[…] former contributors and commenters, at that site, including especially James Hanley, are “Libertarianism as Core-Extreme Ideology of the Liberal Democratic State” and “Government by Other […]
[…] the problem elsewhere, always dealing with definitional complications – for instance in comments on libertarianism, understood in context as a kind of “pure liberalism,” also, often following Paul W […]
[...] well as political sense, naturally arise at this point. They may become unavoidable, especially if the higher aim of further inquiry would be to rescue the libertarian ideal from libertarians, in relation to the original libertarian dilemma: That the rule of the the ideal individual, the [...]
[...] to matters of philosophy of world history, political philosophy, and even phenomenology of mind. Recent observations on liberalism as preceptual and consensual ideology at this blog were intended to point in this first-philosophical direction: of a re-consideration of [...]
Libertarianism entails a minimal state, mostly those spelled out in the constitution, 'negative liberties'
anarchism is about total demolition, which has almost never worked, because it leaves power vaccuums
that are often filled. take the Narodny Volya's success with Alexander 11, the murder of Spanish prime minister Canovas,
There's more to explore here, including I think especially the differences between libertarianism and anarchism, whose impulses and expressions often overlap. Superficially the difference seems to be between a reference to the individual and a reference to the state or the structures of the state, libertarianism focusing on the individual in negatively defined freedom, anarchism on real and conceptual threats to negatively defined freedom. So libertarianism begins with construction of the individual, as in the key early modern political-philosophical texts describing "metaphysical individualism," then proceeds outward establishing the boundaries or types of boundaries of the person, his or her property, immediate positive expression of the will, etc. The "concessions" begin with the irreducibility of this natural or naturalized person, who is constituted positively: The further the individual is taken into society, history, culture, etc., the greater the concession. The same locus of the libertarian's rejection of constraints impels the libertarian into a negotiation with them. The anarchist may at least entertain, or cannot exclude from the point of view of a consistent anarchism, a further rejection of the "rule" of the self or the concept of the self at all, and so moves in the direction of or is more open to nihilism, radical doubt, non-egocentric and non-humanist philosophies, and so on.
I wish I had more time right now to follow these impressions or hypotheses further. Maybe later. I bring them up anyway to confirm awareness of the complications, and because they relate to many of our past discussions, as well as to discussions at your blog, regarding the construction of the self in relation to politics or political ideology.
I've been mulling over this and your other libertarian posts for a while now. I haven't really put in much effort in the past in understanding/deconstructing the libertarian matrix, because the arrested development diagnosis seemed to work reasonably well. That,with what I refer to as "smart person's disease" which can afflict people of all isms and disciplines seemed to account for all the important features. (I had a raging case of it myself before my brain injury, and undoubtedly still have some symptoms.)
Anyway, your posts and my subsequent investigations have considerably deepened my understanding. The title of this post goes to one of the important features that I certainly overlooked before and I think a lot of other people do too.
I think this is one of your best efforts. Congrats.
[...] ← Libertarianism as Core-Extreme Ideology of the Liberal Democratic State [...]
I think we mostly agree on the first part, though the reference to infantile lib democracy was meant to combine a historical and evolutionary observation to the observation on the pre-dialogic self-sufficient - until he's hungry - "I-atheist." If he's truly an infant, then when he's fed, he does not yet even know that he is being fed by someone else. The food just appears for him, apparently by his own power.
The "hoo boy" part is an indirect proof of a libertarian realism not being finally or categorically distinct from any other ideology of liberty. In other words, if we take the idea of a concessionary libertarianism to its logical conclusion, totalitarianism satisfies the definition as well.
So, for the sake of clarity and at the risk of repeating myself, my thesis is that there is no libertarian praxis. For there to be a libertarian praxis, or to the extent it becomes a praxis, it becomes an ideology of compromise with collective or communitarian etc. need, so to that precise extent less libertarian. This is initially a logical or abstract premise, but it was this precise discovery or necessity that in the American context was confirmed after ratification in the very first session of Congress, when the aspirational collective ideal or communitarian moral position - desirability of aid to victims of disaster - overrode the original libertarian or Radical Whig injunction against robbing Peter (via excise taxes originally justified for other purposes) to pay Paul (the disaster victim). If the ends justify the means, the ends justify the means, and everything is potentially permitted, sooner or later possibly including the pancake steamroller.
The final theoretical equivalence of the total state and the libertarian state is another version of the ancient postulate that even the oligarchy or the tyranny is democratic (or the victims of genocide or slavery are complicit) in the sense that the multitude could at any moment, assert its greater weight in numbers, in other words as a multitude, and overwhelm the forces of oligarchy, tyranny, etc. Instead, they succumb to terror, coercion, and co-optation. That they don't or can't overthrow the oligarchs or tyrants, because they prize their lives or fortunes as individuals over their ideal freedom, or prefer peace to war, is the setting for the Master/Slave dialectic as I think you know. We can discuss it further if you want, and and along with it the idea that modernity or the action of history through the modern era is meant finally to overcome it, producing the End of History in principle as we were discussing on Twitter the other day.
About contemporary "liberalism" as an ideology: to an extent it seems to go into deliberate "we're not being ideological!" style expressions, becoming practically a nervous tick. Though not only is it an ideology, it could be argued everyone is ideological in some form. You don't have to say "this is an ideology" for an approach to political questions to be one, ideology doesn't have to announce itself upon entry to a room. Which makes the loudly pseudo-non-ideological stance of some progs ring even louder.
As for libertarianism as "infantile liberal democracy", if by this you mean a nod to how despite liberalism's corruption into just the shrunken left hand of the same general "shut up and trust the ruling elite" stance that always lurks, every once in awhile a prog might suggest that the correct response of government to something just may be no response at all, you have a point. That said, such moments are few and far between for a reason. Don't want to sound like they're saying people have less control over their lives than they should as a general principle, as that would be Ideological & thus assumed to be wrong.
But this...hoo boy:
[...]the total state is never anything more or less than the manifold result of countless reasonable calculations of desirable degree of concessions of pure autonomy or of unlimited negative freedom. If libertarianism is still libertarianism under reasonable calculation of concessions, and everyone agrees out of calculation of self-interest to the totalitarian state, then the totalitarian state is also the libertarian state.
Sounds like you're equating the actual formation of the total state with the aggregate choices of the populace as a whole (much as the snarkier form of progressive pointed at the near collapse of finance due to Capital Paradox and screamed "free market at work!"). This despite the practical root being that within the state the self-interest of some people always matter way more than others, and the dividing line between driving the steamroller and being the awaiting human pancake has nothing to do with what most defenders of such a system say it does.