Thursday, November 20, 2008

Meta-analysis of Free Market Critiques

After reading this post by Tim Lee:

It sounds to me like what Ezra is saying here, in an extremely back-handed fashion, is that libertarians aren’t corporate stooges at all. When the interests of corporations happen to align with what we regard as good public policy, then corporate interests tend to be our allies. Otherwise, they tend not to be. Which, as far as I can tell, is exactly how it should be.


But it is a little bit frustrating that when libertarians take a firm stance against the interests of large corporations, we don’t get praised for our independence so much as getting attacked for our ideological rigidity. These charges can’t both be right: we can’t both be solicitous corporate shills and inflexible ideologues. If people are going to question our motives, I wish they’d at least get their story straight on exactly which kind of intellectual dishonesty they think we’re engaging in.

I was reminded of this video (via Will Wilkinson) on how ones morals can affect what should be an objective, rational judgment.

What Ezra seems to be guilty of is allowing his moral values (opposition to oil drilling, support for a progressive tax system, support for government-managed Social Security) to cloud his characterization of the motives of libertarians.

No comments: