Re: capitalist religion (was: NANO: _Forbes_ cover story)

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Thu Jul 19 2001 - 09:11:20 MDT

On Thursday, July 19, 2001 3:07 AM Russell Blackford
> >You need to study the work of, among others, Daniel Klein. See:
> Okay, okay, cool. Thanks. I'll have a look when there's a moment. I'm
> prepared to learn something.

Great! I think Klein has done some excellent work in this area, though he
is by no means the first to dip into the area of private roads and
privatizing them. Murray Rothbard's classic _For a New Liberty_, first
published in the early 1970s, also covers the issue.

>>What is the difference between classical liberalism and libertarianism? I
>>think the two share a lot of common ground.
> No doubt. Of course, it depends on which version of classical liberalism
> adopt and which version of libertarianism. I especially have in mind John
> Stuart Mill, on one hand, and Robert Nozick on the other, perhaps just
> because these are the thinkers I happen to have studied with some

Well, the problem here is that both classical liberals and libertarians are
a mixed bunch, like any other political grouping.

Even during their lifetimes, these thinkers went through changes. Mill
became more a socialist later in life. Nozick has become more a welfare
statist of late.

> However, I really mean by "classical liberal" little more than the
> of Enlightenment liberal thought, as opposed to "liberal" in the American
> sense, which seems to mean something very like "socialist" or at least
> "philosophical egalitarian". Of course, the American "liberals" doubtless
> claim to be the true heirs and successors of the Enlightenment.

I think liberalism in America today means many things, but I do agree it's
very different from classical [19th century] liberalism. I'm not sure if
I'd call it socialist, though it is definitely NOT capitalist. Most so
called American liberals are welfare statists -- they generally want a
mixture of freedom and controls.

> Nor do I mean the Australian sense of "Liberal", which is damn close to
> "social conservative".

I don't know as much about the Australian political scene...

> I'd say that people from the classical liberal tradition come in all
> and sizes in their preparedness to raise and spend taxes. When I think of
> "libertarians" I have in mind positions which effectively state that
> taxation is theft. I don't rule out that idea but I want to bracket it off
> from most of what I'm doing.

A few libertarians think that some level of taxation is okay, but they are
very few. Also, they want this level to be very low and to only fund a
minarchist state. Murray Franck, an Objectivist, is one example of such.
He's argued in _Full Context_ and _The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies_, for
taxation, but only for minarchical government.

> I'm happy to talk about this a bit further but I really don't want to
> a lot of time on this thread. However much I might be interested in
> designing a libertarian utopia, my much higher priority at the moment is
> working out how to disseminate the longevity meme and win the campaign
> against the luddites.

I don't think utopia is possible. I think radical social change is what one
should aim for. What's the difference? I kind of accept Chris Sciabarra's
views on the subject here. Rather than burden this already overburdened
list and thread with more on this -- I'm trying to participate less and less
on this particular thread; it's taking up too much time for me at the
moment -- just take a peek at his site at


Daniel Ust
    See "The Many Births of Free Verse" at:

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