Sunday, September 30, 2012

Libertarians Explained...

Phone call for Mr. Overwater:  The UNauthoritarian personality is a Libertarian.

Interesting article in the WSJ, by Matt Ridley.  Excerpt:

In his recent book "The Righteous Mind," Dr. Haidt confronted liberal bafflement and made the case that conservatives are motivated by morality just as liberals are, but also by a larger set of moral "tastes"—loyalty, authority and sanctity, in addition to the liberal tastes for compassion and fairness. Studies show that conservatives are more conscientious and sensitive to disgust but less tolerant of change; liberals are more empathic and open to new experiences.

But ideology does not have to be bipolar. It need not fall on a line from conservative to liberal. In a recently published paper, Ravi Iyer from the University of Southern California, together with Dr. Haidt and other researchers at the data-collection platform, dissect the personalities of those who describe themselves as libertarian.

These are people who often call themselves economically conservative but socially liberal. They like free societies as well as free markets, and they want the government to get out of the bedroom as well as the boardroom. They don't see why, in order to get a small-government president, they have to vote for somebody who is keen on military spending and religion; or to get a tolerant and compassionate society they have to vote for a large and intrusive state.

With a nod to MAG.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Thanks to Mungo for the link and to WSJ. I found it during an hour of National Public Radio -- which is a nearly continuous free advertisement for the D&R Duopoly. It was a breath of fresh air -- I hope the Great Libertarian Pessimist, John Stossel, sees it.

Still, the penultimate conclusion is wrong. Ridley says, "for libertarians, liberty is an end in itself, trumping all other moral values." No. Liberty is the means by which people can have moral values. Wherever there is no liberty, moral values are irrelevant. Liberty is the underpinning of all morality.