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People of all ideological identities are welcome to post here. Ideologies may be based on wrong facts, but for the purposes of this subreddit, no ideology is wrong by itself. We are here to mock wrong facts, not wrong opinions. As such, posts mocking people for their ideology or political beliefs will be removed.
Neo-reaction is a 21st century variant of fascism: a new ideology that values stability, order, efficiency and "good governance" above all, or claims to.For reasons that will be covered later, it will become clear that trying to lump Neo-reaction in with Fascism doesn't work.
Comprehensive list of the backbone of neo-reactionary values part 1, transhumanismI wouldn't say it's a backbone, but sure, that's ok.
part 2, form of governmentMostly correct. Eric Schmidt, Elon Musk or Peter Thiel are often given as an example of what a ruler should look like. Given the lack of any political organization beyond blogging, any proposal to actually make one of these a leader isn't serious. I cannot find any indication on the claim that Neo-reactionaries hope to become the aristocrats themselves.
part 3, the CathedralI would have listed this first. Doesn't go into enough detail to criticise anything here.
part 4, NationalismMisunderstands that Nationalism has to do with Nationality and not Continent of Birth. Misunderstands the conception of why Neoreaction considers (Insert group here) better. See Moldbug's comment on "IQism" here to see the lineage of Neoreaction's apparent preference for certain ethnicities. Like typical racists, Neoreactionaries believe that certain races are more intelligent than others. Unlike typical racists, Neoreactionaries do not believe that intelligence should determine how successful people are. Indeed, Moldbug even argues that our societies have simply replaced overt racism with a subtler racism via discrimination towards the less intelligent (which just so happens to correlate strongly with race according to moldbug). It is from this that Neoreaction's bizarre appearance of East Asian "nationalism" appears. Some Neoreactionaries, despite being of European descent, believe that East Asians are more intelligent.
Part 5, economicsThe authors lumping together of the disparate, unrelated Austrian and Chicago economics proves that they understand neither. Austrian and Chicago economics occasionally advocate the same policy (free trade). They disagree on far more. Most importantly, Austrian economists oppose Fiat Money while Chicago economists place extensive focus on governments issuing fiat currency and see it as perhaps the most valuable tool the government has available to it for management of the economy. They are not linked by methodology. Nor are they linked by History: Chicago Economics is a descendant of Keynesian economics.
Part 6, extreme misogynyVaries by specific author. To give one example, I see nothing from Moldbug that endorses rape. What little he says on the subject is actually via quotation criticizing liberalism as endorsing rape during wartime. Given this variation, I find it hard to place misogyny to the extent the author describes here as a backbone of Neoreaction. It may well be very strongly present, but "backbone" implies that Neoreaction would cease to be Neoreaction if you removed it.
Part 7, Warhammer 40,000A bunch of video-game related in-jokes do not a backbone of an ideology make.
Part 8, an obsession with CuckoldryTrump Supporters are not Neoreactionaries, but I'll get to that later.
the "academic pole, exemplified in LessWrongLessWrong is not an academic pole of Neoreaction so much as one of the rare places that will occasionally vaguely tolerate their presence, and hence were the first to critique their ideas. Surveys conducted internally by the community in 2014 put the presence of Neoreactionaries at a mere 1.9%.
and the blogs of the main theorists of the movementCorrect, though I wouldn't call it a movement due to the total lack of political campaigning or advocacy.
And the alt-right poleTime to win me some downvotes.
neo-reactionary ideas are quite common in Silicon ValleyWithout data here it's hard to say what the author means by quite common.
Transhumanism I define to be a collection of movements aimed at improving and enhancing humanity through technological means. Almost immediately, we see a precursor, and one which influenced the previous reactionary ideology of 20th century fascism: eugenics.This is the most damnable lie in the entire piece.
But let us not tar all transhumanism with eugenics, though it must carry it's historical burdenIt's not Transhumanists that need to carry it's burden. They weren't responsible for it's crimes. Those would be actual fascists and Fabians.
though the more homophobic and transphobic element are looking for biological bases for gay-ness and trans-ness to include them here.I'm sure those scientists researching the mechanisms behind Transgenderism and Homosexuality will be pleased to hear these crass, derogatory comments from the author.
GamergateThe proportion of Neoreactionaries in Gamergate is minuscule as to be non-existent. Indeed, there's not even enough Neoreactionaries to make up a significant part of Gamergate even if they were all involved in Gamergate.
Raymond piggybacked off of Stallman's concept of free software to create a version more appealing for corporations: open source.Unsupported motive assumption.
for here can be seen the origin of the neo-reactionary term "Cathedral" - it is in the title of Raymond's essay "The Cathedral and the Bazaar", though the meaning was somewhat different, referring in Raymond's essay to a centralized model of software development."Somewhat Different" is the understatement of a lifetime. Those meanings aren't related at all. It looks like the Author here just searched for someone using the term "Cathedral" in the 90s and chucked in the first mention of it as the source of the term.
The Bell CurveControversial? Yes. Flawed? Of course. But to blanket it as a "psuedo-scientific work" is to overstate the criticism here. It's heavily disputed, and to simply paint over that dispute with a "It's wrong" is inaccurate, especially without citation
Evolutionary PsychologyAgain, the author slanders a field of research they seem to not know anything about. The author should at least cite something here instead of taking "It's wrong" as a given.
The Economist is Libertarian
I can speak to this firsthand, as I know many people who do thisCare to cite any? No. Ok.
Dark age of comic books is a source of neo-reactionThis is so stupid as to be barely worth my effort.
The God Emperor of MankindIs a meme from a kitschy British Tabletop Wargame community. The Imperium of Man is very consistently shown as an inept, poorly managed chaotic mess of a government that can't even figure out what planets it still owns, hardly a model Neoreactionary system.
Wolfenstein 3D, Doom, Quake and Half-LifeAnyone still taking this work seriously at this point should reconsider their presence on this subreddit. This is "Heavy Metal is actually Satanic" Tier moral panic.
South Park Republican is a precursor to Alt Right.Guess we are going to have to go further back historically than google trends. This should do. Came to prominence by 1992. South Park began in 1997.
Orion's Arm is NRx-er's Future VisionsHere the author completely mixes up Rationalists (Eliezer Yudkowsky onwards) and Neoreaction (which makes up a mere 2% of people present in the Rationalist community).
Irrelevant comparison of Pinochet and Patriot Act based on them sharing a date on a calenderIs totally irrelevant.
Bad Philosophy on Positivism, Karl Popper etcYou'd be better visiting /badphilosophy on this one
New Atheists were invented to justify IslamophobiaAnyone with even a cursory understanding of the background of New Atheism would know that their primary target has long been Evangelical Protestantism.
The science wars of the late 90s and Alan Sokal.Someone's bitter at catastrophically losing the science wars.
Bitcoin and Austrian EconomicsTrue hardcore Austrian Economists would be unfavourable towards bitcoin as it's still a fiat currency. However, I understand (as, hopefully, so does the author) why certain people who gravitate at the fringes of Austrian Economics but don't study it in-depth might like Bitcoin.
Author drops what they're doing to insult Libertarians as not respectableIf this is indeed the quality of work by those who backed the anti-Sokal side of the Science Wars, then no wonder they lost catastrophically.
Author drops what they're doing to insult Ludwig von Misessigh... get on with the fucking point.
Chicago School is tied too closely with the crisis.The dominant Economic school in 2007, and today, is "New Keynesian". Again, demonstrating that the Author here doesn't actually know what they are talking about regarding economics and is just using "Austrian" and "Chicago" as snarl words for "Bad thing".
Author drops what they're doing to shoehorn in the Koch Brothers somewhereGet on with the fucking point.
Sudden jump to Curtis Yarvin mid-paragraph on LessWrongNeedless to say, this betrays how weak the link between these subjects is.
though he [Mencius Moldbug] did not call himself, initially, "neo-reactionary": he preferred to call himself a "Formalist" or a "Neocameralist" (after his hero, Frederick the Great).Correct, but this isn't exactly worthy of congratulations.
Later in the speech, Srinivasan went through the whole gamut of neo-reactionary ideas: Bitcoin, corporate city-states, 3d-printed firearms, anti-democratic transhumanism.All of these ideas predate Neo-Reaction. Nor are these ideas limited to Neo-reaction. I These fucking mysterious magical time travelling fascists.
Neo-reaction grew immensely outside of it's Bay Area base in the wake of the financial crisisWe have no data on the number of supporters of Neo-reaction. However, we do have some data on how much people were searching for it online. The conclusion is...
Right-wing media blamed teachers and immigrants [for the financial crisis]No. It did not blame teachers for the financial crisis.
Liberal Claptrap NonsenseAgain betraying the distinctly unprofessional, unacademic nature of this work.
Lets wave around our hate boner for the IMFGreat, but can you get on with the fucking point again?
Origins of 4chanThe author probably should have mentioned that 4chan was effectively a split from SomethingAwful, something which I feel is essential for any description of 4chan's early history.
surrounding racism, misogyny, homophobia, and transphobia was the centrepiece of the culture.Go tell that they're homophobic. They will have a laugh.
and so the userbase quickly became limited to young white cis straight menGo tell that they're cis straight men. They will have a laugh.
Stormfront took over 4chan.This is indeed vaguely correct, but it underestimates just how underhanded this takeover was. It was not a natural migration. Stormfront had long made deliberate effort to infiltrate various communities (including 4chan) with it's ideas. The most obvious calling card for a Stormfront attempt to infiltrate something is the phrase "Anti-Racist is code for Anti-White".
Harassment tactics originated on USENETActually, these Harassment tactics originated on SomethingAwful, which is how 4chan ended up inheriting them.
women, people of colour, and LGBT people always had played games.Indeed, this shouldn't even need to be stated. A good example of a prominent early LGBT developer would be Danielle Bunten Berry.
Gamergaters are annoyed at games not about war or technologyNo. This is not the kind of game that Gamergaters got annoyed about. If they did get annoyed about any specific kind of game, it was Advocacy Games and the genre known as "Interactive Narrative Experiences" or something to that effect, or more colloquially called "Walking simulators".
Called for serious critique and then called against serious critiqueCritique of Critique is legitimate Critique.
Precedents of GamergateThey missed out Doritosgate.
Fish disappeared from the internet.The disappearance of Phil Fish is a bit more complicated than "Gamergate did it" and it mostly happened in 2013 after telling someone to kill themselves. Them mysterious magical time travelling fascist gamergaters!
LGBT people in gamergate don't exist and are all sockpuppets.You're currently reading a text written by a bisexual individual who is vaguely, slightly pro-gamergate. This author is alleging that I don't exist. Talk about bisexual erasure.
Soon, the neo-reactionaries noticed, and affiliated themselves with GamerGate:...Here we get a list of individuals that the Author believes are Neoreactionaries.
They began to pressure advertisers and Wikipedia, among others, and attempted to hijack the Hugo Awards through the Sad/Rabid Puppies campaignSad puppies doesn't come from Gamergate. This can be demonstrated simply by looking at the date of formation of the Sad Puppies voting campaign. It was formed in January 2013, while Gamergate begun in 2014. Those evil mysterious magical time travelling fascist goobergaters!
When his [moldbug's] past was brought up by concerned people of colourWhich incidentally gave Neoreaction the largest dose of adrenaline it has ever received and, unfortunately, staved off it's passage into obscurity and total irrelevance (instead of just being almost totally irrelevant).
"sometimes I think Mencius Moldbug is the greatest living political thinker".Strangely, not too far out there. His ideas may be absolutely abominable, but who else in the 21st century can claim to have almost single-handedly founded a new political ideology: Not many. "Great" should be taken as "Influential", not "Good".
The alt right converted Tay into a Nazi.Given the Black-box nature of Tay's programming and learning systems, it's not actually possible to verify any of this.
Schizoanalyst (or a Psychoanalyst)Given the author's prior criticism of Psuedoscience, it seems comical to bring up Psychoanalysis here.
In order to contain the alt-right, we must stop this.The first step to stopping the alt-right is good criticism of the alt-right. Same with Neo-reaction. Unfortunately, this isn't it.
Fascism can't be defeated by debateFascism was significantly removed from post-War Germany not because all the Nazis were dead, but because of the process of Denazification, which indeed used debate techniques such as emphisizing the moral responsibility that low-level Nazi supporters (such as your average voter) had for the crime. Stuff like this (warning corpses). Fascism wasn't defeated by rounding up everyone who ever supported Hitler and gunning them down (or beating the shit out of them). Indeed, to stoop to the level of political para-militarism to defeat fascism is to accept fascism itself, for political intimidation and "cleansing" of the opposition through para-militarism is essentially Fascism's defining feature.
Lets doxx all the Neoreactionaries.There's that "Fight paramilitarism with paramilitarism" tactic I just mentioned. Oh dear. How predictable.
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|Do you think the relative unpopularity of economic liberty (laissez faire) as a policy is due to people's lack of knowledge or some predilection in favor of tangible, sold 'plans' over the unpredictability of freedom? Or neither or some mix of both?||All great questions. I think your instinct is right here: people prefer the (false) security of a "plan" than the more open-ended promise of market discovery. Part of the way to deal with that is to point out how often those plans fail and their propensity to generate unintended consequences that make matters WORSE and then generate a demand for more intervention, etc..|
|As a followup, how do you convince people to put their faith in free markets and free people without promising some specific plan or specific outcome? Saying "the free market will fix it" doesn't seem satisfying to most people.||If you can't trust a lot of people to solve smaller problems in decentralized ways with a functioning feedback process, how can you trust a small number to solve big problems with a crappy feedback process?|
|Do you support open borders? If so, do you think a large enough influx of immigrants from a different culture could produce such negative externalities in the process of assimilation that on net, they destroy more wealth than they create?||My friend Bryan Caplan did an AMA a little while back and I have the same views as he does on open borders, which is keep 'em wide open. I don't fear the scenario you lay out here because there's no history to support it. Immigrants who come here do so because they want to make their lives better and help their families in the process. As they assimilate, they will not just complete "become us," we will become more like them. Thinik about all the ways in which what was once immigrant food and culture have become part of who we are as Americans (that pizza you're eating..). Assimilation is a two-way street and has many more positive than negative externalities. Plus, it's a simple matter of human rights and bleeding heart libertarianism that we should give those with the least all around the world the opportunity to make a better life for themselves by recognizing their right to move to where the opportunities are and create work and property contracts with those who live there. I simply cannot see how any libertarian can support anything less than open borders on both practical and moral grounds.|
|What is a bleeding heart libertarian?||I'd also like to tackle this one early. BHLs come in various flavors. What we all seem to share is that we think the primary moral concern of libertarians, if not any political philosophy, should be how well our preferred system will do for the least well off among us. For some of my BHL colleagues is is that concern that is the moral justification for any system, i.e., libertarianism is only moral justified in so far as it improves the lives of the least well off. For others, like me, it's more about rhetoric and style. I believe that libertarianism DOES serve their interests very well, but I think it's more that we should focus our arguments and our rhetoric on that point, rather than thinking it serves as the ultimate moral justification.|
|BHLs generally believe that libertarianism can meet the ENDS of our leftist friends concerned with social justice but through the MEANS of freedom.|
|So "a rising tide lifts all boats" will now be stated as...hmmm... "Free people make better choice for themselves and have better outcomes"?||It lifts ALL boats, but it also lifts the LEAST WELL OFF boats the most.|
|Not much freedom if you are poor.||How about "you're far more likely to be poor if you have no freedom." The Berlin Wall was not there to keep people in WEST Germany.|
|WARNING: I am a Marxist, please do not be alarmed. With that out of the way, I was wondering if you could answer this question from a Libertarian standpoint: With industry as vast and as awe-inspiring as it is today I was wondering why you think it is still a good idea to continue the practice of private ownership over the goods that industry produces? It seems to me that, in light of current global economic "problems" (to say the least), we could simply cut the bullshit. Put people into industries, have them (the workers) collectively run the workplace. With people who aren't concerned with competition but cooperation it seems that they would most likely focus on lifting themselves (them being the community of whichever particular area, town,city,village,whatever) out of poverty, and if we continue this practice across countries, the entire globe even, it seems that we could lift massive amounts of poverty and ignorance off of millions of people. Why bother bickering about this-or-that style of Capitalism, why not just throw the damn thing overboard, like we did feudalism, and finally start using industry for more than profit hoarding and worthless vanity items?||THanks for the question. I think you radically undersestimate the problems of determining how to use resources in ways that improve economic well-being. First, markets ARE about cooperation. Did you make your shirt? I'm guessing not. That shirt was make through the cooperation of millions of people from across the globe, coordinating their activity through the prices, profits, and losses of the market. Markets are the most powerful form of social cooperation (and globally so) that humans have ever discovered. You need to get beyond the competition/cooperation binary.|
|Second, in order to know how best to use resource to improve people's lives, we need to know their value. That requires a standard of comparison that relates back to people's wants and needs. And that is what prices do. Monetary exchange and the price system are form of extra-linguistic communication that enable us to assess value. To have meaningful prices, we need them to arise from actual exchanges by real people in real markets. And that requires private ownership, especially of capital. How would all of these firms know 1) what to make 2) how to make it? It is market prices, profits, and loss that facilitate the social learning process that enables us to answer these questions.|
|Profit is a social signal and what justifies using markets is that they are the only way we have of answering all of these questions about what to produce and how to produce it. If we get rid of markets, we are not giving the tin man a heart, we are Oedipus poking out our eyes.|
|What do you think of the latest developments affecting the bitcoin ecosystem?||To be honest, I don't follow bitcoin that closely. I have long believed that we need to get rid of central banks, so I'm in favor of anything that creates an alternative to central banking, thus I"m rooting for bitcoin. But I'm also skeptical about it because I'm not convinced it will be anything more than a niche way of engaging in very sophisticated multi-lateral barter, but with limits. That said, I want it to stick around if for no other reason than to show folks that you don't need government to get sound money. Because... you don't.|
|How would we regulate the economy without central banks?||The history of economies without central banks and with truly competitive monetary systems is that they are much more stable and much less prone to bank failures and monetary mischief than ones with central banks. Canada did not have a central bank til the 1930s and never had the problems the US did. Link to www.coordinationproblem.org|
|Prof. Horwitz, given your work on family, what changes do you think should be considered to welfare policies?||In my ideal libertarian world, the need for such assistance would be far less and it would be provided by the various institutions of civil society. If you haven't read Dave Beito's From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State, there's the place to start. If the state is going to be involved, I would like to see two kinds of related changes. We need to get away from welfare systems that create perverse incentives that discourage the formation of healthy families. The tax/welfare system is so full of special interest nonsense that it creates huge incentives for poor folks not to get married, when doing so can be one (but not the only) way to help them climb the income ladder. The second change is to move toward some sort of basic guaranteed income program. It's not my first best, but it's far better than the status quo. If nothing else, it has far less overhead cost to taxpayers and gets rid of many of the perverse incentives of the current welfare system, especially with respect to marriage adn families. It's also FAR less intrusive on people's privacy.|
|Wouldn't guaranteed income give people even more of an incentive not to work?||It's not clear that it's worse than the status quo and at far less cost. But yes, that's a potential problem and the literature on BGI tries to deal with it. You should google the recent discussion of this topic on bleeding heart libertarians.|
|Wouldn't a UBI be a forced redistribution of wealth that flies in the face of the non-aggression principal?||Again, it's a second best.|
|Plus, I don't ground my libertarianism in the non-aggression principle. If you could show me that a world with a large government was better than a world with a small or non-existent one, I'd be fine with the large government. I care about consequences first and foremost.|
|Are there any areas of research where you'd like to see more libertarians focusing their efforts? Are there any areas that draw too much focus from libertarians? Thank you for doing an AMA!||In general, there's too many damn economists! I think there are a ton of interesting questions that we should be tackling with more gusto. I'd like to see us do more on family and children, which is why I am working on a book on that topic, but I'd like to see it from a variety of perspectives, such as psychology. I don't think libertarians have done enough history. There are so many interesting historical episodes that could benefit from a reading through the eyes of Mises or Hayek or other libertarian thinkers, including outside economics. I'd love an army of young libertarian scholars taking on those topics, especially the ones related to race and gender, to show how the standard readings of those events, which tend to support bigger government, actually tend to show that government causes way more problems than it cures.|
|What is your opinion on the Civil Rights Act of 1964?||The CRA did two things. One, it banned government sponsored discrimination such as that associated with Jim Crow (and let's not forget that Jim Crow was the state and that many private firms opposed it). Two, it banned private discrimination on the basis of race - the counter at Woolworth's.|
|The first was a HUGE gain for liberty and I obviously support it strongly. One element of libertarianism/classical liberalism is that IF there's a state, it must treat all citizens the same. Equality before the law is a libertarian principle.|
|The second was a loss for liberty - the loss of freedom of association and that's a bad thing. On net, the gains of the CRA, in my view, strongly outweighed the losses, and in the imperfect world of politics, it was the best anyone was going to get in 1964. Had I been in Congress as a libertarian, I would have voted for it.|
|One additional note though: with the advent of fast communications technology and the net, the belief that markets and civil society could not sufficiently punish private discriminators seems farfetched. Can you imagine what people would do on Yelp (or here!) if a restaurant put up a "no blacks served" sign? Or a "no gays" one? It's harder for bigots to hide these days, esp. when the tolerance level for those behaviors is so low.|
|So yes, the CRA wasn't perfect from a libertarian perspective, but it was a big improvement.|
|What is one thing you believe that most libertarians do not? Or: What is one thing you disagree with most libertarians about?||I love this question. I think the answer to both is the same: I am much more sympathetic to feminism, even of the non-libertarian sort, than are most libertarians. The result is a lot of arguments. I think that libertarians have done to feminism exactly what libertarians accuse others of doing to us: taking the most extreme and silly people as representative of what's typical. My experience of 25 years in academia with lots of left feminists is that the libertarian caricature of them is simply unrecognizable. Yes, that caricature exists, but those are the Alex Jones's of feminism - they are not the typical one, even among academics.|
|What's the state of libertarianism in other parts of the world? Not only in Europe, but perhaps in Asia, Africa and Latin America? How's it'views in Austria? :-) What do you think happens in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Cayman Islands, is libertarian philosophy used to justify part of the status quo there? Are you in contact with any intellectual from there? Where is libertarianism, as an offical party, is stronger and where has it won elections, finally if so, how did it go? TKS!||I have never been more optimistic about the growth and influence of libertarian ideas globally than I am now. In particulary, the growth of STudents for Liberty across the world as well as the ways in which technology has made ideas and resources available, along with the development of dozens of think tanks, are good evidence that these ideas are developing a presence and being heard globally.|
|What's the best financial advice you have for young people?||Let's start with an easy one: Pay your bills on time. Seriously. If you establish a reputation for being someone who lives up to their promises and understands the importance of financial trust, other things will follow from there. This is so important for things like your credit rating and the like. If you're in college or just out, this should be your priority. After that? Just remember that you will have a future and the future you will be happy that the present you did not put him/her in too much debt and that you saved something for a rainy day or two. But the easy best advice: pay your bills on time all the time.|
|So your saying paying 60,000 a year for SLU isn't a great investment.||It isn't for everyone! Depends on your net cost, your ability to handle debt, what you want to do with your life etc. For some people it is a great investment, not for others. I'm not someone who thinks everyone should go to college.|
|If state intervention is generally counterproductive, why do the Nordic/Western European countries rank higher than the United States does in quality of life, education, environment, etc.?||Because many of those countries actually have freer economies than the US, which now ranks 17th free across the globe, as the commenter below notes.|
|If you could debate any intellectual and/or public figure who would it be?||Rachel Maddow. I want to wipe that smug smile right off her face. :)|
|I would love to see that! Mostly because you're the one who's coming off smug right now.||Nicely played.|
|On election day, there are a lot of libertarians making a point of the fact they don't vote. Do you vote? How do libertarians expect to change government if you don't vote?||I do not vote. I don't think it's immoral/wrong to vote. I just think that's largely ineffective.|
|Social change comes from changing the climate of ideas, like doing an AMA, or teaching economics, or doing a program on House of Cards, or writing a letter to the editor, or dozens of other acts of engaged, concerned citizenship we might choose to engage in. Voting, to me, is just not an effective path to social change.|
|Is there a better term than "invisible hand" which is often mocked, to describe the invisible hand?||Great question. It shouldn't get the bad press it does, as Smith was a genius who people outside economics should be reading and taking way more seriously than they do. I tend to use "spontaneous order" which is usually associated with Hayek, though he got it from the philosopher-chemist Michael Polanyi. The idea is that the order of the market is the product of human action, but not human design. You can talk of "emergent order" as well, as "emergence" in that sense is hot in complexity theory and the sciences.|
|But I think the best way to do this, especially with lefitsts, is to make the analogies to evolution by natural selection. If people believe that the natural world is orderly but without a designer, then they should be open to the argument that the social world is too. If you think "Intelligent Design" is a joke in biology, then you should think "Intelligent Economic Planning" is the equivalent joke in economics. HEre's an old and short blog post of mine on this issue: Link to www.coordinationproblem.org|
|After NYTimes published an article attacking Rand Paul you made comments about how libertarians ought to "call out" people with racist/sexist et al attitudes within the movement; you also personally stated your refusal to cooperate with such persons, even in efforts against the state.||The answer to your last question is yes. I have plenty of libertarian friends who believe things I think are wrong, but we still work together productively. That's one of the healthiest signs in our movement - we HAVE disagreements and can work together in spite of them.|
|I was wondering, do you really believe there should be such red lines in the sand, even if you and the other person agree on a majority of public policy issues? If so, what is your own personal red line? Do you think it's possible for libertarians to cooperate on the issues they agree on whilst criticizing each other on the things they disagree on?||If a person or institution continually supports positions that I think are deeply wrong, and especially when I think that position also undermines the good work being done by other libertarians, we should call them out on it. Social pressure and shunning is not coercion. It's freedom of disassociation. And we should use it.|
|Steve, what do you say to "established" - read Keynesian economists who argue that libertarians are not "evidence" focused or logically consistent?||One thing I do is point them to the link below and open a discussion about what we mean by "evidence": Link to www.cato-unbound.org It's also important to remember the economics world does not divide into two groups: "libertarians" and "Keynesians." There are all kinds of flavors here and we need to recognize those differences.|
|What is the best way to try to convince/change the minds of those who are generally inclined toward state intervention to solve problems?||Show them the practical consequences of intervention and of markets. This is why we need really good empirical work, especially good history. For example, the more we write and talk about the Great Recession and have a great command of the facts to explain why it was a failure of policy not markets, the more likely we are to push people in our direction. History is very powerful in setting people's narratives and we need counter-narratives. I also think that we need to be very mindful of our rhetoric. We CANNOT say things that allow others to tag us as racists/sexists etc, or that we don't care about the poor. And we need to be unafraid to call out leftists (for example) who make that accusation over policy differences. Objecting to minimum wage laws is NOT racist and people who say it is need to be called out both for their historical ignorance (it's the MW laws that are racist!) and for their refusal to discuss in good faith.|
|How do you feel about the state helping those who can't help themselves? For example, should the state step in for cases of child/elder abuse?||These are IMO some of the hardest issues for libertarians. Let me stay with child abuse. I think first we have to distinguish abuse and neglect. I think with neglect, there are ways that non-state institutions can work with families to improve outcomes. And, importantly, we have to ask "compared to what?" Perhaps the child is in less than optimal circumstances, but will that be improved upon if the state moves them somewhere else?|
|In general, I think that there are Hayekian reasons to think that parents have the best knowledge and incentives to do what's right for their kids, so the bar for state intervention should always be quite high - and the state should bear the burden of proof.|
|If we are talking abuse, then different story. If the state has the responsibility for protecting the rights of adults against violence from others, then it has that same right with respect to children and violence form their parents. I am a strong defender of parental rights, but those do not extend to clear cases of abuse (as opposed to mild forms of corporal punishment). But even here, the state should be working with extended family, friends, and organizations like synagogues or churches or the like to find solutions that minimize the impact on kids.|
|As to how an anarchist society would handle these situations, my honest answer is that I do not know.|
|Where is the brightline between neglect and abuse? Punishment to some people is much harsher than others. A girl recently died of hypothermia near where I live because staying outside in a barn was used as punishment.||THere's not a brightline. We shouldn't expect one either. That's why these issues are so hard.|
|Do you get along with the Keynsians or do you sit on oppostie sides of the room at the faculty Christmas party?||Every single one of my closest friends on the SLU faculty is a leftist.|
|Consortin' with the enemy, eh? ;)||I'm a consorter from way back.|
|Keynesians are "leftists" like Republicans are "capitalists". In fact even calling Keynesians, who are by definition capitalist, "leftists" is sort of silly. That said, I know this AMA is dead and I don't expect a response but as a left libertarian I just wanted to say that chafed me a little.||I meant leftist. Not Keynesian. My friends on the faculty are leftists not Keynesians.|
|Related to your research on families, what do you think about the advice (usually coming from the right) that one of the most beneficial things the poor can do to improve their lot in life is to get married?||There's some truth to that, but it's more complicated than it's been presented as. Married people DO have much better outcomes along almost any measure you care to look at (including their sex lives). But that doesn't mean you should just "get married" regardless of who the other person is and what your particular circumstances are. And as I noted earlier, public policy distorts the incentives to marry in ways that encourages it where it shouldn't and discourages it where people could benefit from marriage. So yeah, marriage is good for people (gays and lesbians too), but that's not "get married no matter what."|
|Do you worry that a free market is too concerned with the present and not suited to deal with long term problems, like climate change? Hypothetically, if we could see that the free market was bringing about a catastrophe, should we intervene with our best idea of what suitable regulation would be?||Do you think a system in which the participants are almost exclusively concerned with what will happen in the next 2, 4, or 6 years is MORE capable of thinking in the long term than the owners of capital who can pass its value to others over an indefinite time frame? I think that markets are far better able to think about the long run than is the political system, assuming that the right institutional structure is in place in the market.|
|How would we even know the market was bringing about a catastrophe? What's the sort of scenario you have in mind? (It probably shouldn't be climate change because that has to account for gov't)|
|Do you deny the positive effects of the 2009 American Recovery Act (ARA) on the U.S. economy? China has used both a market-based and state-based approach in concert to create a strong economy. Does this indicate to you that the state should have some economic control?||Yes I deny them. Where was the "market-based" approach? And where is the strong economy? Millions have left the labor force. Unemployment remains notably higher than was predicted if we passed the ARRA. Private investment is still very low. The recovery in employment is the slowest since the Great Depression.|
|So, does this theory reject the phenomenon that markets will overheat, or ever need to be stimulated?||Markets are not physical systems, they are human ones. Using metaphors from physical systems gets us off on the wrong track.|
|Are you relating the free-market to House of Cards? How is the online class going to be structured and what will it be about? Also, can you pinpoint an event in history where a free-market system has prevailed?||It's about how HoC shows the failures of the political system through the lens of Public Cholce Theory. You will get to see some video lectures by me as well as other videos on line, plus participate in online discussions on Facebook and real-time chats.|
|Do you watch Parks and Rec? If so, how do you feel about Ron Swanson's portrayal of Libertarianism?||I don't. I should. So I can't answer this one. Sorry.|
|Do you think our lack of growth comes from a deficiency of inflation like the Federal Reserve suggests? Do you think we are experiencing deflation/stagflation that is being papered over by monetary easing/competitive devaluation or do you believe the FED is 'exporting' inflation to EM currencies through carry trades given the inflation rates of the EM markets?||We are not suffering from too little inflation. We are suffering from too much regulation, too much uncertainty, too much anti-business rhetoric, and a central bank that won't adhere to the rule of law. (And it's the Fed not the FED - sorry, pet peeve :) ).|
|Tonight is TV night with my GF. House of Cards or True Detective? Which show should I start tonight?||I haven't watched TD, but man do I love House of Cards.|
|Hey Steve. Should they legalize pot, or what?||They should legalize pot... and "what", as well. :)|
|How do you respond to the accusation that you don't care about poor people when you oppose raising the minimum wage? (This happened to me, recently.)||I send them here: Link to www.fee.org|
|Why free markets are both the most efficient and most resilient systems?||Because they are best at discovering and making use of dispersed, contextual, and often inarticulate human knowledge. They are social learning processes with very powerful feedback processes that help us know when we've made mistakes and provide incentives to correct them.|
|Markets aren't better because people make fewer mistakes in the market than in government (think about all the restaurants that fail). They are better because those failures take place in an institutional structure that provides knowledge and signals for everyone else to correct them in ways that political institutions do not.|
|What are your thoughts on the arguments that market anarchists like Michael Huemer and Roderick Long put forward? Specifically in regards to markets in law and defense.||I consider myself to be a market anarchist (at least most days). While I'm not sure I can provide an answer to how markets and civil society might solve every problem, I have yet to be convinced by an explanation for how the state could. The burden of proof is on the state and it hasn't met it yet, but that doesn't mean we "know" markets/voluntary social cooperation have the answers to the tough questions like those.|
|I am much more persuaded by arguments for polycentric legal systems than for privatized defense. But here too - does anyone really believe that gov't does a good job defending us, especially when we consider the rent-seeking involved and the ways in which the tools the state adopts to "defend" us quickly oppress us - think the NSA/war on terror.|
|I"ll take my chances with the unknown over the known evil.|
|What are you having for dinner?||Mediocre Mexican is the plan. That's as good as Mexican gets up here in the hinterlands.|
|What's your response to more Rothbardian readings of Human Action that take more radical claims about the supremacy of a priorism?||I would LOVE to come to Hillsdale. I've talked with folks there about doing so, but we can't seem to find a time that works.|
|Also, would you mind coming to Hillsdale College sometimes soon to give a lecture if I say pretty please and promise a brownie?||I think those Rothbardian readings are mistaken. Here's some thoughts on Mises and methodology that might explain why: Link to www.cato-unbound.org|
|Do you feel the Austrian School was strengthened or discredited internationally as a result of the Great Recession? Only reason I've asked is that I've heard both and you seem to be a more credible source on the issue then some other media sources I could name.||Strengthened. Austrians have had more positive attention, and deservedly so, because I do think that Austrian theory provides a very powerful lens with which to understand the boom, bust, and crisis. Link to www.fee.org|
|Any good books about economy for a high schooler?||You can always start with "Economics in One Lesson". Also a new book by Howard Baetjer "Free Our Markets."|
|Prof. Horwitz, what books (either by Hayek or about him) do you consider the best for a student to start learning about F.A.?||Individualism and Economic Order Constitution of Liberty|
|Favorite rush song/album?||"Natural Science" and "Moving Pictures" Link to myslu.stlawu.edu|
|How many Bitcoins did you lose in this "Magic the Gathering Online Exchange" silliness?||Zero. I own none. I have never owned any.|
|I've never listened to Rush. What song should I start with?||Wow. THat depends. What's your taste in music and how much of a libertarian are you? :)|
|Are you a feminist?||I'd like to think so, but others might disagree.|
|What are your thoughts on monetary inflation? What do you believe would be a better system than the federal reserve determining how much new money to print?||I am an advocate of "free banking." Link to www.youtube.com|
|What's your favorite part of northern ny? Ps. I don't miss the cold.||The people.|
|What do you suggest against the prisoner's dillemma?||Find me a real world case where the parties could not communicate and/or solve the problem through the reputational effects of repeated play.|
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