Occasionally, the progressive blog, Hullabaloo takes time out to illuminate us with it’s particularly uninformed brand of libertarian critique. This recent addition, Wheezy Philosophizing, is no exception to the type high quality brand of critique one has come to expect from Hullabaloo. Here’s the gist of the latest argument:
Government is as fundamental to human nature as breathing is to the individual. Whining about government(the coercive nature of government) is akin to whining about being forced to breathe.
Boy, that’s some seriously profound shit. What is the poor libertarian to do to muster up a defense against that bit of flawless reasoning. Actually, some of the comments to tristero’s post did a fine job of pointing out some of the obvious flaws, to which tristero responded, “The point is libertarians add nothing of value to liberalism. All the good ideas already were ones liberals thunk of a million years ago. All the bad ones are remarkably bad.” Of course, I’ve never heard that talking point expressed before in the progressive blogosphere. That’s definitely original. However, I must add, I was amused by one of the commenter’s linking to an old comment by tristero on the blog Crooked Timber, in a post discussing “Why Not Socialism.” Quoting tristero, here’s why not:
I have no doubt we lack the technology to make socialism work. We also have some fairly good precedents that, possibly because of the lack of such a technology, socialist regimes rapidly degenerate into totalitarianism, poverty, and terror. I see nothing on the horizon that gives me the slightest confidence that a socialist-enabling technology could be invented and – equally important – would be adopted and – equally important – would be desirable.
Well, forgive me, but that sounds quite a bit like a regurgitation of the Hayek critique against Neoclassical State Socialism(the Walrasian Auctioneer). There is no technology, no mechanism to overcome the “Knowledge Problem” in replacing the market price system with a central command system. From what liberal tradition did tristero glean that bit of wisdom? Or did he think it up all by himself, apparently…