Posts Tagged ‘Charles Murray’

I Wonder If I Am A Libertarian # 7

June 27, 2013

Key Concepts of Libertarianism

By

David Boaz

January 1, 1999

I quote:

The key concepts of libertarianism have developed over many centuries. The first inklings of them can be found in ancient China, Greece, and Israel; they began to be developed into something resembling modern libertarian philosophy in the work of such seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.

Free Markets. To survive and to flourish, individuals need to engage in economic activity. The right to property entails the right to exchange property by mutual agreement. Free markets are the economic system of free individuals, and they are necessary to create wealth. Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized.

End of quote.

These assertions about a free markets, private ownership of property, the stultifying effects of governmental over-regulation, governmental ownership of businesses, and high tax rates to sustain an increasingly bloated, voracious and predatory governments are factual and beyond dispute.

However, one assertion needs special clarification because it is so universally mispercieved. Human’s can be largely free from governmental coercion, or the coercion of other people, and this is a main goal of a Libertarian cultural design. However, we are never free from the effects of our genetics, our learning histories, our current state of  health, or our immediate sociaocultural, economic, political and physical environments. The psychological laws and principles of conditioning and learning always affect us in major ways, without fail. And when we fail, we are failing to let them guide us.

The psychosocial casualties to which I refer are complex, layered and circular in nature; but our human behaviors remain a major part of this causal chain.

I will take, on faith and because we already did it one time, that humans can learn to design better sociocultures and that such improvements will in-turn shape more adaptive and generally beneficial forms of our thoughts, emotions and behaviors.

For an intellectually stunning and revealing book about human nature, the causes of our good and bad behaviors, and  important principles of cultural change, you must read Beyond Freedom and Dignity, by B. F. Skinner.

The assertions above are, or should be, beyond dispute. If someone wishes to argue against these bed-rock main features of human psychology or Libertarian cultural designs…the very principles that made America the greatest Nation on earth…I will ask that they do some reading to educate themselves.

A good start would be the following:

The Road To Serfdom, by F.A Hayek

The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society’s Descent into Tyranny, by Michael E. Newton

Libertarianism, by David Boaz

What It Means To Be A Libertarian, by Charles Murray

The Secret Knowledge: On The Dismantling of American Culture, by David Mamet

Trust: The Social Virtues and The Creation of Prosperity, by Francis Fukuyama

The End of History and the Last Man, by Francis Fukuyama

Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, By Thomas Sowell

There are many more sources of historically factual and well-documented  information that powerfully support the basic tenants of psychology and Libertarianism. Some of these principles are counter-intuitive to ways of popular thinking, and that is the greatest of all problems now driving America’s decline.

In a word, what drives America’s decline is ignorance.

It is ignorance about the causes of the quality of our own behaviors, within an electorate that votes to design and redesign America’s political and social cultures so that its population may live long and well…or fail and fade into history.

To live long and well requires that our electorate understand the determinants of their own behavior and how various human behavior patterns will survive (or fail to survive) the many inter and intra-cultural stresses of the future, most of which are now known and often predictable.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.,  6/27/13

You Have Your Penis Pierced!

December 20, 2009

You Have Your Penis Pierced!

Jonah Goldberg’s column entitled America Through The Lens of Reality, appeared in the South Bend Tribune (12/17/09). In it he discussed the decade of the “reality show” and decried the reflection of  America’s moral condition in that” mirror”.

Golberg provides examples of our moral decline through media depictions and through actuarial data depicting our collective behavior (sex, violence, profanity, births out-of-wedlock and more).

A sample of his comments is enough to get you started. I invite you to then tabulate your own examples of America’s moral decline and think of some things that you could do to reverse this disastrous trend.

The following words in bolded quotes Jonah Golderg’s words:

On an MTV program, a girl is cheating  on her boyfriend with another guy. At the moment of truth the girl delights in her stunning discovery:

‘You have your penis pierced. I love it’, “the drunken vamp exclaims”.

He further notes that: “British historian Arnold Toynbee argued that civilizations thrive when the lower classes aspire to be like the upper classes, and they decay when the upper classes try to be like the lower classes. Looked at through this prism, its hard not to see America in a prolonged period of decay.”

He then observes that:

 “society has embraced  what social scientist Charles Murray calls ‘ecumenical niceness.’ A core tenet of ecumenical niceness is that harsh judgements of the underclass..or people with underclass values…are forbidden. An added corollary: People with old-fashioned notions of decency are fair game.”

“Out-of- wedlock birth was once a great shame; now it’s something of a happy lifestyle choice.”

“The cavalier use of profanity was once crude; now it’s increasingly conversational. Self-discipline was once a virtue; now self-expression is king.”

“Reality-show culture has thrived in that moral vacuum, accelerating the decay and helping to create a society in which celebrity is the new nobility.”

“Paris Hilton, famous for being famous thanks in part to a “reality” sex tape released days before her 2003 reality show ‘The Simple Life,’ is now a cultural icon of  no redeeming value whatsoever.”

End of Golberg’s quotes.

                                   ————————————————————–

Perhaps next, Mr. Golberg can do an analysis of America’s moral decline through our televised  advertisements.

Remember, “If your  erection lasts longer than four hours”—-call your doctor.

V. Thomas Mawhinney, Ph.D.   12/20/09

 


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