Tag Archives | Left and Right

The Four Freedoms

This is some good shit I’m smoking here.

In Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand writes:

Freedom, in a political context, means freedom from government coercion. It does not mean freedom from the landlord, or freedom from the employer, or freedom from the laws of nature which do not provide men with automatic prosperity. It means freedom from the coercive power of the state – and nothing else.

What Rand seems not to have considered is that the coercive power of the state, by promoting the artificial concentration of capital and land, plays a central role in explaining why so many people are dependent on landlords for their housing and on employers for their income. Indeed, inasmuch as economic progress involves the steady increase in the amount of production that can be achieved without effort, the state, by obstructing this progress, is to a considerable extent preventing the laws of nature from providing us with automatic prosperity too.

The choice Rand offers us is thus an artificial one. The libertarian commitment to freedom from government coercion is ipso facto a commitment to freedom from the landlord, from the employer, and from the kärgliche Ausstattung einer stiefmütterlichen Natur as well.

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Cordial and Sanguine, Part 61: Whose Left? Which Libertarianism?

[cross-posted at BHL]

Over at C4SS I’ve posted the abstract to a paper on Left-Libertarianism: Its Past, Its Present, Its Prospects that I’ll be presenting at the MANCEPT 2014 Workshop on the Current State of Libertarian Philosophy in Manchester UK in September.

As it happens, Kevin Carson has a more detailed post up on the same topic: What Is Left-Libertarianism?

Read them both – or be left out of all the cool conversations among the cool people in the corridors of counterpower!

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Call for Abstracts: Libertarianism and Privilege

Call for Abstracts

for the Molinari Society’s Year 11 Symposium to be held in conjunction with the American Philosophical Association Eastern Division meeting, December 27-30, 2014, in Philadelphia.

Symposium Topic:
Libertarianism and Privilege

Submission Deadline:
26 May 2014

In recent years, “privilege” has become the default model for most of the Left’s critical discussion of structural oppression, resistance, and challenges to social justice. Critical discourse today recognizes many forms of structural social privilege, including white privilege, male privilege, and privilege based on heterosexuality, gender identity, and economic or political class. Privilege is said not only to touch on political power but also to have interpersonal and epistemic dimensions – informing social interactions and cultural expressions, and raising concerns about the position of social critics and limitations or distortions of knowledge.

In addition, the relationship between libertarianism and privilege has begun to attract increased interest, both within and beyond libertarian circles. Libertarianism has been described both as essentially an opposition to privilege, and as essentially a rationalization of privilege. Does libertarian theory have the resources to address questions of structural privilege – especially those forms of social privilege that do not appear to derive from state action? Should it address such questions? What unique insights or contributions might it offer to critical discussions of privilege? How might an account of structural social privilege modify or develop libertarian approaches?

Abstracts should be submitted for the 2014 Symposium by 26 May, 2014. Submissions from any point of view are welcome. Please submit an abstract only if you expect to be able to present the paper in person at the Symposium. (Final papers should be of appropriate scope and length to be presented within 15-30 minutes.) Submitting authors will be notified of the acceptance or rejection of their papers by 31 May, 2014.

Submit abstracts as e-mail attachments, in Word .doc format, PDF, or ODT, to longrob@auburn.edu.

For any questions or information, contact Roderick T. Long at the above email address.

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Mass Transit

At a mass meeting, thought is eliminated. And because this is the state of mind I require, because it secures to me the best sounding-board for my speeches, I order everyone to attend the meetings, where they become part of the mass whether they like it or not, “intellectuals” and bourgeois as well as workers. I mingle the people. I speak to them only as the mass.
— Adolf Hitler

No witness for the truth dare become engaged with the crowd. The witness for the truth – who naturally has nothing to do with politics and must above everything else be most vigilantly on the watch not to be confounded with the politician – the God-fearing work of the witness to the truth is to engage himself if possible with all, but always individually, talking to everyone severally on the streets and lanes, in order to disintegrate the crowd – or to talk even to the crowd, though not with the intent of educating the crowd as such, but rather with the hope that one or another individual might return from this assemblage and become a single individual.
— Søren Kierkegaard

Unfortunately, the Hitler quote is from Rauschning’s Conversations With Hitler (a.k.a. The Voice of Destruction a.k.a. Hitler Speaks), which means its authenticity is fairly dubious. Still a nice pair of quotes though.

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