Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why Embracing Libertarianism is So Difficult

Embracing libertarianism requires immunity to the Stockholm syndrome, immunity to libido dominandi, understanding the notion of opportunity cost, thinking in terms of indirect, remote, and unintended consequences, being able to universalize ethical rules, and being able to consciously reject all forms of tribalism. All of which is rare and contrary to our instinctive intuitions.

Embracing statism requires susceptibility to the Stockholm syndrome, instinctive obedience to authority, focusing primarily or exclusively on what is seen now, believing that intentions easily translate into desired consequences, not being able to sacrifice self-interest for the sake of morality, and instintively accepting all kinds of tribal identities. All of which is almost universal and deeply embedded in our evolutionary heritage.

Thus, I believe that in most cases the intellectual struggle between libertarianism and statism is not a struggle between good and evil, but between discomforting reflection and comfortable habit. Hence, in waging this struggle, one should not expect miracles overnight, but patiently trust in the power of expanding knowledge and cultural evolution.

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