Ive blogged previously about Sheldon Richmans departure from the intellectually suicidal Foundation for Economic Education. (See also Gary Chartiers post.)
Good news! Sheldon Richman has announced his appointment as vice-president of the Future of Freedom Foundation and editor of their monthly periodical. Congratulations, Sheldon and congratulations, FFF!
In other news, the newly ex-leader of the Judean People’s Front is looking for another resistance group again Roman rule to join.
Perhaps because the Judean People’s Front has decided to switch their goal from insurrection against the Empire to the production of Hanukkah colouring books.
FEE has the look and feel of a conservative think tank. I’ll have to look into this FFF thing. My economic point of view is influenced largely by the steady state movement, which actually thanks people like me for being unsuccessful at lucre. Austrianism just has too much in common with Birchism and other “gold bug” tendencies. They’d just replace the landless peasantry with a goldless peasantry.
Yup, “individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government.” Definitely not MY allies.
Maybe not, but I expect you would at least like FFF more than FEE.
In any case, which ones of those four — individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government — do you see as incompatible with your values, and why?
Oh yes, definitely. Your friend is definitely trading up.
Of those four, limited government rings the largest number of alarm bells. To their credit, they said limited government rather than small government. The small government ideology seems to be mainly concerned with downsizing government (the better to drown it in the bathtub) and “separation of economy and state.” I’m open to a downsizing approach to the problem of government, but ONLY if first in line for the chopping block are those parts of government directly involved in the wielding of authority: The Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, etc., and at the local level, the local police. Essentially an exact mirror image of the small government agenda, and probably 90% of persons who speak of limited government. Even the idea of big business being first in line for subsidy cuts doesn’t much impress me. I don’t see subsidy as anywhere near as evil as militarism, secrecy, etc.
If respect for private property means non-seizure of PERSONAL property, I’m on board with that agenda. What offends me is the idea that property rights are the foundation upon which all other rights rest. I prioritize freedom of conscience and freedom of opinion and freedom from torture (in America, the 8th Amendment) over property rights, and if anything I think property rights owes its existence to those basic human rights to a greater degree than the other way around.
So with some caveats, I’m on board with individual liberty (assuming individual isn’t used as another word for private sector entity), free markets (assuming by this we mean simply the existence of exchange and not something ideologically loaded like positivism or marginalism), private property (understood to mean personal property) and limited government (assuming limiting the authority of government is a much more central objective than limiting its size–OR its involvement in economic interference). If I were to name my TOP four priorities, they would be (1) replacing competition with cooperation, (2) practicing solidarity (especially class solidarity), (3) promoting equality (refusal of dominant or submissive behavior) as a social norm and (4) leveling the informational playing field through reverse engineering, hacking, etc.
So yeah FFF’s top four (which also reads like the stated agenda of practically every conservative organization in America) are things that are on my list, but not at the very top.
I agree. See: http://radgeek.com/gt/2008/01/26/in_which
Well, remember that the people who say that have in mind property in the Lockean sense — i.e. your right to your mind and your body as well as external possessions. So the rights you describe would be part of property rights in that sense, not a rival to them.
One way that FFF is different from a lot of minarchist libertarian outfits is that the very first thing I ever read from them, back in the 90s, was an attack on the American flag as a symbol of an occupying force at home and abroad.
So they’re not your allies. That’s not a mark against them.