Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

I highly recommend Loren Lomasky’s Libertarianism as if (the other 99 Percent of) People Mattered, 15 Social Philosophy & Policy 350 (1998).  This article deals clearly with many issues I have been thinking about, specifically the relation between libertarianism and democracy.  Indeed, the fundamental issue Lomasky sets out to resolve is the relation between two facts (if one is a libertarian): (1) Libertarianism is the correct political morality, (2) the vast majority of our fellow citizens disagree with the status of libertarianism.  Here is an excerpt:

“For those who believe that libertarian precepts can be read off the book of nature by all those who enjoy the moral equivalent of something like a tenth-grade reading level, it is virtually unavoidable that those who fail to subscribe to libertarianism will be regarded as dunces or as wicked. The alternative libertarianism, what I shall refer to as cooperative libertarianism, is more generous. It is willing to concede that the nonlibertarians among whom one lives are mostly well-meaning, honorable people with whom one may cooperate without thereby dishonoring oneself. (Of course, just as the fact that one is paranoid does not mean that one has no real enemies, so too are there nonlibertarians—and libertarians!—who genuinely are evil and stupid.) Nonlibertarians are, to be sure, importantly mistaken concerning a momentous matter, but that mistake discredits neither their intellect nor their character. Possession of moderate goodwill and moderate intelligence do not immunize people from statist persuasions. Indeed, neither does an abundance of goodwill and intelligence. That is because the moral terrain that must be traversed in order to arrive at the libertarian destination is steep, rocky, and dotted with mirages. Nongeneralizable items within one's personal experience heavily influence the likelihood that one will achieve that happy consummation. Rawls refers to these epistemic obstacles as the "burdens of judgment.”  Let me offer some examples that specifically relate to acceptance of (L). …” [at 360].

No comments:

Post a Comment