Category Archives: Idéhistoria

Min recension av Timothy Sandefurs bok publicerad

Igår publicerade Svensk Tidskrift min recension av Timothy Sandefurs bok The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It.

I anknytning till den är här även Sandefurs essä om klassiskt liberal originalism.

Här och här kan man se en intervju med Sandefur i två delar om boken.

Annonser

Liberalismen hotas från tre håll

Den klassiska liberalismen (eller libertarianismen) hotas framförallt från tre håll idag. Tom Palmer, som bl.a. är senior fellow på Cato Institute, har för denna tankesmedja skrivit en policy report som beskriver detta: ”A New, Old Challenge: Global Anti-Libertarianism”  Utdrag:

”A spectre is haunting the world: the spectre of radical anti-libertarian movements, each grappling with the others like scorpions in a bottle and all competing to see which can dismantle the institutions of liberty the fastest. Some are ensconced in the universities and other elite centers, and some draw their strength from populist anger. The leftist and the rightist versions of the common anti-libertarian cause are, moreover, interconnected, with each fueling the other. All explicitly reject individual liberty, the rule of law, limited government, and freedom of exchange, and they promote instead radical, albeit aggressively opposed, forms of identity politics and authoritarianism. They are dangerous and should not be underestimated.

In various guises, such movements are challenging libertarian values and principles across the globe, especially in Europe, in America, and in parts of Asia, but their influence is felt everywhere. They share a radical rejection of the ideas of reason, liberty, and the rule of law that animated the American Founding and are, indeed, the foundations of modernity. Those who prefer constitutionalism to dictatorship, free markets to cronyist or socialist statism, free trade to autarchy, toleration to oppression, and social harmony to irreconcilable antagonism need to wake up, because our cause and the prosperity and peace it engenders are in grave danger.

At least three symbiotic threats to liberty can be seen on the horizon: a) identity politics and the zero-sum political economy of conflict and aggression they engender; b) populism and the yearning for strongman rule that invariably accompanies it; and c) radical political Islamism. They share certain common intellectual fountainheads and form an interlocking network, energizing each other at the expense of the classical liberal consensus.”[…]

”It took decades, but a robustly anti-libertarian and anti-toleration movement on the left side of the spectrum has effectively taken over a great deal of academia in much of Europe, North America, and other countries. Their goal is to use administrative punishment, intimidation, and disruption to suppress all views that they consider incompatible with their vision. This movement is rooted in the writings of a German Marxist who studied under the Nazi theoretician Martin Heidegger. His name was Herbert Marcuse, and after he came to the United States he became very influential on the far left.”[…]

”The call for politically correct ”safe spaces” reserved for minorities is mirrored by white nationalists who call for affirming ”white identity” and a ”white nation.””[…]

”Populism often parallels the various forms of identity politics, but adds angry resentment of ”elites,” crackpot political economy, and a yearning for a leader who can focus the authentic will of the people.”[…]

”Radical Islamism mirrors some of the themes of the other anti-libertarian movements, including identity politics (the belief that the community of believers is at war with all infidels), authoritarian populist fears of threats to group identity and social status, and enthusiasm for charismatic leaders who will ”Make Islam Great Again.” Radical Islamism even shares with the far left and far right common intellectual roots in European fascist political ideology and collectivist ideas of ”authenticity.””

Läs hela rapporten här.

Här även en podcast där man kan lyssna på Palmer prata om detta.

Vidare i anslutning till detta, läs även Palmers artiklar om Martin Heidegger och Carl Schmitt, Martin Heidegger: Philosopher of Nazism and Other Collectivist Cults & Carl Schmitt: The Philosopher of Conflict Who Inspired Both the Left and the Right

Frederick Douglass, slaven som rymde och blev frihetskämpe

Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) föddes i februari, men som slav i Maryland fanns inget datum för honom. Han kom dock genom att hans mor kallade honom ”my little Valentine” att ta 14/2, dagens datum, som sin födelsedag.

Douglass lyckades som tjugoåring fly slaveriet och bosatte sig senare med sin fru i New Bedford, Massachusetts. Han kom att bli en av de mest framträdande abolitionisterna, och dessutom en förkämpe för kvinnans rättigheter. Han var briljant, lärd och vältalig och förstod de ursprungliga amerikanska idéerna om frihet. Han företrädde den klassiska liberalismen. Hans texter är värda att läsa. Läs mer om honom och hans liberala idéer här (tidskriften Reason).

Timothy Sandefur om Douglass i två äldre blogginlägg, här och här. I det senare kontrasteras Douglass mot William Lloyd Garrison, en annan framträdande abolitionist, som hade deklarerat ”no union with slaveholders”. Douglass hade en helt annan och bättre strategisk syn på frihetskampen.

Här även ett bra föredrag för Cato Institute av historiedocenten Robert McDonald. Där finns även länkar till mer om Douglass, bl.a. hans liv och kvinnofrågan.

Douglass: ”Fellow-citizens! there is no matter in respect to which, the people of the North have allowed themselves to be so ruinously imposed upon, as that of the pro-slavery character of the Constitution. In that instrument I hold there is neither warrant, license, nor sanction of the hateful thing; but, interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the Constitution is a GLORIOUS LIBERTY DOCUMENT.”

Frederick Douglass portrait.jpg

Tidigare blogginlägg av mig om andra abolitionister, som bl.a. Lydia Maria Child och Carl Schurz här och här.

Det antika Greklands ekonomiska välstånd

Dagens Grekland är hopplöst dysfunktionellt. Orsaken till den svåra ekonomiska krisen är decennier av vanvettig politik på mängder av områden, påskyndat av euroinförandet som gav landet billiga krediter. Man kan läsa mer här.

Annat var det under antiken. Då blomstrade den grekiska världen, ekonomiskt och kulturellt. Under den s.k. klassiska tiden och även i betydande utsträckning under den senare s.k. hellenistiska tiden, rådde en för den förmoderna historien exceptionell ekonomisk tillväxt med åtföljande kulturell utveckling. Politiskt rådde institutionell konkurrens med i stort sett självständiga stadsstater, ofta med demokratiska inslag, vilket i ekonomin gynnade handel, konkurrens och innovationer.

Historikern Josiah Ober beskriver detta i denna artikel.

”Greek economic growth was driven by a set of political institutions and a civic culture that are historically rare. (Indeed, at the time of their emergence in Hellas, those institutions and that culture were probably unique.) The political institutions found in many citizen-centered Greek states — but especially in democratic states and most especially in democratic Athens — put specialization and innovation on overdrive, by encouraging individuals to take more rational risks and develop more distinctive skills. People willingly invested in their own education and took the risks of entrepreneurship because they knew that they had legal recourse if and when a powerful individual or corrupt official tried to steal their profits.”(…)

”Citizens collectively held the authority to make new institutional rules, and as a result, they were more likely to trust the rules under which they lived to be basically fair. Judgments, by citizens who were empowered (by vote or lottery) to settle disputes and to distribute public goods, were made on the basis of established and impartial rules, rather than on the basis of patronage or personal favoritism. With these guarantees in place and successful innovation well rewarded, individuals had strong incentives to invest in their own special talents, to defer short-term payoffs and to accept a certain level of risk in anticipation of long-term rewards. The end result was a historically unusual level of sustained economic growth and an equally unusual rate of sustained cultural productivity and innovation.”

Mer om Lydia Maria Child

Skrev förra året ett blogginlägg om den amerikanska liberala abolitionisten Lydia Maria Child med anledning av en text av Daniel Bier på The Skeptical Libertarian. Här har Bier en ny text på Students for Libertys hemsida med kompletterande information. Intressant läsning.

Child: ”I am so great an advocate of freedom that I would have everything done voluntarily.”


Tara Smith om den dygdige egoisten

Tara Smith är filosofiprofessor vid University of Texas i Austin och författare till böckerna Moral Rights and Political Freedom, Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality och Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist. Den 13 maj var hon i Stockholm inbjuden av Timbro för att föreläsa om Ayn Rands filosofi. En bra introduktion och föredraget finns på Timbros hemsida och på Youtube.

Läs även Joseph Rowlands artikel om altruismens inkonsekvens och Timothy Sandefurs bloggpost om altruism och evolution. (Har länkat till dem tidigare)

Tio sanningar som förändrade amerikansk historia

Snart är det 4 juli, datumet för den amerikanska självständighetsförklaringen, ett unikt frihetligt dokument som många amerikaner själva missat innebörden av.

Timothy Sandefur har på sin blogg listat ”Ten truths that changed American history”, med anledning av en lista på ”Ten lies that made American history”. Sandefur skriver: ”Some people enjoy emphasizing the “lies” of American history—and of course it is important to keep the dark side of our past in mind, and to remember how crucial skepticism is in a democracy. On the other hand, reverence is important, too, and an overemphasis on “the lies” can mislead, and can feed an ugly character trait: the self-flattering notion that you’re far too smart to fall for idealism.

Of course, our history and culture have also been profoundly shaped by great truths—and telling those truths often took far more courage than the opposite. At this time of year, especially, it’s worth pausing to think about ten great truths that changed, and continue to change, the United States.”

Läs om dem här!

Tidigare blogginlägg om självständighetsförklaringen.