If only libertarians could get over their “creepy obsession with free market capitalism.”

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April 7, 2013admin 6 Comments »
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6 Responses to this entry

  • Handle Says:

    Taking ownership of “the true nature” of some concept. (or, instead of true, “proper”, “superior”, “traditional”, “pure”, “uncorrupted”, etc.) What is the nature of this phenomenon? Any set of ideas, (and the skimming, or at least, polite-society tolerance of the elite, respectable proponents thereof), can be co-opted by wedging the aspects of it which pose no danger to the “Enlightened Agenda”, (PEA) from those that might effectively retard progress. The playground name-calling social tactics (“cranks”, “nerds”, “obsessed”, “weirdos”, and my favorite “creepy” (see: Roissy) ) are sufficient “argument” in this regard.

    Consider and my follow-up and now Douthat (HT: Sailer)

    What is “Democracy” to the Progressive when it is “True”? When what most of the people want is not on the PEA, it is not “Democratic, but Retrograde” but “Undemocratic” (!) (Obviously, this is an “Undemocratic” lament, but one cannot allow oneself to be thought, or think oneself “Undemocratic”. So why not call your opponents “Undemocratic” when they are most certainly “Democratic”?) What is Democracy? Like de Benoist explained, “A content-flexible holy word”. Basically the opposite of Orwell’s “Fascist”, a content-flexible unholy-word.

    What are “Human Rights.” Maybe “freedom of religion” and “freedom of speech” (ha!) – but we see the way they treat the religious – or at least Christians and “Mormans” – when they go against the PEA. So there are Human Rights and “Human Rights” (i.e. PEA Human Rights.) What indeed are “Freedom” and “Liberty” (and didn’t the original progressives, New Dealers, Communists, etc. all ask this exact question and answer with their own “True Liberty”, “Freedom properly conceived”, “Rights, but in context”, etc.?)

    So, you could call it “Progressive Democracy” or “PEA Democracy” or just “Respectable Democracy”, respectable defined by “those in our society that get to participate in defining ‘respectable'” (and if you want a better definition of “The Cathedral”, I can’t think of one).

    And now we have “PEA Libertarians” like Moldbug’s “Unitarian Muslims” and “Protestant” and “Unitarian” and all the rest just mean “PEA”, i.e. “Holy”.

    And, the remarkable thing is that the “PEA” and the “True” and so on can now be completely dropped, the default presumption, against which there is always wickedness and evil and playground insults. You don’t have to say “Freedom is Slavery” or “War is Peace”. You can just say peace and mean “Peace”, i.e. war. You can just say undemocratic and mean “Undemocratic”, i.e. anti-PEA Democratic. Libertarianism means “Libertarianism” i.e “PEA Libertarianism”, which, as we know, is hardly obsessed at all with ‘free markets'”.


    admin Reply:

    Excellent. I’d disagree about the word ‘fascism’ though. It’s a holy word (just as ‘Satan’ is), but morally inverted. The unholy (profane) antonym to sacred Democracy is something more like ‘commerce’ (or even ‘free-market capitalism’).

    It might be reasonably objected that ‘unholy’ often does mean ‘negatively holy’ (the darkly numinous), so this quibble is more about making a point than staking out a disagreement.


    Handle Reply:

    I suppose I’m a product of my environment. I’ve never heard unholy used, or ever used it myself, to mean anything other that “negatively holy”. Wicked, Immoral etc.

    I may, however, be holding on too tightly to “fascist”. My sense is that I don’t hear it said or read it written much as I used to. But look at the ngram. That’s an odd shape to see – it makes sense for this particular word, but still. It looks like the baby boom, and the “echo” generation, and the “echo’s echo”. Interesting.

    Nevertheless, my guess is that the postwar boom, peaking in the mid 70’s, was more in the Orwellian “fascist as generic content-flexible insult” sense, whereas the current stable plateau is WWII-era history. I haven’t seen ‘insult fascist’ used lately, and even ‘anti-fascist’ seems dated. For many on the American Left, “Republican” or “Evangelical” pretty much serves that purpose nowadays anyway.


    admin Reply:

    “I’ve never heard unholy used, or ever used it myself, to mean anything other that ‘negatively holy.’” — You’re totally right on this, my quibble self-destructed into its own nonsense 7.3 nanoseconds after being submitted. (My only excuse is caffeine deficiency.)

    Regarding sacred abomination, ‘Hitler’ is more relevant than ‘fascist’, and the Ngram for that is even weirder (though still consistent with your suggestion).

    Handle Reply:

    @admin Try “Hitler” with a capital H. ngram is finicky that way.

    Posted on April 7th, 2013 at 5:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    @Handle … the weirdness-slayer.


    Posted on April 8th, 2013 at 8:03 am Reply | Quote

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