Sun, 14 Dec 2008

The Failures of Libertarianism

Tubby writes to say that I'm just as politicized as Krugman and Stiglitz. Maybe. I assume that nothing works perfectly, that everything fails in its own way, that all we can seek are improvements, not perfection.

I think that the opponents of libertarianism see that libertarianism is: not perfect, doesn't try to be perfect, and acknowledges that people are corrupt, institutions fail, and hopes are dashed. These opponents look to coercive planned collective action as the solution to those problems: planning can be perfect, is an attempt to be perfect, can eliminate corruption, make institutions work, and create hope.

They're wrong, of course. But that's their own form of imperfection, their own failing institution. Since they plan on perfection, since they require perfection, they cannot acknowledge that they might be in error.

Which is why they're so scary to me.

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