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Or, alternatively, is the only worthy political theory for self-directed individuals libertarianism?
Gerald Gaus is addressing these issues this morning.
Posted by Peter Boettke on June 17, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Permalink
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I'm curious - but I see nothing on the site. Addressing the issue where?
June 17, 2010 at 12:08 PM
It was his lecture, I believe he discusses this in his work on justificatory liberalism.
btw, is the book out?
Peter Boettke |
June 17, 2010 at 02:53 PM
Frank Chodorov once wrote, in his book, "One is a Crowd" (1952) that the purpose of teaching individualism was not make individualists, but to find them.
Any thoughts by any one on this?
Richard Ebeling |
June 17, 2010 at 03:27 PM
If we use only those Economics Nobel Laureates who wrote on freedom--Buchanan, Friedman, Hayek, and Sen--then from their assembled works freedom is confirmed to be a separate and distinct philosophy, not merely a 'theory' of political or economic discourse.
As for whether libertarianism is only for the self-directed: definitely not. Freedom is but the manifestation by one of two primal bio-psychologies, inherent in every human being. It's just that one or the other of the two is usually dominant, so that if we develop, quite naturally, the psychological identity of a fallibilist--as opposed to a libertarian's improvabilist--then we become more pacifist than freedomist, more distrustful of human nature than trusting of basic human nature.
The improvabilist fervently believes in self-direction, but even the most ardent fallibilist reluctantly recognizes the internal intellectual appeal of self-direction in his more honest moments.
And as for Stanley Benn; glad to hear of him. No philosopher at any university in Australia has ever recommended any of Dr. Benn's work for inclusion on the website for the Philosophy of Human Rights. We'll buy and read his book, and give it respectful consideration for listing on the Philohr website.
a Duoist |
June 17, 2010 at 07:18 PM
Or, libertarianism is the political structure that creates the most self-directed individuals.
Troy Camplin |
June 18, 2010 at 01:35 AM
What goes into making a personality is complex and I doubt we can control the process. We need to accept that most people will not be indivialists or self-directing. However, it does not follow that the state should do the directing. There are a lot of people and institutions who can fill the role much better than the state.
For example, few people feel confident enough in their understanding of finances to direct their own investments. But their only option isn't government bonds. That's why we have investment advisers and mutual funds.
A free society naturally creates the institutions to direct people who aren't self-directed and don't want to be. There is no need for the state to do it.
June 18, 2010 at 10:16 AM
Great, I will check it out.
I am actually finishing up a paper that relates to this subject--I argue that although collectivism turns dystopian on a large scale, the pure market forces individualism, which some would prefer to avoid, and collectivism can work on a small scale (e.g., hippie commune). So, socialists should focus on small scale socialism within a larger property superstructure.
Hence, my answer: Not really, when properly understood. It *is* primarily for self-directed individualists, but individuals can create alternatives within the private property society.
As for my book: thanks for asking. I am waiting for my advance copies, which have been held up due to a couple of formatting errors which are being corrected. Hopefully I will have them within a week or two--and you will be among the first to know, don't worry!
June 18, 2010 at 10:55 AM
I think 'libertarian' is used in an analytical sense, contrasted with 'egalitarian' and other labels. A reductio, 'Libertarianism' may therefore be for self-directed individuals only. But *classical liberalism* is a theory for self-directed individuals as well as their moral community (which includes those who lack self-direction). Such nuance, lamentably, is not afforded in analytical philosophical discussions.
Joe Blow |
June 18, 2010 at 11:56 AM
I don't think personal individualism is firmly linked to any political philosophy. I'm not that personally individualistic.
June 18, 2010 at 09:21 PM
Some of us individually constitute bigger "crowds" than others, :-).
Barkley Rosser |
June 20, 2010 at 03:19 AM
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