Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Some Confusion About Equality and Freedom.

David Walsh a history PhD student at Princeton and a "General socialist troublemaker" according to Wonkette, tweets in support of the New York Times' 1619 Project.

But it appears that Walsh fails to grasp Meyer's point about equality.

Meyer is not discussing equality before the law but rather the socialist idea of equality of outcome. That is, the idea that everyone should be made equal in terms, of well, everything. This is indeed the opposite of freedom.

If I am rich and you are not, this means if you want equality of outcome, you are going to have to take some of my wealth, I am not free to keep it.

If I am more productive than others, if you want equality of outcome, you are going to have to take from my wages and give to those less productive.

And we are only talking about money and asset equality so far. I dread to think of what other equal outcomes socialists are in favor of and what plans they have to reach such outcomes. It can not be a move toward freedom, that would be contradictory. It will be the ruling state over freedom.

As far as the idea that current-day conservatives are in an uproar about the 1619 Project because of opposition to equality (of outcome), if only that were the case.

As Murray Rothbard wrote:
 I believe Meyer to be at heart a libertarian on this issue of principle vs. tradition is the stance he took on the related question of radical change vs. maintenance of the status quo. For as the post-New Deal system becomes ensconced in American life, many conservatives have increasingly become content to retain that system and simply to tinker with marginal reform. In a sense as good traditionalists, they aspire only to preserve the essential status quo and to keep the society from becoming more collectivist and more egalitarian than it already is. But Frank Meyer would have none of this. Until the end of his life he insisted on pursuing the unswerving goal of repealing the New Deal system root and branch, in fact, to repeal most of the accretions of statism in American life since the Civil War. Meyer's famous bitter critiques of Abraham Lincoln were not simply exercises in antiquarian disputation, nor of course were they defenses of racism and slavery. Meyer saw clearly that the changes Lincoln wrought in American society were the decisive shift toward the centralizing and despotic nation-state, changes that were built upon by the Progressive era, by Woodrow Wilson, and finally by the New Deal. To Meyer, the goal of a truly principled conservative movement was to repeal all that, and to establish a just polity.
But this means that Meyer was truly a radical conservative, that is, someone who desired root and systematic change; he was in radical opposition to the statist status quo. Hence he took his stand, once again, with the libertarians, who are also principled radicals, and with much the same principles.
For more on the 1619 Project see here.


1 comment:

  1. Conservatives (Republicans) and Liberals (Democrats) are “two wings of the same bird of prey.” (Upton Sinclair)

    “Conservatism is progressivism driving the speed limit.” (Michael Malice)