Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature - Murray Rothbard

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posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 06:47 PM
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As part of my continued attempts to draw attention to the dangers of precipitous statist confidences that I perceive to be widespread, I would like to present this essay from Murray Rothbard which dissects the logic of egalitarianism.

The apparent unawareness of historical invalidations and categorical dismissals of any contrary opinions are completely unrepresentative of a supposedly educated group of self-declared open minded, free-thinking intellectuals.

Rather than receive this as a vituperative condemnation, I invite you to consider it as a penetrating elucidation on the flaws of egalitarianism and a brief glimpse into the individualist perspective.



Excerpted from: Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature



Probably the most common question that has been hurled at me — in some exasperation — over the years is, "Why don't you stick to economics?"

For different reasons, this question has been thrown at me by fellow economists and by political thinkers and activists of many different persuasions: conservatives, liberals, and libertarians who have disagreed with me over political doctrine and are annoyed that an economist should venture "outside of his discipline."



It is no accident, however, that the economists of this century of the broadest vision and the keenest insight — men such as Ludwig von Mises, Frank H. Knight, and F.A. Hayek — came early to the conclusion that mastery of pure economic theory was not enough, and that it was vital to explore related and fundamental problems of philosophy, political theory, and history. In particular, they realized that it was possible and crucially important to construct a broader systematic theory encompassing human action as a whole, in which economics could take its place as a consistent but subsidiary part.



For well over a century, the Left has generally been conceded to have morality, justice, and "idealism" on its side; the conservative opposition to the Left has largely been confined to the "impracticality" of its ideals. A common view, for example, is that socialism is splendid "in theory," but that it cannot "work" in practical life. What the conservatives failed to see is that while short-run gains can indeed be made by appealing to the impracticality of radical departures from the status quo, that by conceding the ethical and the "ideal" to the Left they were doomed to long-run defeat. For if one side is granted ethics and the "ideal" from the start, then that side will be able to effect gradual but sure changes in its own direction; and as these changes accumulate, the stigma of "impracticality" becomes less and less directly relevant. The conservative opposition, having staked its all on the seemingly firm ground of the "practical" (that is, the status quo) is doomed to lose as the status quo moves further in the left direction. The fact that the unreconstructed Stalinists are universally considered to be the "conservatives" in the Soviet Union is a happy logical joke upon conservatism; for in Russia the unrepentant statists are indeed the repositories of at least a superficial "practicality" and of a clinging to the existing status quo.



The egalitarian revolt against biological reality, as significant as it is, is only a subset of a deeper revolt: against the ontological structure of reality itself, against the "very organization of nature"; against the universe as such. At the heart of the egalitarian Left is the pathological belief that there is no structure of reality; that all the world is a tabula rasa that can be changed at any moment in any desired direction by the mere exercise of human will — in short, that reality can be instantly transformed by the mere wish or whim of human beings. Surely this sort of infantile thinking is at the heart of Herbert Marcuse's passionate call for the comprehensive negation of the existing structure of reality and for its transformation into what he divines to be its true potential.



We began by considering the common view that the egalitarians, despite a modicum of impracticality, have ethics and moral idealism on their side. We end with the conclusion that egalitarians, however intelligent as individuals, deny the very basis of human intelligence and of human reason: the identification of the ontological structure of reality, of the laws of human nature, and the universe. In so doing, the egalitarians are acting as terribly spoiled children, denying the structure of reality on behalf of the rapid materialization of their own absurd fantasies. Not only spoiled but also highly dangerous; for the power of ideas is such that the egalitarians have a fair chance of destroying the very universe that they wish to deny and transcend, and to bring that universe crashing around all of our ears. Since their methodology and their goals deny the very structure of humanity and of the universe, the egalitarians are profoundly antihuman; and, therefore, their ideology and their activities may be set down as profoundly evil as well. Egalitarians do not have ethics on their side unless one can maintain that the destruction of civilization, and even of the human race itself, may be crowned with the laurel wreath of a high and laudable morality.


Full text: Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature (1974)
edit on 12-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 06:55 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 

"The apparent unawareness of historical invalidations and categorical dismissals of any contrary opinions are completely unrepresentative of a supposedly educated group of self-declared open minded, free-thinking intellectuals."

Weird way to define ignorance man



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:03 PM
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No Nazi blood theorist could of said it better.This is one of the most disgusting threads I have seen in my almost two years of being a part of this community.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:05 PM
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GD21D
No Nazi blood theorist could of said it better.This is one of the most disgusting threads I have seen in my almost two years of being a part of this community.

After reading it, perhaps you will have some comments?

Otherwise, you not only prove Rothbard's premise but, confirm the worst of my own suspicions.
edit on 12-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:19 PM
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This is ridiculous. Let me try and dismantle these poorly made arguments, using words they probably didn't understand. Let's not even mention the fact that these were written DECADES ago.

Firstly:


Libertarianism is a new and emerging discipline that touches closely on many other areas of the study of human action: economics, philosophy, political theory, history, even — and not least — biology. For all of these provide in varying ways the groundwork, the elaboration, and the application of libertarianism. Some day, perhaps, liberty and "libertarian studies" will be recognized as an independent, though related, part of the academic curriculum.


No it is not new. Libertarianism ideology has been present for HUNDREDS of years. It simply wasn't discussed in the mainstream because people who did were often beheaded.


The essay locates the prime horror of socialism as the egalitarian attempt to stamp out diversity among individuals and groups. In short, it reflects the grounding of libertarianism in individualism and individual diversity.


Egalitarianism and socialism are not the same thing, nor does one rely on the other.

Egalitarianism in the 21st century is defined as:


It is defined either as a political doctrine that all people should be treated as equals and have the same political, economic, social, and civil rights[6] or as a social philosophy advocating the removal of economic inequalities among people or the decentralisation of power. Some sources define egalitarianism as the point of view that equality reflects the natural state of humanity.[7][8][9]


Source

This whole article and 'essay' is nonsense because it assumes that Egalitarianism is a socialist idea, which it is not, it's completely removed from socialism.

Some of her sources are from Kurt Vonnegut novels..are you kidding me?

I was going to go through this and try harder to disprove her theory, but I can't, because the theory is complete nonsense and hinged on EXTREMIST ideology.

~Tenth



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


I have a shirt with this quote on it: "Egalitarianism is a social disease". I don't mind the people who disagree with it. It is the people who ask me what it means I can't stand.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:32 PM
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I would like to point out here that egalitarianism is quite common in nature. Many species of mammals, birds, fish even insects live cooperatively in societies, so the premise of this thread is completely bogus. Even some predators, such as wolves, have egalitarian aspects, such as letting injured pack members eat the kills of others.

Furthermore, I fail to see how believing that humans can take action to promote egalitarianism in society is delusional. Many aspects of our society are made to be accessible to every member of society, such as roads, parks, etc.

I think the delusion here is the author thinking no eqalitarianism can exist (though I agree it can't be 100% as you need leaders somewhere).



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by CB328
 


There is NOTHING Egalitarian about a wolf pack. Yes all eat but in a pecking order (Alpha to omega) and not all get the same amount. A wolf pack proves the OP point about nature. Your own example proves you wrong.
edit on 12-10-2013 by Carreau because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:37 PM
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reply to post by tothetenthpower
 

Libertarianism is simply a fallback term for classical liberal which is itself an attempt to reclaim the original meaning of liberalism. I prefer the phrase 'free market individualism'.

Egalitarianism has but one modern interpretation that I do not subscribe to but, which has the least harmful implications, equality of opportunity. The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism to realize and is therefore a precursor to totalitarianism.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:44 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 



The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism


I don't' believe it does. Egalitarianism can be part of a broad decentralization model that favors the individual over the collective. It's just a matter of protecting individual rights while balancing the need for social services and government systems that focus on the society as a whole.

Obviously it's more complicated than I make it sound, but you understand where I'm coming from I'm sure.

~Tenth



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:44 PM
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You missed the point- they will feed members that weren't able to hunt. Furthermore, many animals share all duties, even taking care of the children in groups. They work together to survive, not everyone for themselves, which is what conservatives espouse.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:47 PM
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ScottProphhit
reply to post by greencmp
 

"The apparent unawareness of historical invalidations and categorical dismissals of any contrary opinions are completely unrepresentative of a supposedly educated group of self-declared open minded, free-thinking intellectuals."

Weird way to define ignorance man

It's a bit more of an invective than that. Ignorance is not in itself a problem at all and it is easily rectified.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by CB328
 


Working together as a group to achieve a goal is not the same as Egalitarianism. I think you are applying an incorrect definition to the term.

No member of a wolf pack is treated the same as another, period. To suggest otherwise shows a complete ignorance of the pack dynamic and the animal itself.



egal·i·tar·i·an·ism noun -ē-ə-ˌni-zəm Definition of EGALITARIANISM

1 : a belief in human equality especially with respect to social, political, and economic affairs

2 : a social philosophy advocating the removal of inequalities among people
edit on 12-10-2013 by Carreau because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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tothetenthpower
reply to post by greencmp
 



The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism


I don't' believe it does. Egalitarianism can be part of a broad decentralization model that favors the individual over the collective. It's just a matter of protecting individual rights while balancing the need for social services and government systems that focus on the society as a whole.

Obviously it's more complicated than I make it sound, but you understand where I'm coming from I'm sure.

~Tenth

I don't understand how there could be a centralized decentralization model that somehow protects individual liberty through enforcing equality of opportunity using the threat of state violence.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 08:18 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


2081 Based on Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron is all anyone needs to know about where Egalitarianism can/will lead to.




posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 08:21 PM
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No member of a wolf pack is treated the same as another,


You're still missing the point. Yes, the pack leaders eat first and get their pick of the best parts of the kill, but they don't take 85% of the animal and make everyone else fight over the scraps like humans do. And they provide for sick or injured members of the pack so every member has rights and value.

This is in stark contrast to the conservative human view that only a few people should be able to control everything and everyone else is completely expendable.

And I said wolves have ASPECTS of egalitarianism. Other species, like prairie dogs for example, are much more egalitarian.



posted on Oct, 12 2013 @ 09:45 PM
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greencmp

tothetenthpower
reply to post by greencmp
 



The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism


I don't' believe it does. Egalitarianism can be part of a broad decentralization model that favors the individual over the collective. It's just a matter of protecting individual rights while balancing the need for social services and government systems that focus on the society as a whole.

Obviously it's more complicated than I make it sound, but you understand where I'm coming from I'm sure.

~Tenth

I don't understand how there could be a centralized decentralization model that somehow protects individual liberty through enforcing equality of opportunity using the threat of state violence.


there's no such thing
the truth is that humans are not created equal, they possess different inherited abilities and experience different events in their lives. This produces people of different accomplishments and different worth.

pretty much all forms of egalitarianism require the use of law and the law always chooses sides on the basis of enforcement power, hence, but for the exception of anarchy, i.e. live and let live, egalitarianism always produces a hierarchical system where some are more equal than others based on a lie that denies the above, and the use of violence to maintain it.

beware the egalitarian, he seeks only to put fetters on those of greater worth than he.

the only true equality is in death, and in rights under Natural Law e.g.: self preservation, etc.
edit on 12-10-2013 by Metaphysique because: added edit & comment



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 05:27 PM
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CB328



No member of a wolf pack is treated the same as another,


You're still missing the point. Yes, the pack leaders eat first and get their pick of the best parts of the kill, but they don't take 85% of the animal and make everyone else fight over the scraps like humans do. And they provide for sick or injured members of the pack so every member has rights and value.

This is in stark contrast to the conservative human view that only a few people should be able to control everything and everyone else is completely expendable.

And I said wolves have ASPECTS of egalitarianism. Other species, like prairie dogs for example, are much more egalitarian.

Let's just agree to disagree on this.

I am not sure why you insist on comparing humans to wolves or prairie dogs. It doesn't resolve anything nor does it answer any of the questions as to the moral aspects of egalitarianism (which requires collectivism).

Wolves and prairie dogs can't round up the entirety of their species and subjugate or kill them, we are much more capable and the stakes are much higher.

edit on 14-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 15 2013 @ 08:47 PM
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Egalitarianism has but one modern interpretation that I do not subscribe to but, which has the least harmful implications, equality of opportunity. The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism to realize and is therefore a precursor to totalitarianism.
reply to post by greencmp
 


The American constitutionalist model attempts to afford equal opportunity and a fair shake, and it bends over backwards to put the citizen in the greatest position of authority in defining that, over and over and over again. This has led to the most extensive period of political stability, paired with unheard-of political liberty over that period of time, that currently resides on earth. Unless I am missing something, you seem to be saying this model is necessarily authoritarian. You're going to need some support for that.

This seems like a strange point to want to make. To ask a question I'm not sure I want to know the answer to, what are the alternatives?
edit on 15-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 16 2013 @ 09:12 AM
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michael22


Egalitarianism has but one modern interpretation that I do not subscribe to but, which has the least harmful implications, equality of opportunity. The problem with it is that it still requires some form of authoritarianism to realize and is therefore a precursor to totalitarianism.
reply to post by greencmp
 


The American constitutionalist model attempts to afford equal opportunity and a fair shake, and it bends over backwards to put the citizen in the greatest position of authority in defining that, over and over and over again. This has led to the most extensive period of political stability, paired with unheard-of political liberty over that period of time, that currently resides on earth. Unless I am missing something, you seem to be saying this model is necessarily authoritarian. You're going to need some support for that.

This seems like a strange point to want to make. To ask a question I'm not sure I want to know the answer to, what are the alternatives?
edit on 15-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)

edit on 15-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)

The constitution affords no such equality of opportunity, how could it? It clearly cites the pre-existing rights of individuals to their persons and property. Where in the constitution do you glean this interpretation?

Equality of opportunity requires an overseer who allocates opportunity, even if one thought that opportunities were finite and predictable (which they aren't), they are not reassignable nor guaranteed. Opportunity is simply a word we give to coincidences of capability and requirement.

Much like serendipity, a coincidence of time, place and attention, can we guarantee equality of luck?
edit on 16-10-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)





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