Saturday, August 27, 2016

Walter Benn Michaels on “The Trouble With Diversity”

Walter Benn Michaels discusses his book The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality (New York, 2006).

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Moral Depravity of Rothbardianism

Described in four easy steps in Rothbard’s own words:
(1) “…the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die. The law, therefore, may not properly compel the parent to feed a child or to keep it alive.” (Rothbard 1998: 100).

(2) “Now if a parent may own his child (within the framework of nonaggression and runaway-freedom), then he may also transfer that ownership to someone else. He may give the child out for adoption, or he may sell the rights to the child in a voluntary contract. In short, we must face the fact that the purely free society will have a flourishing free market in children. Superficially, this sounds monstrous and inhuman. But closer thought will reveal the superior humanism of such a market.” (Rothbard 1998: 103).

(3) “Child labor laws, by restricting the supply of labor, lower the production of the economy and hence tend to reduce the standard of living of everyone in the society. …. Child labor laws may take the form of outright prohibition or of requiring ‘working papers’ and all sorts of red tape before a youngster can be hired, thus partially achieving the same effect. The child labor laws are also bolstered by compulsory school attendance laws. Compelling a child to remain in a State or State-certified school until a certain age has the same effect of prohibiting his employment and preserving adult workers from younger competition. Compulsory attendance, however, goes even further in compelling a child to absorb a certain service—schooling—when he or his parents would prefer otherwise, thus imposing a further loss of utility upon these children.” (Rothbard 2009 [1962]: 1112).

(4) “police may use such coercive methods provided that the suspect turns out to be guilty, and provided that the police are treated as themselves criminal if the suspect is not proven guilty. For, in that case, the rule of no force against non-criminals would still apply. Suppose, for example, that police beat and torture a suspected murderer to find information (not to wring a confession, since obviously a coerced confession could never be considered valid). If the suspect turns out to be guilty, then the police should be exonerated, for then they have only ladled out to the murderer a parcel of what he deserves in return;” (Rothbard 1998: 82).
And we can add to this that Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism would demand a totally free market in weapons of mass destruction.

And these people – especially in Twitter debates – pretend that they have the moral high ground.

Rothbard, M. N. 1998. The Ethics of Liberty. New York University Press, New York, N.Y. and London.

Rothbard, M. N. 2009 [1962]. Man, Economy, and State, The Scholar’s Edition. Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, Ala.

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Lord Keynes @Lord_Keynes2