From Pine View Farm

Logical Underspinnings 0

At the Boston Review, Claude S. Fischer takes up the (il)logic of Libertarianism. He starts with the core tenet of Libertarians, which generally remains unspoken: In Glibertarian land, there is no such thing as the common good.

The column (linked at the site) argued, in brief, that libertarianism’s philosophical anthropology, starting with the claim that “there is no social entity . . . . there are only individual people” (Robert Nozick), is historically and anthropologically dubious. Most human cultures by far understood and understand the individual as first the product of communities and only secondarily endowed by the community with some personal autonomy. Americans are “weirdly” likely to “conceive of themselves primarily as self-contained individuals” rather than as “interpersonal beings intertwined with one another in social webs” (quoting Henrich et al.) and we live in a strangely libertarian society. Similarly, libertarianism makes a dubious empirical claim. The notion “that government which governs best governs least” is belied by the data. Whether comparing early America to modern America, or today’s America to other western nations, the evidence points to more government being, up to a point we have hardly approached, better for more people.

Libertarianism is an elaborate facade for narcissim and selfishness and predation, nothing more. Its motto is ultimately “All for me and every man for himself.”

Do please read the rest.


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