Patrick Deneen Gets at the Heart of the Matter

Here. Progressivism and Marxism are siblings, not opposites, of libertarianism: they are all the children of classical liberalism and its creation of the atomic individual. The libertarian conception of the individual, far from being a way to oppose the gargantuan state, leads directly to its growth.

He quotes Nisbett: "the real conflict in modern political history has not been, as is so often stated, between the State and individual, but between the State and social group."

8 comments:

  1. A conflict between government and the individual seems equivalent to being a conflict between the government and society (social group).

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    1. I am confused: If the state brings suit against the Green Bay Packers, you think that is the same as if they sue Aaron Rodgers?

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    2. It's confusing in the abstract. What you're trying to say, I think, is that government is opposed to the more 'organic' connections in a community. Am I correct?

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    3. My preference would be a sort of passive government. You could call it separation of society and state.

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    4. It can be. And the modern, ever-expanding state usually is.

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    5. I meant more along the lines of Lao Tzu's "invisible government" wherein governmental institutions (i.e., law enforcement, courts, legislatures) are on standby like an electronic device in battery saver mode. I've been wondering (for a while) what an expanding state would look like. Would it look like Finland or Sweden? Would its laws be proactive rather than reactive (i.e., direction versus restriction)? Or would it be more like an assistant that's alongside oneself all the way? While a government like that wouldn't be dictatorial, it would be analogous to a helicopter parent and a wrank annoyance/nuisance. One person said elsewhere on the internet that Sweden embodies a kind of "statist individualism".

      After having read your article Why Libertarians Should Be Concerned with the History of Political Thought and pondering it and my current political thoughts I came to the conclusion that left and right designations are too simplistic and that political schools of thought can really be orthogonal to each other. The bit in there about Aristotle gave me a different perspective on the matter. If my understanding is correct, then you're of the belief that liberalism (general meaning) is responsible for what we have today because it sought to overturn everything. Am I correct?

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  2. Libertarianism is liberalism reductio ad absurdum

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    1. Liberalism is more about freedom and libertarianism is more about property (depending on the versions, of course).

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