June 2022

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30    
Blog powered by Typepad

« Carl Menger Essay Contest | Main | Happy 80th Birthday Leonard Liggio »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Corey Robin linked Hayek to Hitler and the Luftwaffe via Nietzsche for God's sake.

Innuendo and guilt by association "gotcha" are his business.

Robin did his graduate work under a far left labor historian.

He's the equivalent of a party apparatchik -- he's not a conscientious scholar or careful student of history and ideas.

The point is to bring ideological victories for the partisan Team Left.

And that is what he believes he is achieving his his relentless crusade to chain Hayek to Adolf Hitler's leg.

Peter writes,

"Identifying tensions and offer attempted reconciliations is the way forward; innuendo and guilt by association "gotcha' arguments are not."

It would seem there is the tension you describe, Pete. And it seems kind of hard to explain, at least if we are going to avoid psychologizing about, say, fighting the old redder-than-red socialists of the old days.

And you are right suggest (if I read you) that we do not promote Hayek's good ideas by ginning up bogus apologies for his errors and offenses. I mean, I would hope that our first and only goal is to seek and speak the truth and we see it. But even from the partisan stance of someone who wants to somehow bolster Hayek, you just gotta face all your hero's errors and infirmities to be an effective advocate for him. The Wittgenstein mafia vilified Bartley for outing Wittgenstein, absurdly suggesting that Bartley was trying defame Wittgenstein for being gay! I don't think they did Wittgenstein any favors in that episode. Hayekians should not make the same mistake.

To most Americans democracy is a sacred and holy thing and they will tolerate absolutely no criticism of it or the actions of a democratic government. Somehow, the voice of the majority has become the voice of God. Anyone who criticizes the results of democracy is by definition evil. They employ the logical fallacies against their opponents because they work very well to stir up their base and destroy those on the fence and those who can’t think for themselves well.

Anyone who loves liberty would prefer a liberal dictator to an illiberal democracy, but we should keep in mind that in the long run a liberal dictator will not last if the majority doesn’t want freedom. Dictators can ignore the will of the people for only a limited time.

Hayek’s mistake was making his pronouncements sound like absolute laws of physics by using words like “always.” He employed hyperbole to make a point and he probably expected interpreters of his words to be honest and take them in that sense. I have no doubt that Hayek understood that “always” was hyperbole. But by not making that very clear, he opened himself up to the dishonest interpreter who would convince people he meant them literally.

The cases in which crises have been used to advance liberty rather than destroy it are so few as to not even be worth considering.

"But instead I want to suggest that many interpreters are in a fundamental point missing Hayek's distinction between liberalism and democracy."

"Identifying tensions and offer attempted reconciliations is the way forward; inuendo and guilt by assocation "gotcha' arguments are not."
Nicely said Pete.

We offered similar thoughts (in Spanish) in this same Hayek-Pinochet issue:




Roger -- Corey Robin is being called out for blatant deception, and rank smears based on blatant deception.

This has nothing to do with Wittgenstein and Bartley.

And the problem of escalating threats of total loss by one side in a contest between rival camps via cohesion and violence is a constant of what Communist/Marxist factions have meant in nation after nation -- see Steve Pinker in The Blank Slate on the basic game theory of the problem.

People need to stop being dishonest and stone ignorant when discussing Marxism and the Marxists and parties seeking total economic control and cohesion.

The new biography of Carl Marx points out that the one consistent inspiration for his Marxist brand of communism/socialism was the French terror. Elements of that inspiration are built into the his recommendations for Marxist social and political revolution.

Any political party seeking to confront Marxists seeking total control has to deal with that reality.

It's easy for people who haven't dealt with this to pretend it doesn't exit -- people in Russia, North Korea, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Eastern Europe and elsewhere didn't have this luxury.

Stone ignorance of history and the realities of 20th century history eliminates every sense of perspective.

This is an explanation.

An explanation as every Austrian should understand, is NOT a moral evaluation or moral judgment.

It's doubly dishonest for Austrian's who know this distinction to pretend that they don't know it.

I should recommend Steve Pinker's The Blank Slate for and excellent account of the difference between an explanation and a moral judgment, for Austrians who have completely forgotten the distinction, and its application to explanatory work outside of baby economics.

Mike Rappaport lays out a typical example of Corey Robin's dishonest & academically deplorable deception here:


So what is the logic of this?

Do we condemn the CATO Institute for holding conferences in tyrannical Red China which in part were celebrations of Chinese liberalization and market reform?

Corey Robin, we have no reason not to presume, would condemn CATO, not for so much for holding conferences in China, but for celebrating the Chinese liberalization.

Corey Robin wants us to condemn Hayek and the Mont Pelerin Society for celebrating Chilean liberalization and market reform, via guild by association with Pinochet's non-liberal murders and brutality and his war with the armed Marxist opposition.

The reforms are evil because Pinochet was evil, and the Mont Pelerin Society is evil because it celebrates these evil by association measures.

Also, here is just a bit on armed Marxist revolutionaries for a time headed by Andrés Pascal Allende, the nephew of Salvador Allende:


The problem is the combination of democracy and the idea of the omnipotence of democracy. This was thoroughly discussed by classical liberals in the 19th century -- Herbert Spencer, Alexis de Tocqueville, William Lecky, Thomas Babington Macauley and others. I like the line from Herbert Spencer -- the political superstition of previous times was the divine right of kings; the political superstition of the present is the divine right of parliaments. I am not sure there is much we can do about this today. The genie is out of the bottle.

Greg, You make is sound like Corey Robin strangles puppies in his spare time and sleeps with a photo of Stalin under his pillow. However that may be, I don't think I said anything about Corey Robin. I just pointed out that we don't want to be a Hayek mafia, which was really just Pete's point in the first place, I think. In any event, I will try harder "to stop being dishonest and stone ignorant."

"The Hayek mafia vilified Corey Robin for outing Hayek's Nazi-sympathizing Nietzschean agenda, absurdly suggesting that Robin was trying defame Hayek for being a Nietzsche-inspired National Socialist sympathizer! I don't think they did Hayek any favors in that episode. Harry Dexter White supporters should not make the same mistake."

I don't see any other possible parallel that Roger could be drawing in this case.

Greg, did you read the part where I said I was not talking about Corey Robin? It doesn't matter, does it? You will "respond" to this comment with more outrage and chest thumping, freaking out over Corey Robin. You will interpret anything I might that is not itself outrage over Robin as an apology for Robin or otherwise clueless and offensive. Sigh.

To quote the "Mr. Vibrating" character from Monty Python (http://montypython.50webs.com/scripts/Series_3/27.htm),
"I'm sorry, but I'm not allowed to argue anymore. If you want me to go on arguing, you'll have to pay for another five minutes."

"You just gotta face all of Darwin's errors and infirmities to be an effective advocate for him."

The statement is false. Darwin's errors are trivialities of history which people ignore when exploiting what Darwin contributed to human thought and science.

Keynesians ignore Keynes eugenics & his attempt to ingratiate himself with the Nation Socialists in Germany, etc. Similar examples could be repeated endlessly.

The seminal issue here is that discussion of Hayek, democracy, civil war, oligarchic rule, the struggle with the Marxists, etc is totally miscast is you accept the terms of debate and moral of the story as cast by Corey Robin.

Roger needs to tells us if he accepts the dubious and essential contested casting of the issues at hand as presented by Robin.

I told you, I'm not allowed to argue unless you've paid.

I'm merely pointing out that you've set the table for a falsely premised conversation, Roger.

And I'm asking you change your ways and work toward a productive conversation.

If you've don't want to have a conversation, fine.

Kevin Vallier on Corey Robin's disgraceful intellectual & academic practices, standards, and behavior http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2013/07/robin-and-the-austrians-revisited-on-elective-affinities-value-and-other-conceptual-disasters/

The comments to this entry are closed.

Our Books