Welcome
Welcome to the Forums of the Libertarian Left

This is the place for agorists, mutualists, voluntaryists, geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, individualist anarchists, green libertarians, libertarian socialists, radical minarchists, and others on the Libertarian Left to discuss theory, history, and how to smash the state. Registration is fast, simple, and free, so join the revolution today!

Some left-libertarian links: Alliance of the Libertarian Left, Blogosphere of the Libertarian Left, Agorism.info, Mutualist.org, Voluntaryist.com, Geolibertarian Homepage, Molinari Institute, LeftLibertarian.org, Center for a Stateless Society, ALL Ad Hoc Organizing Committee

Libertarians get Medieval on women

Discuss the politics, economics, sociology, and institutions of a free society.

Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:19 am


...

Mises on women and feminism

This whole debate recently led Mike Konczal, a blogger at the Roosevelt Institute, back to Ludwig von Mises' classic 1922 text Socialism. Mises was a pioneering economist of the Austrian School, whose political writings have inspired multiple generations of libertarian activists in the US and elsewhere.

Obama birth control plan angers church

Mike took a special interest in the fourth chapter of Socialism, "The Social Order and the Family", in which Mises has some retrograde things to say about women and feminism. This led Mike to conclude - prematurely, it turns out - that Mises was against birth control, which he wasn't, but as I made clear in the comments thread to Mike's post, Mike's larger point - that Mises was neither in favour of women's sexual autonomy nor was he in favour of other kinds of autonomy that would free women from the dominion of their husbands - still stands.

All this back and forth about the text prompted Brian Doherty, author of a wonderful History of Libertarianism, to waspishly comment that, well, who really cares what Mises may or may not have thought about women and birth control. Libertarians care about liberty; all the rest is commentary.

Mises does go on to address "natural barriers" that socialists want to overturn, and doubtless some of his own personal opinions about what those natural barriers might be would differ from moderns, liberal or conservative, which is exactly why [Konczal’s] entire implied point doesn't make any sense to begin with.

Those concerns are far more matters of opinion, not political philosophy, and in no sense should bind even those who have sworn fealty to Mises' general views on economics and liberty.

(For example, I'm quite the Misesian in most questions of politics and economics, but can imagine an intelligent conservative argument that the "rationalisation of the sexual passions" is in some sense harmed by birth control, though not in the specific procreational sense he is addressing specifically.)

But let's address the larger point, if there is one, besides that atop all of our heads for even talking about this: That polemical points can rightly be earned laying some judgment, whether real or imagined, of an intellectual founding father or influence on a political movement or tendency on to the backs of its younger followers - either to mock them or to insist that, no, this is really what their intellectual mission is: not to promote liberty, but to work for whatever Ludwig Von Mises liked or didn't like.

It is interesting, for those interested in intellectual history, that Mises saw free love as part of some larger socialist mission to destroy the family. But for the libertarian the relevant question is, is this voluntary or not, does this infringe on anyone's life, liberty, or property or not? "Anything that's peaceful," baby, as Leonard Read, one of Mises' great popular disciples in America, wrote.

Thus, there's a libertarian case to be made against forcing anyone to cover any specific medical care, birth control or whatever, in the insurance deals they make with their clients. But it has nothing to do with whether Ludwig von Mises was comfortable with free love, or birth control, or with catheters, or blood transfusions, or any other specific medical procedure that might or might not become a political controversy when the government tried to force people to sell insurance only on the condition that that insurance cover that procedure or medication's use.


Intellectual histories of libertarianism

Let's set aside the strangeness of someone who's written - for what were obviously more than antiquarian reasons - one of the best intellectual histories of libertarianism, in which Mises plays a not insignificant role, telling us that intellectual history, and Mises' role in it, doesn't much matter.

"Libertarianism is not about liberty at all, or at least not about liberty for everyone. In fact, it's the opposite."

Let's also set aside Doherty's declaration by fiat that Mises' views on women are just "matters of opinion", which can be discarded as so much ancient prejudice, rather than genuine "political philosophy".

(This chapter on Robert Nozick in Susan Okin's Justice, Gender, and the Family should make any reasonably literate political writer leery of the notion that a libertarian's views on women are somehow contingent or incidental and separable from their larger worldview. In Mises' case, it's doubly important to remember that he saw his chapter on women as one part of his campaign against socialism, an effort in which he styled himself the lonely leader of a small, heterodox band.

Socialism is the watchword and the catchword of our day. The socialist idea dominates the modern spirit. The masses prove of it. It expresses the thoughts and feelings of all; it has set its seal upon our time. When history comes to tell our story it will write above the chapter "The Epoch of Socialism".

Mises did not think his views on women were refractions of the age; he thought they were the dissonant wisdom of someone who had thought long and hard, against the dominant view, about such issues. And given that many socialists were making feminist arguments and gaining ground across Europe - Remember Red Vienna? It wasn't all economics, you know - I'm not sure Mises was entirely wrong in his self-understanding.)

The real reason Mises' arguments about women are so relevant, it seems to me, is that in the course of making them, he reveals something larger about the libertarian worldview: Libertarianism is not about liberty at all, or at least not about liberty for everyone. In fact, it's the opposite.

Here's Mises describing the socialist programme of "free love":

Free love is the socialists' radical solution for sexual problems. The socialistic society abolishes the economic dependence of woman which results from the fact that woman is dependent on the income of her husband. Man and woman have the same economic rights and the same duties, as far as motherhood does not demand special consideration for the women.

Public funds provide for the maintenance and education of the children, which are no longer the affairs of the parents but of society. Thus the relations between the sexes are no longer influenced by social and economic conditions… The family disappears and society is confronted with separate individuals only. Choice in love becomes completely free.

Paternalistic assumptions

Sounds like a libertarian paradise, right? Society is dissolved into atomistic individuals, obstacles to our free choices are removed, everyone has the same rights and duties. But Mises is not celebrating this ideal; he's criticising it. Not because it makes people unfree, but because it makes people - specifically, women - free. The problem with liberating women from the constraints of "social and economic conditions" is that... women are liberated from the constraints of social and economic conditions.

Obama revises birth control policy amid backlash

Now Doherty will reply, well, that's just Mises' view of feminism, who cares, we libertarians stand for freedom. But the underlying logic of Mises' argument - in which the redistributive state is criticised not for making men and women slaves or equals but for making them free - cannot be so easily contained.

It can easily be applied to other realms of social policy - labour unions, universal healthcare, robust public schools, unemployment benefits, and the like, which the left has always seen as the vital prerequisites of universal freedom - suggesting that the real target of the libertarian critique may be the proposition that Mises articulates here so well: That all men - not just the rich or the well born - and all women will in fact be liberated from the constraints of their "social and economic conditions".

What's more, Mises' views haven't gone away.

Responding to legislative proposal in Virginia that would have required all women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound - as Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick pointed out, because most abortions occur in the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy, most of the women affected by this bill would be forced to have a probe stuck up their vaginas, as that's how ultrasounds in the first trimester are done - libertarian luminary Tyler Cowen tweeted the following: All of a sudden requiring consumers to be informed is extremely unpopular on the "pro-regulation side".

Was Cowen serious? Hard to say. If he was, he's radically uninformed about the basic facts of biology and women. It's not like women don't know what's going on inside of their uteruses; they are, after all, getting an abortion. Or perhaps, Cowen, like many in the anti-abortion movement, thinks women don't know what they're doing when they abort their foetuses. Either way, it was a paternalistic comment.

But ah, my libertarian friends will say, that's the point - we on the left make similar paternalistic assumptions about consumers all the time. Cowen's just making a joke to point out our hypocrisy.

"The notion 'once-probed, always-probed' sounds an awful lot like the notion of implicit sexual consent that dates back to the 18th century and that justified marital rape in this country until the 1980s."

But if that's the joke, it doesn't quite work. Even if we assume that informing consumers is the purpose of the legislation - all the evidence, as Lithwick points out, suggests that women don't need the information and their choices influenced by the information when they get it - there's the tricky matter of the "instruments": Is the left really in the business of forcing consumers to get information by sticking probes up their various orifices?

'Once-probed, always-probed'


Whether he was serious or not, Cowen's tweet suggests that when it comes to the specifics of women's autonomy - not generic autonomy, but women's autonomy - he doesn't quite get it. And in not getting it, he shows that his is not a project of universal liberty. (Also check out Scott Lemieux's take on libertarian blogger Megan McArdle; you'll find a similar pattern.)

One final note on this Virginia legislation and how it fits with a larger pattern on the right. As Lithwick noted in her piece:

During the floor debate on Tuesday, Delegate C Todd Gilbert announced that "in the vast majority of these cases, these [abortions] are matters of lifestyle convenience." (He has since apologised.) Virginia Democrat Delegate David Englin, who opposes the bill, has said Gilbert's statement "is in line with previous Republican comments on the issue", recalling one conversation with a GOP lawmaker who told him that women had already made the decision to be "vaginally penetrated when they got pregnant". (I confirmed with Englin that this quote was accurate.)

The notion "once-probed, always-probed" sounds an awful lot like the notion of implicit sexual consent that dates back to the 18th century and that justified marital rape in this country until the 1980s. As I write in The Reactionary Mind:

Until 1980, for example, it was legal in every state in the union for a husband to rape his wife. The justification for this dates back to a 1736 treatise by English jurist Matthew Hale. When a woman marries, Hale argued, she implicitly agrees to give "up herself in this kind [sexually] unto her husband". Hers is a tacit, if unknowing, consent "which she cannot retract" for the duration of their union. Having once said yes, she can never say no.

As late as 1957 - during the era of the Warren Court - a standard legal treatise could state, "A man does not commit rape by having sexual intercourse with his lawful wife, even if he does so by force and against her will". If a woman (or man) tried to write into the marriage contract a requirement that express consent had to be given in order for sex to proceed, judges were bound by common law to ignore or override it.

Implicit consent was a structural feature of the contract that neither party could alter. With the exit option of divorce not widely available until the second half of the twentieth century, the marriage contract doomed women to be the sexual servants of their husbands.


Resonances like these are why I sometimes suggest that modern conservatism is just a neoliberal gloss on medieval domination.


See the original essay for embedded links.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

 

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RonaldMcDonald » Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:28 am

I think you're on to something here. Note also the number of "are you fucking kidding me" moments to be found in reading Rothbard's "Women's Lib" essay and other gems from his charmingly titled "Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature" essays. One could speculate as to whence this association between seemingly unrelated political orientations, but I think much of it speaks for itself, combined with a little bit of imagination.

What I think depresses me the most about it is that at root, feminism is really about creatively rethinking the whole human condition, and there could be such a fascinating, intellectually stimulating discourse going on -- but even in this day and age, it is still forced to waste so much time and energy just combating the bottom-of-the-barrel dudebrah-drivel (mixed with the all-too-common Trevor Reznik-ian psychopathy) that infects much of modern (as evident especially on the Internet) culture. Just like how frustrating it was to me that the last time I was on the "Anarchism" facebook group, the majority of the energy that could have been used on talking about how to actually create a better world was forced to be expended trying to refute the inanely neurotic fantasies of anarcho-capitalism for the ten-thousandth time.
While anarchists oppose hierarchy in the name of liberty, right-libertarians support authority and hierarchy, all of which deny freedom and restrict individual development. This is unsurprising because the right-libertarian ideology...is fundamentally anti-life in its assumptions and anti-human in its method. Far from being a libertarian set of ideas, right-Libertarianism is a mechanical set of dogmas that deny the fundamental nature of life (namely change) and of individuality (namely critical thought and freedom). --AFAQ

Capitalists are vampires - parasites who view us as nothing more than livestock to feed off of and have dominion over. --manilaryceTLM
User avatar
RonaldMcDonald
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:04 am

I just that I allowed myself to be associated with the label "Libertarian".
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Juan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:40 pm

Those people are not libertarians
「ナタリー:もはやドラグーンではないけれどね」
User avatar
Juan
 
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Birthday Pony » Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:22 pm

Those people like Mises?
Image
User avatar
Birthday Pony
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Juan » Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:21 pm

yes - and the rest of so called 'austrian' economists.
「ナタリー:もはやドラグーンではないけれどね」
User avatar
Juan
 
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Alice Raizel » Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:46 pm

Corey Robin's scholarship is fascinating, and I highly recommend his blog ( http://coreyrobin.com/ ) to everyone. The centre-Left seems to have finally found the need to rally its intellectual standards, and Robin is one of the best of the current crop of philosophically assertive Left writers.

He does have an unfortunate blindspot as regards a lack of awareness of social anarchism and other forms of left-wing antistatism, but I suspect that polite and genuinely socially concerned engagement with left-libertarians would be well-recieved, if any here wished to attempt it.

Robin disturbs me more with me Adorno-influenced nastiness to Ayn Rand, which goes well-beyond necessity towards personal invective. In a similar vein, in at least one of his articles he seems to defend an association of Left politics and the cultural legacy of Christianity against radical Rightist currents skeptical of the same. He's nowhere near as obnoxious with this as Chris Hedges, but nevertheless any tendencies of this kind bear watching for those such as myself concerned with Enlightenment secularism, life-affirming culture, and sexual liberty.

All this said, he has, like Hedges, a truly great mind.
User avatar
Alice Raizel
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:30 am

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:35 am

And now for round-two.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Postby Pedro E. » Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:28 pm

Why couldn't it be the case that Mises was wrong about the consequences of a free-market? As I see it, both Corey and Mises share the wrong premise that a free-market would be bad for women's autonomy. I think part of what it means to be a left-libertarian is to show what is wrong with that premise.

Btw, this Corey dude doesn't seem very knowledgeable on libertarian rights theory, and at any rate, he definitely does not address the arguments made by libertarians for their views. If what some prominent libertarian theorist believes dooms all subsequent libertarian theorists, then progressivist theorists of the corey robbin type wouldn't fare much better either.
Pedro E.
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:05 pm

Re:

Postby Birthday Pony » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:49 am

Pedro E. wrote:Why couldn't it be the case that Mises was wrong about the consequences of a free-market? As I see it, both Corey and Mises share the wrong premise that a free-market would be bad for women's autonomy. I think part of what it means to be a left-libertarian is to show what is wrong with that premise.


I think the point of the article was that libertarianism is not necessarily only about liberty, not whether or not Mises' claims were accurate.
Image
User avatar
Birthday Pony
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Juan » Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:00 pm

that is, the point is to misrepresent libertarianism
「ナタリー:もはやドラグーンではないけれどね」
User avatar
Juan
 
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Birthday Pony » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:28 pm

So there's this essay on how Mises critique of socialism and the feminist movement is aimed a lot more towards a problem with sexual liberation than it is anything else. That's not exactly a stretch of the imagination. Definitely believable, but does it say much about libertarianism as a whole? Maybe not.

Then there's the second linked article, which is much more telling. While Libertarians disregard positive freedom as not a type of freedom at all, the blogger in the second article here can't even explain eir problems with the Koch brothers taking over CATO without some reference to an infringement of positive freedom.

Combined, the articles show exactly how flat Libertarian theory can actually be. It doesn't really serve to explain the infringements on autonomy and freedom that most people feel every day, and neither one needs to lie about libertarianism to make its point. Half of the first article is direct quotes FFS.
Image
User avatar
Birthday Pony
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Postby Pedro E. » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:41 pm

I don't know whether most libertarians believe positive freedom is not a type of freedom at all. But what I do know is that most libertarians believe negative freedom is the only freedom that you can force others to respect, and *that* is probably the big issue between libertarians and corey robbin.

Btw, I don't think mises' critique of socialism is "aimed a lot more towards a problem with sexual liberation than anything else". If he thought the free market actually gave more autonomy to women, he would *still* advocate a free-market system. His primary defense of this system relied exactly on the belief that a free market makes everyone better off: more prosperous, happy, etc. etc. The idea that his primary aim was to diminish poor people's welfare and whatnot is just ludicrous.
Pedro E.
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Birthday Pony » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:24 pm

And why is that? Do you have reasons or do you just think so? Here's the part I'm talking about for reference:

Free love is the socialists' radical solution for sexual problems. The socialistic society abolishes the economic dependence of woman which results from the fact that woman is dependent on the income of her husband. Man and woman have the same economic rights and the same duties, as far as motherhood does not demand special consideration for the women.

Public funds provide for the maintenance and education of the children, which are no longer the affairs of the parents but of society. Thus the relations between the sexes are no longer influenced by social and economic conditions… The family disappears and society is confronted with separate individuals only. Choice in love becomes completely free.



Sounds like a libertarian paradise, right? Society is dissolved into atomistic individuals, obstacles to our free choices are removed, everyone has the same rights and duties. But Mises is not celebrating this ideal; he's criticising it. Not because it makes people unfree, but because it makes people - specifically, women - free. The problem with liberating women from the constraints of "social and economic conditions" is that... women are liberated from the constraints of social and economic conditions.
Image
User avatar
Birthday Pony
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:23 pm

Juan:
Those people are not libertarians


Yeah, I'm just going to leave this here.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RonaldMcDonald » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:24 am

I'm a little confused about how the terminology from the essay is being used here. Isn't the consensus that those the essay is criticizing are not in fact libertarians, and thus that what we support is not a more lefty version of what is being criticized (Mises, etc.) but something altogether different? I mean, I completely agree with the essay, except I don't think it says anything about libertarians (i.e. anarchists) but rather the right-wing nutcases that have appropriated the term, in the U.S. anyway.
While anarchists oppose hierarchy in the name of liberty, right-libertarians support authority and hierarchy, all of which deny freedom and restrict individual development. This is unsurprising because the right-libertarian ideology...is fundamentally anti-life in its assumptions and anti-human in its method. Far from being a libertarian set of ideas, right-Libertarianism is a mechanical set of dogmas that deny the fundamental nature of life (namely change) and of individuality (namely critical thought and freedom). --AFAQ

Capitalists are vampires - parasites who view us as nothing more than livestock to feed off of and have dominion over. --manilaryceTLM
User avatar
RonaldMcDonald
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby ChairmanMeow » Fri Apr 13, 2012 3:35 pm

So, I don't really have the time right now to pick this apart point for point, and he seems to engage in a number of equivocations, but there is a single passage that captures the issue:

Here's Mises describing the socialist programme of "free love":

Free love is the socialists' radical solution for sexual problems. The socialistic society abolishes the economic dependence of woman which results from the fact that woman is dependent on the income of her husband. Man and woman have the same economic rights and the same duties, as far as motherhood does not demand special consideration for the women.

Public funds provide for the maintenance and education of the children, which are no longer the affairs of the parents but of society. Thus the relations between the sexes are no longer influenced by social and economic conditions… The family disappears and society is confronted with separate individuals only. Choice in love becomes completely free.

Paternalistic assumptions

Sounds like a libertarian paradise, right? Society is dissolved into atomistic individuals, obstacles to our free choices are removed, everyone has the same rights and duties. But Mises is not celebrating this ideal; he's criticising it. Not because it makes people unfree, but because it makes people - specifically, women - free. The problem with liberating women from the constraints of "social and economic conditions" is that... women are liberated from the constraints of social and economic conditions.


No, it doesn't sound like a libertarian paradise, because the dependence of women on their husband is replaced with dependence on the state, which is more powerful and less accountable. When Von Mises referred to socialism he ONLY meant State Socialism. He couldn't conceive of any other kind and said as much.

What do you think the connection is between the Catholic Church and Joseph Stalin's ban on birth control? Both serve the interests of a power structure. To see the creepy extreme, read up on the lebesborn. I see no reproductive freedom here. The socialist programme he refers to is not the small and largely self-sufficient communities that you as anarchists conceive. It refers to individuals living in service to a larger vision of the state.

This is Corwin in his own words:
"As I've argued repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere, the path forward for the left lies in the alliance between active social movements on the ground and a strong national state." This is the fundamental difference between Left and Right in the oldest meaning. People like Corwin buy into the Marxist delusion - that the State can be a means to increasing freedom - an expedient scaffolding that can be discarded when the monument of a free society is built.

A separate issue is that I DO believe that I AM allowed to say that Von Mises views on women's roles are incidental, at least to mine. I don't see Libertarianism as an ideology in the sense of an all encompassing vision of how society should be. To speak of freedom and free markets necessarily means an open-ended vision which does not impose dictates on the the agents within it. When comes down to it, the fallacy that underlies this entire discussion is more basic to philosophy itself.

Philosophies cannot be identified with the person they originate in - as though this person had a complete comprehension of the ideas they espoused or their implications. Do you think Von Mises would have been comfortable with Rothbard's espoused anarchism, regardless of the intellectual merit of his argument? Einstein was very uncomfortable with the consensus building as a result of quantum that the laws of nature were probabilistic rather than deterministic. Even the greatest intellectuals will always be guilty of injecting personal views and prejudices into their steam of thought. For people who aren't foundationalists this isn't a problem. We can adjust for whatever fault or misgivings we find. Truth itself an open-ended project.
User avatar
ChairmanMeow
 
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:26 am

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Birthday Pony » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:28 pm

From the passage you quoted:
...But Mises is not celebrating this ideal; he's criticising it. Not because it makes people unfree, but because it makes people - specifically, women - free. The problem with liberating women from the constraints of "social and economic conditions" is that... women are liberated from the constraints of social and economic conditions.


While Mises probably didn't like free love (as he imagined it) for the reasons you outlined, he also had a lot to say about women being free anyway.
Image
User avatar
Birthday Pony
 
Posts: 1936
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:40 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:02 pm

RonaldMcDonald wrote:I'm a little confused about how the terminology from the essay is being used here. Isn't the consensus that those the essay is criticizing are not in fact libertarians, and thus that what we support is not a more lefty version of what is being criticized (Mises, etc.) but something altogether different? I mean, I completely agree with the essay, except I don't think it says anything about libertarians (i.e. anarchists) but rather the right-wing nutcases that have appropriated the term, in the U.S. anyway.


That's the thing. Libertarian, to an American audience, does not mean Anarchist, but a certain political tradition within American political discourse.

Part of that tradition heavily draws from Mises. He is referenced frequently in the writings of many self-identifying "Libertarian". Many who identify themselves as "Misesians" also identify as "Libertarians". They get published on LewRockwell.com, CATO, Reason, Slate, the Ludwig von Mises Institute website and Strike-The-Root, all generally "Libertarian" orientated websites, as "Libertarians". Austrian economics has a heavy association and history with Libertarianism especially though Rothbard. There are so-called "vulgar Libertarians" and there are others. There are those who draw less from Mises and do not consider themselves to be so "vulgar" as Stephan Kinsella and the Misesians. They may disagree with things like Rothbard's nationalism or Mises hatred of women, but they are all draw on the same Libertarian discourse which contains writers as different as Walter Block and Charles Johnson.

People who come from this discourse self-identify and are identified by others as "Libertarians".

Whether it's Rothbard or Kevin Carson who gives them a hard-on, they're all drawing on the discourse of Libertarianism and contributing to it. You can't split them down, like Juan, and label one "true" and the other not. Even if you don't like their ideas they are still Libertarians and their ideas come from the literature previous self-identifying Libertarians have produced and brought into Libertarian discourse. Whether it's some personal idiosyncracy of Mises or a product of that very conceptual framework depends on whether you can find similar ideas still circulating among self-identifying Libertarians today.

Then you have another group of people who identify as Libertarian and whose ideas have developed through Anarchist discourse, which draws on writers from many different parts of the globe, including the US, and writing in a variety of different areas. These people are "libertarians" also, but have developed from a different body of literature. Audiences outside the US, and small groups within the US, will immediately understand Libertarian in this sense as associated with that literature and react accordingly.

People who come from this discourse self-identify and are identified by others as "Libertarians" and "Anarchists".

Phrases, terms and concepts are going to be understood differently by different people writing in each discourse.

So then depending on which discourse you draw on, you have two competing concepts of what "libertarian" means inside this forum, out in the world and how to understand the name of this forum. Historically the name of this website did develop out of a trend among people who self-identified as Libertaria, the first kind, but wanted to expand its reach by referring to other sources and starting a subbranch in that discourse which pretty much amounted to "a Lefty version of Libertarianism". Some continued with this project, some didn't. Others (myself included) "jumped ship" and started to adopt the second discourse. Meanwhile the forum continued to attract people from both discourses, some who weren't aware of what was going on, some who were. Others have left becuase it wasn't what they were expecting or they believe it has changed.
Last edited by RoyceChristian on Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:23 pm

In saying all that, when you look at the essay, you can't just reject it out of hand by a "progressive" who "doesn't know what he is talking about" and "misrepresents Libertarianism."

He does a pretty good point of pointing out and attacking a specific example of trends amoung wider American Libertarian discourse. Clearly the thoughts of Mises on women are not confined to Mises himself and the same or similar conclusions have been picked up and re-argued again by self-identifying Libertarians contributing to that discourse. It is possible to find Libertarian discussions on women suggesting that they accept a lower-pay rate for the same work as men because it makes them more competitive. Or the idea that there is no oppression in a world system where control is dominated by men, even as women fill lower ranks.

While they might not be the same sexual freedom debate, the same ideas and concepts that lead Mises to say and believe the things he did about women are still going to exist and colour debates that occur today. And then you have Libertarians who draw on the same discourse and are talking about these issues in a way that puts them at odds with other Libertarians within the same discourse.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby vaguelyhumanoid » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:29 am

ChairmanMeow wrote:People like Corwin buy into the Marxist delusion - that the State can be a means to increasing freedom - an expedient scaffolding that can be discarded when the monument of a free society is built.



This is something of a pet peeve of mine. Not all Marxists are Leninists.

Don't make Guy Debord cry.
vaguelyhumanoid
 
Posts: 1328
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:46 am

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Alice Raizel » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:58 pm

Word on everything Royce said.
User avatar
Alice Raizel
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:30 am

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby Juan » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:01 pm

>Yeah, I'm just going to leave this here.
>en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

People who support things that are at odds with libertarianism are not libertarians.

That retard von moses also supported conscription. Now, libertarians support conscription.

I understand that it's pretty convenient for you to be able to point out at idiots like those of the so called 'austrian school' in order to smear libertarianism, but (as you know) you don't have an argument - just a smear.
「ナタリー:もはやドラグーンではないけれどね」
User avatar
Juan
 
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:05 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RonaldMcDonald » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:38 pm

Juan, I think you'll have to explain what you mean by "libertarianism"...
While anarchists oppose hierarchy in the name of liberty, right-libertarians support authority and hierarchy, all of which deny freedom and restrict individual development. This is unsurprising because the right-libertarian ideology...is fundamentally anti-life in its assumptions and anti-human in its method. Far from being a libertarian set of ideas, right-Libertarianism is a mechanical set of dogmas that deny the fundamental nature of life (namely change) and of individuality (namely critical thought and freedom). --AFAQ

Capitalists are vampires - parasites who view us as nothing more than livestock to feed off of and have dominion over. --manilaryceTLM
User avatar
RonaldMcDonald
 
Posts: 364
Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Libertarians get Medieval on women

Postby RoyceChristian » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:04 pm

Juan,

Okay, so why did Konkin and Rothbard both associate their positions so strongly with Austrian economics? If it has nothing to do with Libertarianism, it sure has had a lot to do with its development.
We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. -Aesop
RoyceChristian
 
Posts: 1522
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:10 pm

Next

Return to Political, Social, and Economic Theory

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

suspicion-preferred