Living In A Madhouse


 

Living In A Madhouse

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8 responses to “Living In A Madhouse

  1. This quote seems quite a serious indictment of a certain strand of Libertarianism.

    ” It holds that the idea of nations is simply outmoded tribalism. It requires nation states to open their borders to trade and mass immigration regardless of the economic and societal consequences and the affront given to man’s innately tribal nature.”

    I agree with him, where Libertarianism is weak is where it ignores peoples innate loyalties, cultures and institutions formed over great periods of history. The ‘open borders’ Libertarianism is always going to be the preserve of unnatural policy wonks being forced onto people against their will.

  2. Robert Henderson

    The Living in a madhouse blog is mine. You are a man after my own heart.

    My instincts are strongly libertarian, but I take issue with two strands of mainstream libertarian thought. The first is the obsession with property and how it should be defended generally against the state. The consequence of such an unrestrained acquisition of wealth ,which is passed from generation to generation, is the rapid formation of a plutocracy which is one of the more dangerous forms of authoritiarianism because it is disguised.

    The second objection is to the implicit assumption in libertarianism that human beings are interchangeable regardless of their race, ethnicity or class , a fact which libertarians tacitly accept when they advocate open borders and free trade. The reality is that homo sapiens is a strongly tribal and territorial species . That being so the society in which libertarian values are most likely to be seen is a homogeneous one. Libertarianism is predicated on trust. Racially or ethnically divided societies do not have that repository of general trust.

  3. The only sensible thing is to back off and let people run their own lives except in those very, very few circumstances where they mess up the lives of others or they ask for help.
    Just scrap as many of the rules and regulations **as possible, over time, and leave it at that.
    I am certain we would be surprised at the blossoming that would naturally ensue.

    **as possible: I do not advocate scrapping the current structure but reducing over time. A gradual reduction. Always moving in the direction towards freedom.

  4. Robert Henderson, you make some powerful points.

    Simply removing State power is not enough to assure liberty. There are Non State enemies of liberty, large companies are often overtly hostile to individual liberties and certain religious groups are very effective at projecting a Non State despotic control of people. In addition, people do form natural communities with natural bonds of loyalties and culture. The open borders, nation abolitionist wing of Libertarianism seeks to deny human nature, which ironically is exactly the mistake the Marxists made.

    I sometimes think Libertarians allow an overemphasis on theory to blind them to messy, inconvenient realities. More importantly, this is combined with criticisms of anyone who ever actually dares to get their hands mucky trying to make an actual difference in politics. There is an attachment to an attitude of moral and political purity that pretty much guarantees that no actual, practical action will ever take place. It’s just too tempting to take a holier than thou attitude and sit it all out.

    To be an effective intellectual and political movement Libertarianism does need address these issues.

  5. CH,
    Your problem would then be, who polices the policeman?
    Your faith in human nature (okay, the human nature of some humans – the ones that agree with you, I guess) is touching.
    However.
    The free market works because it does not rely on any “good” humans, but balances out their natural lust and generosity, ie, deals with corrupt human nature as such.
    It self regulates.
    Similarly in ideas, politics, policing, whatever, the best you are ever going to get to the truth/love/reality, while dealing with human nature, is to allow things to be as free as possible.
    Remove all the restraints possible without that the whole thing self destructs (a lot of pressures have built up over the centuries) !
    Marxism, the French Revolution, you name it, I am sure we would find they all failed because some guy came along and persuaded the people to re-instate certain coerced special interests.

  6. John B, i don’t know what you think you are arguing against as you don’t appear to be addressing any of the points i actually made.

  7. CH,
    You say:
    “Simply removing State power is not enough to assure liberty. There are Non State enemies of liberty, large companies are often overtly hostile to individual liberties and certain religious groups are very effective at projecting a Non State despotic control of people.”

    Okay. So what are you leading to?
    That we need to (you say) “dare (s) to get our (their) hands mucky trying to make an actual difference in politics.” ?

    So that is what I am addressing. The conclusion you are drawing without actually stating it. That we need to do active things to re-arrange things and do things so that there is liberty.
    I am saying we don’t need to do anything other than see the unreal (unfair, unjust??) privileges repealed. Remove regulation and coercion and the natural free market will implement freedom.
    The only work we need to do is to encourage people to NOT submit to tyranny.
    Étienne de La Boétie (circa 1550) makes this case very well. That the only reason tyrants succeed is, in fact, because we let them tell us what to do.
    Jeff Riggenbach at the Mises Institute explores this in his recent essay, The Milgram Experiment:
    http://mises.org/daily/4675

  8. Thank you for finally actually addressing my points. Yes, John B, i am saying that we should be prepared to ‘get our hands mucky’.

    You say that ‘ we don’t need to do anything other than see the unreal (unfair, unjust??) privileges repealed.’ You say that as if it were perfectly simple and easy. In reality, to do so will take a lot of hard work. It is an unfortunate tendency in Libertarianism to sit back and cast smug judgements on those who do become publically and politically active, berating all and any perceived errors in ideological purity instead of at least being critically supportive.

    Being in an ivory tower is all very nice but it does not good to anyone. Libertarians need to be prepared to get more active and involved if they want to make a real difference. Of course, if their motivation is to simply make themselves feel smug and superior at others expense, then by all means, continue to simply carp from the sidelines.