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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

More from DeLong on Hypocrisy. Recall I will use his content fairly if and when his blog stops eating my comments.

Update: It didn't eat one which I thought was eaten so fair use is now a link.

In summary, Brad accused Karl Marx, Robert Nozick, Robert Bork and Ayn Rand of hypocisy but said that Milton Friedman was not a hypocrite. The new point is that if you accept Democracy you can benefit from priviledges you oppose (and voted against) without being a hypocrite.


In an attempted comment, I defended Nozick. IIRC Nozick didn't say anything about his moral beliefs in "Anarchy State and Utopia." He consistently ascribed the view that the free market distribution was the one and only just and fair distribution to Friedrich von Hayek and said no more than that it was logically consistent. He noted that egalitarianism requires continual governement intervention (eg an income tax) and that a one off land reform won't do the trick (knock me over with a wrecking ball). I think he played his cards so close to the chest that he ran no risk of ordinary hypocrisy -- he confessed no beliefs about right and wrong.

I now defend Rand. I haven't read anything she wrote and don't plan to do so. I understand that she advocated selfishness. Taking Medicare was selfish. She seems to have been true toer her principle. The observation that most people are parasites might be construed as an expression of disapproval. However, that means she had a confused moral doctrine with two aspects -- be selfish and not if you aren't John Galt. It seems to me that someone who's views of morality are so depraved just couldn't manage hypocrisy. She couldn't be worse than she claimed to be.

On Marx, see below. I think he managed to stick to the sham that he was a positive social scientist enough to hide his views on morality and avoid ordinary hypocrisy (via higher level hypocrisy of denying he ever perceived the moral laws that he perceived and disobeyed). Also, I don't recall anything in Marx which amounts to rejection of Democracy. IIRC Lenin was a different person who lived later.

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