Max Weber consistently expressed concerns that modern bureaucratic society was engaged in a levelling effort which would minimize freedom. And Ayn Rand consistently observed that the push for any kind of equality was always a reaction by the unproductive against the affluence and success of superior men. Perhaps the most well known analysis was given by the Austrian economist F.
Hayek in his popular polemic, The Road to Serfdom. Written and published in the s, as governments were expanding to fight fascist aggression, Hayek worried that this expansion would not retreat once the conflict ended. Instead, driven by well-meaning but misguided and controlling technocrats, the state would continue to expand under the auspices of securing a higher quality of life for all and rectifying unjustifiable inequalities. Unfortunately, because these technocrats do not truly understand the relationship between economic growth and liberty, they will cause ongoing damage and in fact generate declining standards of living for all.
This will inevitably lead to the technocrats seizing more and more power to rectify the very problems they produced, eventually leading to a decline in freedom for all.
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This is why, in The Constitution of Liberty , Hayek argued that only a minimal state can both guarantee freedom and secure prosperity for most. While considerable inequalities will emerge in such a social context, many of them not predicated on merit but luck, this is preferable to the damage which would be caused by seeking greater equality. In some respects though, framing the difference between the Right and the Left as a dispute about whether to prioritize freedom or equality can lead to significant misinterpretations. So the difference between Left and Right is in some respects more about the kind of freedom we should seek to secure.
As leftists, this makes perfect sense to us. We believe that substantive as opposed to merely formal freedom is best served by a left-wing economic program. This is because freedom is not exclusively about non-coercion by government or other individuals, which is only part of a more complex whole. Freedom is also about how capable one is of making choices to pursue various life goals. Acute precarity or lack of resources, for instance, can severely limit freedom by curtailing the number of choices available to an individual.
If a pregnant woman has the legal option to abort but is unable to raise a child in her financial circumstances, she has fewer meaningful choices than a woman who lives in a society with legal abortion and generously state-subsidized childcare. In this vein, Amartya Sen has argued that freedom is not just about non-interference, but about the availability of meaningful choices. That said, a more conservative interlocutor might suspect equivocation. We believe that the best way for the Left to meet this challenge—and, indeed, the way in which various historically important left-wing writers have met it—is to argue that a more expansive understanding of freedom is more relevant to political principles like freedom from coercion.
Frank Lovett describes this tradition of interpreting the republicans of classical antiquity in an article for the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy :. Undoubtedly, the classical republicans were committed to the importance of active political participation, civic virtue, combating corruption, and so forth. Republicanism, on this view, has its roots not in an Aristotelian vision of the ancient Greek polis, but rather in Roman jurisprudence with its fundamental and categorical distinction between free men and citizens on the one hand, and dependent slaves on the other.
To use a standard example in this tradition, slaves beaten by their master every day are interfered with more than slaves whose master treats them more kindly. If most people born into a capitalist society lack the financial resources to start a business of their own and most small businesses fail in their first year of operation , most people have little realistic choice but to go to work for others. Even many left-wing authors who stop short of that kind of radicalism—much as Ronald Reagan fell short of wanting to do away with all government in the name of non-interference—see the issue of working-class people being vulnerable to arbitrary rule on the job as a major concern.
Social democrats propose that this kind of domination can be usefully lessened with redistributive social programs that make workers less dependent on business-owners. Given sufficiently worker-friendly labor laws, they may not even lose their job. You can follow him on Twitter benburgis. Where they exist you can tell him to take his job and stuff it, and go work for one of his several competitors who will be glad to hire you just to gain the benefit in their competition with him of your vindictive and vengeful energy.
Start with formal freedom and you get substantive freedom. Sacrifice formal freedom on the alter of substantive freedom and you get market failure and economic stagnation. Yes, though employers use contracts to prevent jumping ship to a competitor. Is that legal?
For the vast majority of working-class and lower-middle class people, wages and workplace conditions are standardized much as they were for serfs and tenants in the feudal era. David, If one of the legitimate roles of government is preventing the formation of monopolies that render the market uncompetitive, I think that reasoning can be extended to outlawing non-compete clauses in employee contracts. Since they are ubiquitous now, they essentially represent monopolizing individual labour, which should belong to the individual and not to the company. That is a more elegant solution than what the author proposes.
AP, there are millions of job openings in the US, and plenty of funding available for retraining. The poor are already covered by Medicaid, and the average cost of health insurance is less than stoners spend on weed. The poor half of Americans pay no taxes. Stephanie and David — in the state where I practiced, non-compete clauses are generally unenforceable, and the penalties for trying to enforce one can be high.
Human nature is a bitch, and every attempt at communism and extreme socialism has proven it. Freedom is overrated. Over the last 60 years, we have suffered from an excess of freedom. People no longer feel constrained by the boundaries of religion, nation, and marriage. Monogamy and the welfare state have both broken down, and the poor and weak have suffered. Just look at rampant divorce, polyamory, junk television, social media addiction, opiod addiction, the offshoring and automation of industry, and rampant porn use.
Hedonistic, libertine freedom serves the interests of an elite that wants no obligation. Libertarians are fine with St. If your freedom requires my enslavement or other harms to me, then you are not speaking about your freedom at all, but your demands for improvement at my expense. Bob, freedom may be overrated for you but not for others. If you allow freedom, then those like you who think there is too much freedom can impose whatever restrictions you want on your own life.
Freedom does not require anyone to exercise it for themselves. Plenty of free people are in bondage to things or behaviors by their own choice. But when you use laws to take away freedom, everyone with the usual exception of those in high places loses. Free income, housing and healthcare, ect… This definition of freedom is limitless.
For instance man wife and child live in a free two bedroom house but now complain they lack not the freedom to have a larger family. They have free public transportation but lack the ability to determine and schedule their own travel. These so called freedoms come at a cost which others must be compelled to pay. Of course I guess one could argue the compelled are free to provide. The authors are not advocating freedom but rather equality of out come. The authors make several references to slavery.
Does that include being coerced into working and providing for the benefit of others? Replacing the master with the government is not compassion, it is merely switching horses. Farris, your response is fairly stereotypical of the type I would expect from your ideological brethren. I imagine the authors should be bracing themselves for much more where that came from. People will not be asking to roll like the Kardashians, or going to see Rodeo Drive plastic surgeons. And if they did, common sense would prevail. Now, I do see the counter-argument about those who knowingly abuse their own health, and whether they should expect others to pick up the slack for their poor choices.
I am all for equality of opportunity, rather than outcome. But what you consider an outcome health without undue financial burden , I consider as opportunity from which you can go forth and be a productive and tax-paying member of society. I wish people who think like you understood how simplistic and simple and easy to understand your point of view is. My arguments are not straw men. I see this mistaken claim frequently on response posts.
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I do not know if false claims of straw men result from a misunderstanding of the term or just groping for a counter argument. I never claimed the authors made or claimed to be defending those extrapolations. One is free to disagree with whether or not the extrapolations are logical or realistic but they are not straw men. Stereotypical arguments tend to be correct, that is why they are often repeated. Amongst mathematicians four is the stereotypical answer to the question two plus two.
The misunderstanding arises from the notion that employers are apt to abuse employees. Generally this is fundamentally untrue. One bad apple does not spoil the whole bunch. Employers desire productive workers as those workers maximize profits, the more productive the better. In order to attract productive workers the employer must provide incentives in either salary or benefits or chose to risk losing productive employees to competitors.
In my opinion the authors do not believe that people are benevolent but rather see government as benevolent. Which I find odd since government is comprised of people. People will not generally watch their neighbors starve but rather will provide assistance. Coercing people to pay infringes upon the freedom of those compelled, especially when others dictate the manner and terms of assistance. Additionally the coercion is a disincentive for some to provide direct assistance.
Therefore coercion should be limited as much as possible. No one is arguing against a safety net for the misfortunate but rather the debate concerns the most efficient and least coercive manner of providing for those needs. But why the logical inevitability? There is noting inevitable about taking various social initiatives to the point of absurdity. In the same way, calls to cut back the size of government need not necessarily be taking to their absurd extreme, either.
We are always on a slippery slope to hell in either direction. Sensible people advocate for sensible balance. You make the usual just-so story, which — like all just-so stories — sounds true. Alas it is not true. Employers are always apt to abuse employees. But that is true of all taxation.
I am compelled to pay my municipal services tax. But in return I get water and sewer and garbage collection. It would be grossly inefficient for everyone in town to have to attend to their own water and sewer needs. All but the most fanatical libertarians understand this.
Some are. But the only sure way to provide such services is via the government. The mega rich would like it to be via local charity. As the Bible points out, avarice has no limits. Employers hire employees because they need them. Employers invest in employees not with just salary and benefits but with training. New employees are less efficient as they are learning while working.
Furthermore oppressive government mandates or taxes can result in job losses. Employers typically respond to minimum wage increases with layoffs. Who is responsible for that unfreedom? Both employer and employee require profit to make their relationship work. Profit is not a product of income but rather a result of cost savings. Everything you say is perfectly true as just-so stories go. My objection is the same one I level at the Commies.
Their just-so story is the most wonderful of all, and listening to it, one is hard pressed not to become a Commie. We in fact find that the huge power advantage that the boss has gives him an unfair advantage and ordinary, replaceable workers are often treated very poorly. It galvanized an entire society to change the way it looked at the Free Market. As you may know, even after the fire, the owners were unmoved and not sorry. Their staff had worked there voluntarily, and they were and had been free to move to another sweatshop, or to starve.
As it is, a few score exercised their freedom to jump rather than burn to death, tho a few chose to burn. The whole country started to question the merits of this kind of freedom. By citing the Triangle Sweatshirt fire, you have helped me to corroborate a theory I have maintained for years. I have always claimed that the arguments of progressives are indicative of people still living in the beginning of the twentieth century. The days of the robber barons and no child labor laws have long since passed. I suggest we strive for policies beneficial to , not Progressives continue to fight old fights, perhaps that is because they are out of new ideas, old codgers sitting around re-living old glories.
Though things may not be inevitable, stating that they may not be does not rule it out. They remain possible, perhaps even likely. All it takes as a catalyst is for a sufficiently large enough or influential enough group to make the appeal, and if Nassim Nicholas Taleb is correct, it could be as little as three per cent of population evenly distributed. The progressives of the time waved that away as hysterical fear mongering. Ninety-two genders and growing upends the idea that absurdity is not a possible outcome. The strategy of incrementalism and the success of its incessant nudges tells us the path in that direction is ongoing, though it may not be linear having to zig zag a bit.
Your first comment is much more and worse. You completely and perhaps delibrately bastardize what Left sees in a Welfare system. Complete horseshit. Two plus two equals four is basic fact of reality. Fair enough. They came about due to Government Interference in the Marketplace? I only say that Free Market Forces do not solve every problem and that sometimes Big Bad Government has a role to play. Standing as I do in the center, I can happily agree that there is such a thing as too much government but I can also say that there is such a thing as too little government.
It is deplorable for the government to not give a damn about the working poor, it is equally deplorable for the government to permit anyone to think that they are entitled to a free lunch forever. Sensible, rational people belong in the center. Are you not making an argument in listing those extremes? You digressed into stuff unrelated to healthcare.
But I will point out one part of your statement that strikes me as absurdly naive:. When was the last time you walked past someone begging in your neighborhood, or volunteered your time or gave money to provide housing or food for those in need? How well do you think most people know or care about their neighbors? More or less than they might care about the destruction of Mount Rushmore, the Washington Monument, or some other piece of architecrure or sculpture of equal significance to American national identity?
Comparing apples and oranges would be more plausible than this. This is not to say that Universal health care is a bad thing. A well laid out plan takes time especially with regard to UHC.
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The U. Mec B, that is simply a variation of the slippery slope that Farris launched himself off of. One way to conceive of what universal healthcare might cover would be considering what is deemed medically necessary. It can also be external or internal eg. He intended it in the most ludicrous insofar as universal healthcare is concerned cosmetic sense, when in fact there are nose jobs that CAN be medically necessary. You have UHC. Do you get a free nose-job to be instagram-ready if you so desired? Cheung — That you suggest a little theft from one to give to another is okay is funny.
Every public provision — roads, sewers, fire-brigade — involves the risk that someone will collect more than they pay. Social benefits are no different. Mind, there can and should be limits to them, too. David, I could have been more precise. Now, your next question might be how to best determine that. I imagine it will involve doctors. Which will likely cause a subset of commentators here to resist giving up their tax dollars to the control by doctors in general, and in the case of nose jobs, plastic surgeons in particular, whose primary objective is to buy another Ferrari.
That is a large assumption on your part! Whose common sense and who will enforce it? If allowing one the freedom of choice is important then it would have no restriction. Have you considered taxes, monthly bills like water, food, electricity, loan payments. Socialists never sit down and do a expansive project plan of what could take place with their solutions. Unexpected consequences reign supreme. Every time you turn a corner, you will see another outcome that is unjust for someone. Everyone will end up with a government shadow telling them each and every second how to live their life.
Last election just yesterday up here in Canada saw conservatives returned to power in Alberta after a brief love-in with the socialists. Ray A. It was simply the byproduct of the then split of the Right vote.
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The only ones more surprised with the results than the conservatives were the dippers themselves. Numerous examples of that just on this thread. Apparently not shared by everyone. And yes, there are other expenses. Your results may vary. I am old enough to realize life involves very painful choices…sob…. I have had the good fortune to not have suffered any catastrophic health event thus far. Clearly, that concept eludes you, and folks like you. That is what we have going on today in so many industries. That is socialism to me. If your mind is closed to that as a possibility, then this is no different from what was discussed on the IDW thread ie.
That in itself is on that slippery slope towards absurdity. My mother actually did convince the socialist health care system to pay for her nose job in the s. She lied and said she was getting bullied for her big Jew nose and that it was thus necessary for her mental health that it be fixed. The natural consequences of this line of thinking might sound absurd and unrealistic, but people already are successfully making those claims. The nature of progressivism is that it must continue to progress: there can be no final state, or the movement ceases to exist.
Stephanie Your example it absolutely believable. I know three women who received unnecessary cosmetic breast augmentation through manipulation of the UHC system by making it a psychological self esteem issue. BTW,still trying to apply those lessons you taught me. Some days harder than others, or so it seems…. And the fact is that we are winning this hands down.
We can demonstrate the virtues of economic moderation, what guys like Jim pardon me sir have is the endless recitation that you and me must one day hoist the Red Flag over the Capitol. All they have is their warnings of Armageddon if we deviate from The Free Market by one inch. E will point out, correctly, how difficult that might be. Too damn bad. Meanwhile taxing billionaires will no doubt cause them no end of suffering. Moderation used to be a virtue, what happened? Gotta read the room. And I still love that trickle down business. Gates and Buffett choose to give their money away, and good on them.
Mind, their own sons will receive exemptions naturally. But let not those same young men suppose that the elites owe them anything in return, that would be socialism. To oversimplify for effect I think that FDR did the right thing by not letting starvation correct the labor surplus during the Great Depression and he also did the right thing drafting those same men who received government assistance off to die on Iwo Jima. To the extent that the state giveth, the state has the right to taketh away.
Taxes are the price we pay for the privilege of living in a civilization that provides us with opportunities to lead meaningful lives. Libertarians seem to define humans as atomistic individuals who engage in voluntary transactions with other individuals — the only obligations we have the ones to which we freely consent. I disagree. Humans are embedded in relationships with family members, friends, acquaintances, co-workers and fellow citizens. To a significant degree, these relationships constitute our identity and establish moral obligations. If voluntary charity was sufficient to ensure that our fellow citizens have their basic needs met, a tax-funded social safety net may be unnecessary.
However, libertarians themselves provide evidence that people are fundamentally self-interested. Many government programs are bloated and inefficient, and can provide perverse incentives that lead to unintended consequences. In my view, this provides a reason to improve those systems, not to eliminate them and leave people to fend for themselves. K, there are other ways to organise joint ventures in society other than taxation.
I think the libertarian preference would be that projects benefiting a broad range of people roads, hospitals, ect be organised at the local level and funded on an equitable, voluntary basis by the people who want to see it done. George [H. Bush] brought his ne'er-do-well son around this morning and asked me to find the kid a job. Not the political one who lives in Florida. The one who hangs around here all the time looking shiftless. This so-called kid is already almost 40 and has never had a real job. Cited to a Reagan diary entry in , but actually from a parody written by Michael Kinsley in June There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit.
Harry S. Truman is reported to have repeated versions of the aphorism on several occasions. This exact wording was in wide circulation in the s, and the earliest known variant has been attributed to Benjamin Jowett — Wikipedia has an article about: Ronald Reagan. Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Ronald Reagan. Once price is agreed upon everyone embarks from the floating pontoon and the fun ride begins. In any case most of the time you probably will get splashed so if you carry sensitive electronic equipment, keep it in a plastic bag or at least in your back.
Depending on the time there will be few longtail boats anchored on the beach with few people already enjoying this secluded haven. To disembark you will have to jump in shallow waters but as you are of course already wearing your swimsuit you will be fine.
From that moment on, this superb crescent of soft sand is yours to play with, water is warm and incredibly clear to spend time in it. Once you grow tired of being in heaven, your boat will be ready to take you back where you left in the morning… you probably will never forget this day. There is actually a small dirt road passing high above Freedom Beach, and the gate might be open… or not. If it is, you will need to walk down a very steep slope to reach the beach.