- Jeffrey Sachs: Libertarian Illusions (People who know me know I’m not a fan of the Libertarian ideology.)
In a recent column my friend Bob Reich wroteconvincingly that Ron Paul is attracting the support of many youth because several of his messages are correct, even if wrapped in a misguided overall ideology. As Reich noted, Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate calling for the end of America’s horrendously wasteful wars, a worthy position. Paul also rightly emphasizes the massive corruption that has overtaken Washington.
Yet Ron Paul’s appeal goes beyond these specific positions. His libertarianism itself is beguiling. Like many extreme ideologies, libertarianism gives a single answer to a complicated world. It seems to cut through the fog and get to the heart of solutions; illusions, alas, but powerful ones nonetheless.
Libertarianism is the single-minded defense of liberty. Many young people flock to libertarianism out of the thrill of defending such a valiant cause. They also like the moral freedom that libertarianism seems to offer: it’s okay to follow one’s one desires, even to embrace selfishness and self-interest, as long as it doesn’t directly harm someone else.
Yet the error of libertarianism lies not in championing liberty, but in championing liberty to the exclusion of all other values. Libertarians hold that individual liberty should never be sacrificed in the pursuit of other values or causes. Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable — all are to take a back seat.
When libertarians translate the idea of liberty into the political and economic spheres, they argue that government should operate only to protect personal liberty and not for any other cause. According to libertarians, the sole role of government is to enforce private contracts and to keep the peace so that no one can use force to deprive the liberty of another. In English political theory, this is called the “night watchman state.”
Aye, there in lies the problem, I quote this entire article if I could.
- Colbert Super PAC | Colbert Mitt Romney | Video | Mediaite
- In South Carolina, Record Barrage of Political Ads – NYTimes.com
COLUMBIA, S.C. — They have been inescapable: growling baritone announcers and grainy images of sneering candidates. Mitt Romney is a corporate raider. Newt Gingrich’s politics are desperate and disgusting.
Anyone who happened to be near a working television in South Carolina this weekend was exposed to one of the most concentrated and expensive barrages of political advertising that this state has ever experienced.
With the traditional efforts of candidates now multiplied by the presence of the well-financed “super PACs” supporting them, political operatives furiously outbid and outmaneuvered one another in a last-minute scramble to buy up what precious free time remained on the airwaves between now and the state’s Republican presidential primary on Saturday. None of them wanted their messages drowned out by those of their rivals.
- Big banks have picked their candidate, and it’s Romney | McClatchy
- First Read – Gingrich goes to the dogs with Romney reference
- First Read – Huntsman to drop out of presidential race; endorse Romney
- Huntsman Bags It | Firedoglake
- Independent Senator Bernie Sanders On How Congress Works For The 1% | MoveOn.Org
- SHOCKING! CNN On How The Bush Tax Cuts Made The Wealthy Even Wealthier! | MoveOn.Org
Economic & The Economy
- Is Thomas Edsall the High Priest of Loser Liberalism? | Beat the Press
Thomas Edsall does the classic caricature of the debate between liberals and conservatives telling readers:
“Looked at another way, the two sides are fighting over what the role of government in redistributing resources from the affluent to the needy should and shouldn’t be.”
This is absolutely not true. The government decides how to structure the market. It decisions in this area swamp the impact of the redistributive policies that liberals and conservatives often fight over.
- Last night (actually early this morning just before I was set to turn in I watched this episode of the BBC’s Earth Story. ‘Real good interesting stuff, I will have to watch the whole series.
Earth Story Episode 4 Centre Of The Earth (BBC) – YouTube
- A religious bar fight just about erupts over the end of the earth prophecies and the difference in various religious doctrines. Ridiculous nonsense but slightly entertaining to watch.
End of The World 2012 – Has The Time Come To Repent? – YouTube