Sunday, July 21, 2019

Socialists and Libertarians Are WEIRD Cousins

Interesting AmGreatness piece on the dynamics between libertarians and socialists.

I have heard it said that libertarians and conservatives are cousins--but I would note that libertarians and socialists are also cousins. The reason can be found in the motto of the French Revolution (and, tellingly, the Haitian Republic): "Liberté, égalité, fraternité." The libertarians emphasize the liberty part, and the socialists prefer the equality part, but what holds them together is the fact that they are both universalists. That's why if you scratch the surface of most libertarians, you'll find an egalitarian.

Most libertarians view individuals through the prism of generic "human rights," rather than seeing that conception of rights as something that evolved from "the traditional rights of Englishmen," or bound to the particularity of what's called the "WEIRD" countries (Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic). Most libertarians resist the notion that libertarianism is inherently a "WEIRD" idea, despite the evidence we see from folks transplanted from elsewhere to the U.S. who reject the notion of liberty (like Somalia's Congresswoman Ilhan Omar).

Hoppe's "propertarians," in contrast, seem to break out of this trap of universalism.

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