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Roger and me


         Ebert gives Sundwall the proverbial thumbs up.

I've been posting blog comments more often in the last twenty four hours. Here's a recent comment on Roger Ebert's Sun Times blog about healthcare and libertarians.

Kudos to Mr. Ebert for his scrutiny and answers after the entry was posted. It's rare to see such follow up with such well known figures, especially when it comes to the best practices of blogging. Usually the MSM just ignore or accept comments without meaningful discussion and interaction. Refreshing and worth engaging for.

It's interesting to see how often the philosophy of liberty is so earnestly countered with this particular issue. The idea that the motivation of libertarianism is based on selfishness is as misconstrued as the notion that the 'social contract' is voluntary. While subsequent philosophers like John Rawls have espoused such equality behind notions like the 'veil of ignorance' in his social justice theory, moderns like Crispin Sartwell have been quite successful in countering these ancient and quaint notions. Most likely the hard edge of Rand is at fault when the mantra of selfishness is presented. It's certainly harder to read Mises who simply concluded that self interest is the basis of all things economic.

If the issue is a partisan political one, then rest assured that Libertarians have no stake in this power. As a Libertarian Congressional candidate in the past, my motivation was to advocate peace and decry debt. Qualities I find lacking in either GOP or Democrat camp that currently holds power. Things like Medicare Part D are creatures of the GOP has much as any, and the moral obligation that imposed on my own kids, I find horrendous and irresponsible.

The HMO's are corporatist creatures of seventies legislation (HMO Act of 1973). The advance of medical technology and the abuse of tort theory have all contributed to the high costs. Intellectual property rights and licensing are also part of these costs (ie. drug patents and state sanctioned certifications). Add the inability to seek coverage with companies outside one's own state and costs continue to rise. It's hard to show the example of the free market when confronted with these combinations of state and corporatist interests. Ron Paul does as an excellent of a job and speaks from the experience of being a doctor, not a lawyer.

Would we ask a farmer or carpenter to suborn their services and products to a government imposed system based on the perceived utility of lower costs ? Would universal food and shelter ever take on this dimension ? Basing the appeal on similar programs abroad is also not sufficient in a libertarians mindset. Because one society imposes a regime on all delivery and claims success does not offer a clear moral perspective.

Libertarians do very much care about their fellow human beings. But they know that appeal to emotions is what starts wars, creates false monetary structures and otherwise oppresses human freedom with imposed collective structures which can only reduce choice and freedom.

Ebert: Well argued.

I've been noticing that on the whole libertarians are incomparably more civil and intelligent than their opposite number on the Festering Fringe thread.


  • Kent McManigal - Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner 5 years ago

    Hey, nice job!
    You ask "Would we ask a farmer or carpenter to suborn their services and products to a government imposed system based on the perceived utility of lower costs?"
    No, "we" wouldn't, but the government would. And claim "we" were racist (or whatever the boogeyman of the day might be) if we opposed it.