The Socialism of Idealism

A lot of good stuff in Henry Dampier’s article on left entryism and libertarianism.   Perhaps the most interesting of his thoughts was in the comments:

Libertarianism is a rearguard action attempting to save the enlightenment from itself. It appeals to reason over tradition, even to people incapable or disinterested in reason.

I was a Libertarian.  And I tried to save progressives from themselves, all the time:
* “I’m the one who’s pro-poor because my economic policies help the poor and yours keep them from getting jobs.”
* “I’m a racist?  After decades of your policies, black ghettos look like the KKK bombed them.”
* “You’re the sexist, not me, because I believe that women can be responsible for their actions.”

Which is dumb.  It’s an error reminiscent of Transactional Analysis; the libertarian is discussing theory, but the progressive is interested in power and self-regard.


Trying to save an ideology from its consequences … is un-libertarian.  To summarize an aphorism of Milton Friedman:

* When you spend your money on yourself, you spend it wisely.
* When you spend others’ money on yourself, or your money on others, it is spent less wisely.
* When you spend others’ money on others, it is spent badly.

Well guess what, improving other peoples’ political beliefs … is something that you will do badly.