Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Young Aristotelian Libertarians

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Young Aristotelian Libertarians

Another lightbulb went on today as regards the crazed Libertarians in relation to the Aristotelian Principle from Rawls' book on justice. As a brief review, Rawls argued that people were naturally motivated to excel, to seek to be the best people they could be. At the time it struck me as a ridiculous notion because most Americans (and lots of people elsewhere) have pretty clearly become couch potatoes. But ridiculous? Now I'd say "Not so much." It's a matter of age. Children really are driven by a kind of Aristotelian Principle because they eagerly want to grow up and become adults with full control over their own lives.

The concrete and probably genetically predisposed manifestation is that children love to play games. They just naturally want to spend lots of time playing, and they really do want to win and hone their skills. Without any incentives, they also want to learn or even create new games. Children really do have the kind of boundless enthusiasm that Rawls was claiming for humanity in general--but most of them grow out of it. I think that's mostly because as they grow they learn about the larger world and realize that there are always other more skilled and more creative players, so they realize they can't win. Or maybe the main influence is the need to go to work every day? Anyway, for whatever reason, most adults don't play as much as children or with the same boundless enthusiasm.

How does that relate to the Libertarians? They are quite like children in that they think they are going to win the game of life and they therefore deserve ALL the spoils of victory--just like children. The main thrust of Rand's writings was that the superlatively creative people are the only ones who should decide what they do, and the rest of the human scum are basically just parasites benefiting from their generosity in sharing their 'divine' creativity.

One of the pundits was describing Ron Paul's Libertarian supports as mostly being young, enthusiastic males. I'd like to see the demographics. but it certainly seems highly plausible. Libertarianism as a immature phase that they mostly grow out of? How many old Libertarians have you seen?

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As a blogger from before there were blogs, I've concluded what I write is of little interest to the reading public. My current approach is to treat these blogs as notes, with the maturity indicated by the version number. If reader comments show interest, I will probably add some flesh to the skeletons...