4 Responses to Reviewing the Encyclopedia

  1. Black Bloke April 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    Are Smiles and Godwin members of a single movement called “libertarianism”? Were their disagreements secondary, accidental, or merely about the means of realizing a common vision?

    I can’t see why not.

    • Roderick April 29, 2009 at 3:35 pm #

      Agreed. Also, Godwin’s views on property were more complicated then Donway’s quotation from Wendy makes it sound. He thought that a) people had a moral obligation to share their property with anyone who needed it, but also that b) it was morally wrong [apart from special circumstances] to interfere by force to make people share their property. As for his anti-family position, this was less extreme than the quotation suggests, and became even less so over time. (And it’s not as though Rand was a big booster of the family.) And while it’s true that Godwin thought human progress might eventually result in immortality and a dramatic triumph of mind over matter, it’s not as though he saw this as mechanically resulting from the abolition of property and the family.

  2. Nick Manley April 30, 2009 at 10:05 am #

    Godwin’s ethics would seem to fall under the banner of intrincism criticized by Rand.

    Many people need greater wealth, but that doesn’t mean every individual person can rationally assist them under any context. The way out is to develop a context sensitive concept of charity — not to mention a clear definition of what constitutes need. Otherwise, a person can morally demand anything and everything from you whenever — AIG “needed” our money, no?

    ( :

  3. Nick Manley April 30, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    AIG would fall under the banner of force…

    As joint equals of a liberal polity, they may merit assistance. As politically connected extortionists; they earn our ire ( :

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