“If Mrs. Thatcher said that free choice is to be exercised more in the market place than in the ballot box, she has merely uttered the truism that the first is indispensable for individual freedom, while the second is not.”
That may not be full-throated praise, but it's an awfully sanguine way to talk about a state that tortured its opponents, censored the press, and imprisoned and murdered people for their political views. Hayek may have "prefer[red] to sacrifice democracy" if the alternative was "to do without liberty," but Pinochet restricted liberty in intolerable ways.
'Outside his professional achievements, he will be remembered as a formidable autodidact who became expert on ancient and military history; as a right-wing libertarian who preferred to be surrounded by liberals and lefties "because most people who share my views are staggeringly unpleasant"; '
With the fall of communism, American liberalism was thrown into disarray. Its hidden, unspoken assumption was always that utopia was always poised in some Communist paradise, beyond capitalism, beyond the workday, beyond industrialism and the environmental destruction it presages and prolongs, beyond the greedy, man-eat-man world in which we live. Liberals after the fall of the USSR had to admit the indispensable place of capitalism in any foreseeable future and the inextricable necessity of competition, greed, and savage market-based violence for the betterment of society — for lack of any better, cogent alternative.
I'm positing an unarticulated aspect of people's worldviews that nevertheless influenced and inspired them.
One possibility is that my work unsettles the boundaries so many libertarians have drawn around themselves. (The liberal-ish conservative Goldman is a different matter; in his case, I think the problem is simply a lack of familiarity and experience with these texts.) Like some of their counterparts outside the academy, at Reason and elsewhere, academic libertarians often like to describe themselves as neither right nor left—a political space, incidentally, with some rather unwholesome precedents—or as one-half of a dialogue on the left, where the other half is Rawlsian liberalism or analytical Marxism. What they don’t want to hear is that theirs is a voice on and of the right. Not because they derive psychic or personal gratification from how they position themselves but because theirs is a political project, in which they borrow from the left in order to oppose—or all the while opposing—the main projects of the left.
That kind of politics has a name. It’s called conservatism.
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