Pæne ord om politiske ideologier

Tyler Cowen startede ballet med en sjov idé: Prøv at give en objektiv og sympatisk præsentation af et politisk standpunkt, du er uenig med. Det vil sige: Prøv at se synspunktet i det bedste lys frem for i det værste.

Cowen, der er kendt som “moderat libertarianer”, det vil sige generelt en tilhænger af frie markeder og frie mennesker, lagde ud med at give en præsentation af “progressivisme”, den form for amerikansk venstreorienterethed, der før noget misvisende kaldtes “liberalisme”. Positionen minder mest om en midterorienteret dansk socialdemokratisme, og dele af det demokratiske parti vil kalde sig “progressive”. Den politik, der føres lige nu fra Det Hvide Hus, kan med lidt god vilje kaldes for progressiv.

Indlægget har ført til rigtig megen god og sober debat (for det meste) og Cowen har også præsenteret en udfordring: Kan en progressiv nu give en objektiv og sympatisk præsentation af libertarianisme? Leigh Caldwell har gjort forsøget, og det er slet ikke et dårligt bud.

Det er diskussioner og udvekslinger som denne, der gør det værd at læse blogs. Bedste kommentar indtil videre (Andrew Aug 7, 10:33 AM):

One point of distinction is that while most libertarians (excluding Objectivist libertarians, maybe) take care to distinguish between the political philosophy and our personal moralities. It seems to me progressives (and the moderates they influence maybe moreso) simply see a seamless transition between politics and morality. Thus, when they reach for the most direct, fastest, and reliable instrument to achieve a moral vision they naturally select government and can’t even conceive why libertarians would be hesitant even if they share the same end objective.

Opdatering:
Jeg endte med at tilføje denne kommentar, selvom den vist ikke helt er i diskussionens ånd:

The strange thing about progressivism is that while the American progressives seem to see Europe (especially Scandinavia) as a model for equality of opportunity, once you go to Europe you will find the European progressives complaining about exactly the same things: Inequality, poverty, the lack of opportunities for the bottom fifth of society and so on. How much taxation and how many equality-making programs will we actually need to solve these problems?

As a Scandinavian, knowing the defects of my own society, I can’t help wondering if there is at least some kind of moral permanence to progressivism: No matter what society they look at, they will always complain about the same things, and always feel the same moral superiority to those people that just “don’t care”.

Update II:
Og det bliver endnu bedre, her af MHodak:

I think that a core difference between progressives and libertarians is their attitude about the morality of government intervention. A self-defined progressive above listed his basic tenets as follows:

Three Big Goals:
(1) Closing the gap of Equality of Opportunity
(2) Maximizing personal freedom
(3) Social Safety Net

This is a very good list, but it implies that only progressives care about these outcomes. In fact, many libertarians would favor those ends, as well, even assuming an expansive definition of “personal freedom.” The real difference is the means. Progressives have a positive view of state power as a means. Libertarians view the government monopoly on violence as something to be employed as little as possible, just enough to enable a civil society.

Progressives see state power as the only way of enforce socially desirable economic outcomes. Libertarians see state power as inherently suspect, even if it is used to right a wrong, (which sometimes they agree it must). The key is getting agreement on what wrongs are so wrong as to take a risk on government force as a solution, and the libertarians are stingy on this score, while progressives are rather generous.

The fact that most libertarian attacks on government tend to focus on its waste, inefficiency or corruption makes progressives believe that we’re simply debating about the leaky bucket. If we can simply get libertarians to understand that a certain amount of waste, inefficiency, or even corruption is a small price to pay for social justice, then we could all reach some sort of agreement on government policies. But this aspect of the debate disguises the essence of their difference.

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