Thursday, July 12, 2012

count me in favor of slavery

Duncan Black, Matthew Yglesias, Uncle Miltie and Greg Mankiw are opposed.

"It is one of my personal pet peeves, but old people who call for drafting teenagers really really enrage me. For millions of reasons."

The link is to Yglesias: "Thomas Ricks argues in a New York Times op-ed that we should get around this difficulty by enslaving teenagers." The reference to slavery was the the giveaway (scroll down a bit).
In his testimony before the commission, Mr. Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Mr. Friedman interrupted, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" Mr. Westmoreland replied, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Mr. Friedman then retorted, "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher.
So once again (see giveaway above) the market is natural and democracy is not. But life in a state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, and democracy, direct or representative, is opposed to the more 'natural' autarchy by being based on shared responsibility. Personal liberty is secondary.

Modern liberals indulge optimistic assumptions of their own enlightenment. They fantasize a community of rational individualists governed by law and their own reason. Yglesias argues that life is good for skilled workers, because although employers want to pay their workers as little as humanly possible, skilled workers are in demand and have bargaining power. Repeating what I wrote below:
Yglesias' friends are skilled workers. If he started a company and hired a few of his friends he would not pay them as little as possible; he would feel obligated to pay them enough that they maintained a mutual respect.
In order for Yglesias to respect unskilled workers he should get to know them. Under a different legal regime he would have been forced for period of time to live with them not as servants but as equals.

At the link (giveaway again) I repeated a passage from an email in an exchange with Sam Rosenfeld from 2004. I lean on it I bit too much. I lean on these too. Use google. Yglesias in 2002.
After the latest depressing news from the Middle East I think we have to start asking just how inhumane it would be for Israel to just expel the Palestinians from the occupied terroritories [sic]. The result would probably be out-and-out war with the neighboring Arab states, but Israel could win that.
Duncan Black:
"David Duke, president of Americans in Support of Palestinian Freedom, a D.C.-based human rights group, said 'Since last year, we have gotten well over 200 complaints of human rights abuses. It's time our lawmakers recognize these injustices.'"

That was of course a fake news story. Everyone get the point?
The point is that technocratic liberals, using their own definitions of themselves and their beliefs, cannot model their own blindness.

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