Thursday, July 24, 2003

Abuse your illusions
by Thomas Fleming
A critique of pure libertarianism, recommended by Greg Depardo in the Russell Kirk entry's comments. Fascinating, and in a lot of ways it seems to agree coincidentally with what I've written recently, except 1) even though it has been disappearing — turning into just another empire — for some time, the American experiment has been incredibly successful and 2) it was founded by colonial Englishmen trying to get away from oppression and carnage in Europe by enacting reforms based on liberty — no more religious wars, no more fratricidal wars between princelings, no more inquisitions or pogroms. Dr Fleming seems to say I can't have the full faith and freedom too. Many LRC-linked writers disagree, and for that I'm glad. (My appreciation of America, warts and all, is not to be confused with the ill-informed super-patriotism of some, not all, second-generation American Catholics, for example, seeing the New Deal government as a saviour and surrogate church — ‘Don’t youse dare criticize our president!’ — and with silly stories about Our Lady appearing to George Washington at Valley Forge.) All Dr Fleming seems to prove is that libertarianism doesn't work as a substitute religion (no kidding), but I don't try to use it that way. It's 'a morally neutral science', he quotes Ludwig von Mises saying. Just like physics.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment