Download e-book for iPad: Anti-libertarianism: Markets, philosophy and myth by Alan Haworth

By Alan Haworth

Loose marketeers declare that theirs is the one fiscal mechanism which respects and furthers human freedom. Socialism, they are saying, has been completely discredited. such a lot libertarians deal with the kingdom in whatever except its minimum, 'nightwatchman' shape as a repressive embodiment of evil. a few reject the country altogether.
But is the 'free industry proposal' a rationally defensible trust? Or do its proponents fail to check the philosophical roots in their so-called freedom? Anti-libertarianism takes a sceptical examine the conceptual tenets of unfastened marketplace politics. Alan Haworth argues that libertarianism is little greater than an unfounded, quasi-religious assertion of religion: a industry romance. additionally, libertarianism is uncovered as profoundly antithetical to the very freedom which it purports to advance.
This debatable publication is for someone drawn to the cultural and political influence of loose industry rules at the glossy international. it will likely be helpful to scholars and experts of political and fiscal concept, social technology and philosophy.

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This means, for a start, that appeals to the historical record are Page 26 beside the point. For example, it would be all too tempting to try to argue against Hayek by pointing out that history supplies numerous examples of capitalist economies existing contemporaneously with brutal totalitarian regimes (Hitler’ s Germany, Salazar’ s Portugal, Pinochet’ s Chile, much of the Middle East, and so on), but the open-minded stance requires the assumption that, until things have been proven otherwise, the explanation for the nature of the regime has nothing to do with the nature of the prevailing economic arrangements in these cases.

Before I say why, just to make sure that I’ ve made the point clear, let me summarise what I take the distinction between ‘ weak’ and ‘ strong’ negativism to be. Page 44 First, weak (Austinian) negativism is, in effect, the claim that freedom is merely the absence of constraint. That might seem tautologously uninformative, ‘ constraint’ being definable as ‘ anything which limits freedom’ , but for Austin it gains bite from the supposed existence of a constituency of ordinary language using antithesis recognisers capable of telling the genuine constraint from the bogus.

That said, though, might there not be other reasons for drawing the libertarian conclusion, reasons which are independent of Berlin ’ s ‘ official’ negativist stance? There might be, because there do, on the face of it, seem to be two independent reasons for accepting claim 3. Berlin offers one in the form of his ‘ common sense ’ appeals to a certain type of simple example Page 51 – the type of example in which a person is obviously free to do some given action, but is nevertheless unable to do it.

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