Sunday, March 15, 2009

Libertarian history and theology

via Devil's Kitchen, 'bella gerens' offers up a bit of Libertarian history and theology (preceeded by a lengthy bit about how good 'Atlas Shrugged' by Ayn Rand is)

History first:

"The human race has spent the last three thousand years fighting its way out of the filth and misery into which it was born to reach a state of being in which literally anything is possible. We had the minds to do it three thousand years ago; what we didn’t have, until the last couple of centuries, was the leisure to think."

Now by libertarian theory, this account can't possibly be right. The last couple of centuries saw the growth of the state, which as we know, caused people to become enslaved and the talented and hard-working to be discouraged from striving because the products of their efforts were stolen and given to the idle and stupid. And yet 'bella gerens' says that this period was also that during which the human race 'reached a state of being in which literally anything is possible' and people for the first time had 'the leisure to think'. It's almost as if the growth of the state didn't have all the Diabolickal consequences that Libertarians ascribe to it.

That is as nothing, however, compared to the Libertarian theology which follows:

"I could embark here upon an exegesis of how I interpret Christian philosophy, but I’m not going to, because it’s not necessary. Even Christ, whose understanding of economics was pretty meagre, never demanded sacrifice without the promise of reward. The right acts and charity he advocated are, in one way, their own reward, because performing them makes us feel good. But he also promised the reward of paradise which, if you believe in such a thing, is a pretty good incentive, no?"

I love the critique of Jesus' understanding of economics and can only guess at the discussions on Team Libertarian which must have developed it.

"As a Christian and a Libertarian I am troubled. I have searched the gospels, and nowhere does it mention that deregulated free markets bring freedom by allocating resources efficiently or that cutting taxes generates more revenue as explained by the Laffer Curve".

"Ah, that is because Jesus Christ had a pretty meagre understanding of economics, unlike Frederich von Hayek, Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan."

Nonetheless, the mind boggles at the idea of Jesus Christ as a Randian Objectivist. I think the best response to this is to suggest that 'bella gerens' might like to spend a bit less time reading 'Atlas Shrugged' and a bit more with the New Testament.


At 5:39 am , Blogger Ardsgaine said...

Or vice versa.

At 8:23 am , Anonymous bella gerens said...

Now don't be silly, dear. I never claimed Jesus was an objectivist. And apart from a personal judgment about his economic wisdom, can you point out anything else I said of Jesus that is inaccurate?

As for the growth of the state in the last 200 years, I would venture to say that is an effect, not a cause, of technological achievement, but I'm willing to be corrected if there is evidence available.

At any rate, thanks for reading and responding, even if you couldn't do it without making unfounded assumptions and snide asides - although I acknowledge I picked on you first, so fair play. :-)

At 11:44 pm , Anonymous Chris Baldwin said...

Isn't Jesus supposed to be omniscient? Surely he would know everything about economics.


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