Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dana Garett on Libertarians and Paternalism: A Disappointing Start

I had much higher hopes for the quality of analysis that Dana Garrett would bring to his series on Libertarians than the current installment merits. In it, Dana indulges himself in creating (without sources or direct attribution) straw-man libertarians who think parents have the right to deny their children life-saving medical treatment.

My detailed comments and Tyler's have already been registered at the site.

Here's a suggestion that Dana probably won't take (I already offered it once): why not start with a genuine attempt to understand the libertarian philosophy from the perspective of the zero-aggression/no force or fraud principle that is one of the few principles held by virtually all libertarians? If you can't take the time to prove you understand that well enough to critique it rationally, then you can't really make a case that you have any understanding of modern libertarian philosophy.

But then, understanding Libertarianism isn't actually the point of this series, is it, Dana?

What you've really decided to do is to unmask libertarians as irrational fetishists....

Let me ask you, Dana, in all candor, if you are being as diligently honest in your attempt to portray my belief system as you credited me when I wrote I like Dana, but here's why I won't be a Social Democrat in February 2008, and to which you responded:

Bravo! You got it. That's what I believe mostly. I have just a few quibbles here & there, but you are so much on target that to mention them would be to cavil.


Delaware Watch said...

Sorry, Steve, you don't have a monopoly on the word Libertarianism and your "pragmatic" version of it isn't the only version in town.

Tyler Nixon said...

No s**t, Dana. That's the point Steve is trying to get across to you...

One thing's for sure, your "version" of libertarianism isn't even on the same planet, much less in town.

Steve Newton said...

I don't have a monopoly on the word Libertarianism, but at least I am a self-defined Libertarian who actually cited a major modern Libertarian philosopher, which is far more than you have yet to do.

Your idea of serious analysis is to attribute to Libertarians any beliefs you want to, without any attribution or source material worthy of the name, and then to knock over the straw man you thus created.

It is utter crap and beneath your intellectual abilities.