Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On Myths

A good section from this article:
I fear that libertarians have their own version of the Progressive myth. Progressives often believe that ever-growing tolerance and health insurance coverage are the future, if only bad Republicans could be defeated in political battle. It turns out that the “default settings” on complex societies are much tougher to manage than that, and now around the world left-wing and progressive political forces are in retreat, perhaps permanently so. Libertarians, in turn, toyed with the idea that competition from trade and globalization would make liberty-based gains increasingly hard to reverse. A libertarian society might not be guaranteed, but we could push and claw in that direction, knowing that a certain base standard of liberty was pretty sure to command public loyalty and institutional support. That framework also has been looking worse since about 2000; the year here can be debated, but today’s political problems are obvious.
Libertarian thinking relies too heavily, IMO, on the power economic incentives. Of my many misunderstandings re: human nature, the assumption of rational behavior of individuals is one of the things I was most wrong about. I think humans tend to behave instinctually, which is quite a different thing than rationally.

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