Southampton University Libertarian Society


A monopoly on Morality and Praxis by sconzey
March 11, 2010, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Libertarianism, Views

The lovely Bella Gerens complains that Leftism is easy, because the Left claims a monopoly on both morality and praxis —

The left wing is the fashionable, the powerful, the self-styled intellectual faction of our modern West. It self-represents as the pinnacle of both reason (‘we are right’) and emotion (‘we are good’).

Even the right acknowledge that those on the Left are basically good people, that their hearts are in the right place, and the only grounds for disagreement with Leftism is whether or not the ends justify the means.

The Leftists are winning. Apart from the brief foray into Reaganism/Thatcherism, the progress over the last fifty years has been towards more and more State intervention. The poor are getting richer and the starving are being fed, but this is in spite of government, not because of it.

The ideological dominance of Progressivism has given rise to a certain kind of Liberal — Libertarians today are expert and attacking the Left. We point out the messed up incentives in the welfare state, we point to the waste and inflexibility in the NHS. Every proposal they make, every new initiative, we have an answer to, yet they’re still winning.

Why? Because whilst Libertarians can hack at the branches of Leftism — the new laws and initiatives — we’ve conceded the roots; we’ve conceded that Leftists are good people, and that Leftism is a correct ideology.

This is wrong. It is we who have the monopoly on both the good and the correct:
On Morality: Ayn Rand has made the moral case for capitalism — a man enslaved to the needs of his brothers is as much as slave as he is to the plantation-owner.

On Praxis: Liberal Capitalism is the best method not just for sating our evil capitalist greed, but for achieving all those things the Left claim to hold dear too.

  • Abolishing absolute poverty: Liberal Capitalist economies have seen rising wages and decreasing costs of living over the past two hundred years.
  • Increasing human happiness: Liberal Capitalism permits individuals to make their own decisions about what makes them happy, rather than having a one-size-fits-all definition imposed on them.
  • World Peace: Economic freedom is strongly correlated with peace and political stability. If men are trading with eachother, they will not fight.
  • Environmental Protection: Economic Freedom is strongly correlated with increased environmental protection.
  • Working time and Child Labour: The most free countries in the world can afford to abolish child labour, and have shorter working hours.
  • Universal Healthcare: Liberal Capitalism brings new healthcare innovations to extend life expectancy, and makes old ones cheaper and affordable to all. Those in the most free countries can expect to live 20 years longer than those in the least free.

It’s time to stop attacking Leftism; it’s time to stop being the nay-sayers, the no-voters, the abstainers and rejectionists. Classical Liberalism has the potential to achieve everything Progressives desire, and empirical evidence clearly demonstrating past success. Lets sell Liberalism to the Left.

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