Skip to comments.Why I'm Not a Libertarian
Posted on 09/22/2012 2:37:20 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
............my reaction to Mises' work underscores my particular problem with libertarianism in general: the fact that it has little to no soul,reducing man to a rational,pleasure-seeking animal. The central premise of Human Action, the basic theory of Mises' praxeology,is that all men are united by one logic,one universal bent toward happiness, which they seek in the most advantageous way possible. In short,man,though capable of making poor decisions,will even in failure choose the most logical poor decision known to him;he furthermore always desires one object more than everything else at any given moment,and the object of his desire is revealed only by his logical action.
Praxeology, the study of human action, doesn't concern itself with whether men want the right things;it concerns itself with man's attempt to become happy. Instead of making value judgments,as religions and ethics do,it says that men simply want to experience happiness,and then concerns itself with whether or not a certain approach to society results in the desired ends.
Surely all thinkers can agree about man's primary pursuit: both St Francis of Assisi and the banking tycoon did what they did because it brought them happiness. And voluntary cooperation,libertarians say, is the best method by which men may achieve their goals;but cooperation toward what? Mises says that division of labor brings societies together and provides them with luxuries unprecedented;he says this is the reason why men banded together in the first place,and gave themselves a collective name (I'm more inclined to believe that men united in self-defense).But if man's community,his happiness,can be largely predicated upon material gain,if men cooperate and behave ethically mainly because of production,and worldliness constitutes our entire civilization,then it's only fair to say that living man died long ago. His society is little more than a comfortable coffin,his family a breed of intelligent gnats..................
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...
Libertarianism is based upon hedonism, the pursuit of pleasure. Hedonism by it’s very nature is Godlessness.
Is all pleasure hedonism? What is, and what isn’t?
God Himself is libertarian in His behavior toward us. He has the power to forcibly stop us from doing evil, or to make us do good, but instead leaves us free to act as we will & to suffer the earthly consequences of poor decisions.
Economics doesn’t tell what one should choose, it explains what those choices will cost.
Tell that to the countless folks who were ripped off by indulgences.
That’s like someone who rejects Christianity because its message is redistributionist. Or because it believes we have Original Sin. That is knocking down one aspect and thus throwing out the essence.
Mises was not saying pleasure was good or necessary for humans. He was saying that’s how we behave. And if that’s the case, a tyrannical gov’t and the serfdom that results would be far, far worse than a rights-based, law-based minimal gov’t. Minimal gov’t requires humility and virtue in the soul, and statism believes we have none.
“Libertinism” and “libertarianism” are not the same thing. You have them confused. The corollary of what you just said can be taken to mean that the government is God, or should be. I doubt that’s what you meant.
http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig6/george4.html for a good discussion on libertine vs. libertarian.
Thanks for taking the time to post an excerpt which I trust summarizes an article that I don’t have time to read now but want to which analyzes a book that I want to read later and probably won’t have time to for at least another 15 years (our fifth is due in 8 days and my wife is still in her early 30s). [I probably could have skimmed the article rather than writing this post—but oh well and the writing is educational for me as well].
In practice, many libertarieans may be hedonists. That said, I am sure that both Mises and the author of the article are well enough read to know that in western philosophical circles the observation that all men desire happiness runs strong in the tradition from Socrates to Aquinas (and after in those who do not want to break with the tradition, which probably include Mieses and the author of the article). From Socrates on those in the tradition are careful to distinguish themselves from and deal with the arguments of the hedonists—who after all were Socrates’ contemporaries.
It seems to me that the flaw in Mises is that he neglects a theological fact called by Catholics “disordered appetites—one of the effects of original sin.” Everything we desire, at least in some very remote sense, is of itself appropriate to us, but the degree to which we desire it and the way in which we desire it in comparison to other things is usually not appropriate (having a family is part of natural happiness—therefor I desire women, which is good, but maybe more than is actually appropriate—if my desire for women becomes unclear enough so that it is a general desire for people the desire has been perverted). Chesterton called Original Sin the only revealed supernatural truth that is demonstrable in such a way that it should be universally admitted (I am paraphrasing).
A rather broad statement—if you don’t read the fine print you may think that you are getting ripped off, but buyer beware, and how do you know that those who do read the fine print are getting ripped off?
How do you know they were ripped off?
Maybe God really did let them out of Purgatory early.
I think you will enjoy other comments from the author [by necessity left on the posting length editing floor]; they are worthy and essential in rounding out his argument.
Small l libertarians believe in the constitution as written, they believe in the right of man to make up his own mind, and to take responsibility for his own actions, without interference from the government.
This is why my grip is very loose to conservatism.
Conservatism for the most part, wants to control our lives through laws and regulations, very similar to what the libs want to do, just from the opposite side of the political spectrum.
I have proven this point time and time again with both conservative friends and family. Once the truth is exposed to them, for the most part, they revert to alinsky tactics and refuse to discuss any further.
Mises argues that economics must be value free; or, as objective or scientific as possible. By this is meant, to predict behavior of persons independent of the values of those persons. I would presume that, with sufficient knowledge, the behavior of a good person would be predicted to be different than the behavior of a bad person.
While economics must be value free, there are limits to what individual economists may do. An economist should not, for example, offer economic advice to an evil government.
Is man ruled by pain and pleasure, as postulated by Jeremy Bentham? Well, I suppose if we define “pain” and “pleasure” broadly enough, the answer would be yes. But, in the plain English meaning of these words, no. Man is capable of seeing the long-term or indirect consequences of behavior. Therefore, man can accept pain and avoid pleasure.
Indeed, because there are times when what is, in the short-term, painful or pleasurable, is also, in the long-term, the opposite, that we have norms of ethics and morality (pertaining to individual behavior), and, more so, economics (pertaining to social behavior or the government).
So, rather than undermine ethics and morality, economics (NOT Keynesian or Marxian economics) provides a scientific justification for ethics and morality.
Spoken like most libertarians -- seldom wrong and never in doubt -- completely convinced of their superior intellect.
This is all stuff and nonsense.
There isn’t a WORD in HUMAN ACTION that implies that man is just a pleasure-seeking animal.
HUMAN ACTION demonstrates how the human mind chooses among what is DESIRABLE. It nowhere says that what man desires is only PLEASURE. The rational laws of choice (praxeology) apply to the highest, most altruistic DESIRES just as much as they apply to desires for pleasure or material things. They are all desires, and the human mind and will evaluate them all according to the same laws.
True...but keep in mind that there is an eternal punishment for making the wrong decisions. So in the present age, God seems a libertarian, but not so much so in the one to come.
That's okay, I still have yet to see a libertarian refute the arguments against private roads.
The fact there are a lot more Conservatives and liberals than there are libertarians suggests that the others are getting most of the pleasure, sarc.
The libertarians base their belief on the constitution, basically the idea is that a few men has no right to dictate to every one else , the right to the pursuit of happiness, etc.
Most libertarians believe it is their right to decide for them selves how to live their own life and the ones who take it serious also believe you have that same right.
The problem with people tacking a name onto them selves is stupid because what ever name it is can be misleading because every one can or at least used to be able to think for them selves and no two people thinks exactly the same.
Some people can be very liberal on certain things but conservative on others.
Your response is a perfect example of alinsky tactics..
put down, cut down, let down and shut down, without delivering anything of value to the discussion..
However, I am of a superior intellect, so that part is correct... :)
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