domingo, 26 de agosto de 2012

Towards… Libertarian Social Theory?

Illustration for thr Website: Students For Liberty

"The Weight Of Oppression" - Paulo Zerbato/2010

Towards… Libertarian Social Theory?
Posted in Feb 09 2012
By Adam Smith

......According to the common definition, “Sociology is the development of systematic knowledge about social life, the way it is organized, how it changes, its creation in social action, and its disruption and renewal in social conflict.” Broadly speaking, libertarianism advocates the establishment of non-coercive voluntary associations as alternatives to coercive political institutions. Political non-interference, however, does not entail the disappearance of perceived social disparities for many people. If one values race or gender equality, for instance, they may be hard-pressed to see how “the market” will benefit them.

If you took offense to that last sentence, please, allow me to make your critique for you. “Of course political freedom addresses equality, for the market views everyone as individuals. Indeed, the market is blind to racism and sexism and class discrimination and whatever other made-up collectivist nonsense you believe exists. Libertarianism, methodologically, treats everybody as an individual actor, and in this way achieves equality under the law; stop wasting my time.” The libertarian that makes this all-encompassing rejection of social group dynamics reveals a sort of tunnel vision, a narrow-mindedness that gives rise to blind faith in an entity called the “the market.” More embarrassingly, it highlights what seems to be a severe inability to understand the nature of those very market forces that are supposed to be viable alternatives to political coercion!

To be clear, it is true that the state has exacerbated the oppression of certain groups in a big way. However, it has been well-documented by many scholars (here and here) that group oppression is most often a result of social norms and conformities, which over time become reaffirmed through political coercion [iii]. In other words, the social subjugation of groups in society does not disappear without political coercion. It is for this reason that libertarians should both learn the nature of social change within a market framework and understand how to apply it to specific social sciences.


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