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|Author:||ect [ Sat Sep 29, 2007 8:37 am ]|
|Post subject:||Libertarian Paternalism|
This sounds like what Ralph Nader describes as corporate socialism, the privatization of profit and the socialization of risks and misconduct.
Libertarians often lament that liberals “stole” the term “liberal,” which once meant “libertarian,” and corrupted it to mean a support of the welfare state, the exact opposite of what libertarians stand for. But haven’t libertarians been doing the same thing for many years with the term “libertarian” by promoting conservative reform plans of liberal socialist programs in the name of libertarianism? Isn’t that why there are now people saying that “libertarian paternalism” is on the ascendancy?
Obviously the arguments for libertarianism are significantly different from those in favor of reform. For example, suppose a libertarian who is advancing libertarianism and a libertarian who calls for reform of socialist programs are giving speeches in front of the same audience. The libertarian must convince people to challenge the role of the state in such areas as education, health care, and highways, not a simple task, especially since nearly everyone has grown up with state involvement in these fields. On the other hand, all the reformer has to do is tell people, “You don’t have to give up any of your programs. I’m here to tell you how to improve them with free-market principles.”
...why should people conclude that eradication is desirable, when the reformer himself has convinced them that their socialist programs are capable of being reformed and improved with “free-market” plans? If the reformer himself doesn’t believe in libertarianism enough to call for it openly and forthrightly, how likely is it that the person who accepts his call for reform will become a stronger advocate of eradication than the reformer? Moreover, once the reform is adopted, the reformer himself has a vested interest in the success of his reform, which obviously means keeping the program in existence.
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