My highly acrimonious and hostile debate with Walter is now online:
Tag Archives | Labortarian
Added to the Molinari Institutes online library: two 19th-century British individualist anarchist texts Henry Seymours Anarchy: Theory and Practice (1888) and Albert Tarns The State: Its Origin, Its Nature, and Its Abolition (1895). Thanks to Jonathan Martindale for locating and transcribing these texts!
Both Seymour and Tarn occasionally appeared in the pages of Benjamin Tuckers Liberty. Curiously, theres currently an institute named after Tarn; but its website doesnt have much information.
[cross-posted at C4SS]
In an anti-libertarian rant titled “You’re Not the Boss of Me! Why Libertarianism Is a Childish Sham,” David Masciotra charges that libertarianism amounts to the petulant selfishness of a child who resents all restrictions on his or her behavior.
Masciotra conveniently focuses on libertarians’ saying “you have no right to impose stuff on us,” while ignoring its corollaries “we have no right to impose stuff on you” and “you have no right to impose stuff on them.” But then its a bit harder to spin the latter two as childish selfishness.
Judging from what he writes and where he writes it, I reckon Masciotra fancies himself a man of the left. There was a time when “Dump the Bosses Off Your Back” was a popular leftist slogan. But the idea of a society without bosses seems to carry no charm for Masciotra.
It’s also telling that Masciotra sees libertarian opposition to being bossed as in tension with “bonds of empathy and ties of solidarity.” Apparently, for Masciotra empathy and solidarity are impossible among equals, and can exist only between benevolent shepherds and their docile, subservient flocks. Libertarians, by contrast, see empathy and solidarity as realized in their fullest and healthiest form between free and equal persons in voluntary, uncoerced, unbossed association.
It seems a safe bet that anyone who ridicules resentment against bosses either is a boss, or aims to be a boss, or wants to curry favour with the bosses. But here at C4SS, our attitude toward bosses — be they politicians and bureaucrats, or corporate beneficiaries of state privilege — is: dump ‘em. In a truly libertarian world, no one will be the boss of anyone else.
I enjoyed my trip to Duluth. After my left-libertarian talk (powerpoint slides here), several leftists in the audience told me that theyd come prepared to do combat with the evil libertarian but ended up surprised and intrigued instead. (Upcoming speakers in the Ethics of the Market speaker series may not be as lucky.)
My host, Shane Courtland, was fun to hang out with as well (even if he is a Hobbesian). His office is filled with action figures, ranging from Darth Vader to Walter White.
The hotel where they put me up is in a cool old brewery overlooking the vast frozen expanse that is Lake Superior. Imagine this picture but with everything much whiter:
Less delightfully, my bag took a couple of days longer to get back from Duluth than I did (and Delta told me it had delivered my bag to me fifteen hours before it actually did so).
In other news, over the next couple of days Ill be at my departments annual conference.