Capitalism, Cosima Shalizi, Fallacies Of Ideology, Ideology, Liberty! What Fallacies Are Committed in Thy Name!, Natural Rights, Objectivism, Quotations
To solve the problem that few Americans are interested in small government, Rothbard argued that libertarians needed to align themselves with people they might not like much in order to expand their numbers. “Outreach to the Rednecks” was needed to make common cause with far-right Christian conservatives who hated the federal government, disliked drugs and wanted to crack down on crime.
Matthew Sheffield, "Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians."
Confederacy, Discrimination, Matthew Sheffield, Murray Rothbard, Paleolibertarianism, Quotations, Racists, Theocratic Libertarians, Where did Donald Trump get his racialized rhetoric? From libertarians.
… Economic doctrines always come to us as propaganda. This is bound up with the very nature of the subject and to pretend that it is not so in the name of ‘pure science’ is a very unscientific refusal to accept the facts.
Joan Robinson, in Marx, Marshall And Keynes
Austrian Economics, Chicago Economics, Common Fallacies Of Economics, Economics, Economics 101, Fallacies Of Ideology, Free Market, George Mason University Economics Department, Globalization, Free Trade and Economic Freedom, Ideology Underlies Economics, Joan Robinson, Laissez Faire, Law and Economics, Marx, Marshall And Keynes, Propaganda, Marketing and Public Relations, Public Choice Theory, Quotations, Rational Choice Theory, Spontaneous Order
I have always aimed to make my own prejudices sufficiently obvious to allow a reader, while studying the argument, to discount them as he thinks fit, though of course, this generally leads a reader of opposite prejudices to reject the argument in advance …
Joan Robinson, in Marx, Marshall And Keynes
Critiques Of Libertarianism, Economics, Fallacies Of Ideology, Joan Robinson, Marx, Marshall And Keynes, Opposing Libertarianism, Quotations
All forms of society grant freedoms to, and impose unfreedoms on, people, and no society, therefore, can be condemned just because certain people lack certain freedoms in it. But societies have structurally different ways of inducing distributions of freedom, and, in a society like ours, where freedom is to a massive extent granted and withheld through the distribution of money, that fact, that money structures freedom, is often not appreciated in its full significance, and an illusion develops that freedom in a society like ours is not restricted by the distribution of money. This lecture exposes that illusion.
G. A. Cohen, "Freedom and Money"
Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Freedom and Money, G. A. Cohen, Libertarians Misunderstand Liberty, Liberty, Private Limitations Of Liberty, Property, Quotations
It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T II.3.3)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Quotations, Rational
Our property is nothing but those goods, whose constant possession is established by the laws of society; that is, by the laws of justice.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T III.2.2)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Property, Quotations
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
David Hume, "A Treatise of Human Nature". (T II.3.3 415)
A Treatise of Human Nature, David Hume, Quotations, Rational
No one ever considers the Carnegie libraries steeped in the blood of the Homestead Steel workers, but they are. We do not remember that the Rockefeller Foundation is founded on the dead miners of the Colorado Fuel Company and a dozen other performances. We worship Mammon....
Senator Harry Truman, speech to senate, December 20, 1937.
Harry Truman, Historical Revisionism, Inequality, Plutocracy, Private Charity, Quotations, Robber Barons, Speech to senate, December 20, 1937, The Beneficence Of Plutocrats
Boaz has fully mastered Patronizing Libertarian Voice, with which (male) libertarians use highly irrational arguments to dismiss every other politics as the beliefs of a child, while loudly insisting on their faultless rationality.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, False Claims to Rationality and Logic, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Quotations, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, We libertarians are rational, they are not., Women's Issues
The jump from the right to self-ownership to the right of property ownership always occurs hastily, as if the libertarian knows full well he’s fudging one of the most dubious steps of his proof. Boaz makes the unfortunate decision to choose John Locke’s theory of “labor mixing” as his preferred means of papering over the leap. This is the theory, dating from 1689, that when a person “mixes” her labor with a thing (say by turning a tree into a chair), she develops a property right in it. Why this should be so, nobody knows. What “mixing” even is, nobody knows either. Boaz doesn’t attempt to define it; its function is simply to jury-rig a rickety theoretical bridge that will suffice until the next deduction is made. So long as the reader blinks, she will fail to notice that the entire natural rights justification for property is built upon flashy prestidigitation.
Nathan Robinson, "Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..."
David Boaz, Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy, Homesteading, John Locke, Nathan Robinson, Oh God, Please Not Libertarianism..., Philosophy, Property, Quotations, Self-Ownership, The Libertarian Mind: A Manifesto for Freedom, The Lockean Fable of Initial Acquisition
Nobody agrees about what natural rights are any more than they agree on which gods to believe in. Because they are just made-up claims. Real rights require enforcement by society: we put our money where our mouths are.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Natural Rights, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
Non-initiation of force is a phrase which is used to hide the entire baggage of libertarian theory of entitlement. Since every culture has different theories of entitlement, using the same phrase just conceals the basic question of entitlements.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Initiation of Force, Mike Huben, Non-Aggression, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
You NAP idea is entirely vapid: EVERY political/moral system says "defensive force and properly-justified retaliatory force is not considered immoral": they just differ on what "defensive" and "properly justified" is. For libertarians, this bafflegab protects assertions that absolute property is the only morality.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Non-Aggression, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft
[M]ost libertarians would say that we have a non-voluntary responsibility to respect property, and would enforce that with violence. That’s the basic hypocrisy of voluntaristic ideas of libertarianism: everything is supposed to be voluntary and non-coercive BUT the basic principles of your ideology such as property are obviously not.
Mike Huben, in comments for "Taxation Is Not Theft"
Mike Huben, Quotations, Taxation Is Not Theft, Voluntary, Voluntaryism