Thursday, June 29, 2017

Chris Dillow doesn't get libertarianism

Chris Dillow - why libertarians should read Marx. All good points, but:

There’s astonishingly little in Marx about a centrally planned economy: if you want an argument for central planning, you should read that hero of the right, Ronald Coase instead (pdf). Marx was admiring of capitalism in some respects. It has, he wrote, given “an immense development to commerce” and has “accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals.” And I think you’d be surprised by just how much attention Marx paid to the facts: once you get past the first few chapters, there’s massive empirical work in Capital volume I*. And there are many differences between Marx and social democrats – not least of them being that Marx was no statist.

What’s more, many of the ideas associated with Marx were largely elaborations of his predecessors: Paul Samuelson called him a “minor post-Ricardian”. The labour theory of value, the interest in the division of income between classes and the idea of a falling rate of profit are all as Ricardian as Marxian.

The problem is, Chris, that libertarians don't give a shit about resisting state power. If they did, they wouldn't be advocating transvaginal ultrasounds, criminalizing labour bargaining power, and so on.

Libertarians are libertarians because they hate the poors. So if Marx is advocating for the poors, he's the enemy of libertarianism. Full stop.


  1. Interesting, but I think saying "criminalizing labour bargaining power" Is an over simplification of the libertarian position. Not to say I don't poses my own qualms with libertarianism, but relative to the other purely ideological and totally impractical ideologies (ancoms and ancaps) I think it's the least iniqiutous of the bunch. At least the concept of personal responsibility has practical implications.

    I disagree with categorizing libertarian, or classical liberals for that matter, as holding their belief "because they hate the poor". You know, supposing that someone holds a belief about how people ought to organize society/themselves as stemming from something entirely nefarious is probably not true for the entirety of people who subscribe to any specific belief....i think they believe it's better for them as well.

    I always understood that libertarians held their beliefs because they thought that their solution helped the poor, as opposed the a welfare state.

    That "libertarians dont give a shit about opposing state power"...who are talking about exactly? Ron Paul? Because I thought that resisting state power was a crux of their belief system.

    PS....who cares what Marx says half the time. In one writing he admires some achievements of the economics of capitalism and in others he disregards it entirely as bourgeois musing intended the stop the pleb from organizing.

    When are you going to write posts about BTO...i miss those days.

  2. Interesting note about libertarians here: