Stodgy progressives

A couple of old Coyote Blogs from the good old days before Hope and Change.  First, how progressives are conservative:
. . . I must say that on a number of issues, particularly related to civil liberties and social issues, I call progressives my allies.  On social issues, progressives, like I do, generally support an individual's right to make decisions for themselves, as long as those decisions don't harm others. 
However, when we move to fields such as commerce, progressives stop trusting individual decision-making.  Progressives who support the right to a person making unfettered choices in sexual partners don't trust people to make their own choice on seat belt use.  Progressives who support the right of fifteen year old girls to make decisions about abortion without parental notification do not trust these same girls later in life to make their own investment choices with their Social Security funds.  And, Progressives who support the right of third worlders to strap on a backpack of TNT and explode themselves in the public market don't trust these same third worlders to make the right decision in choosing to work in the local Nike shoe plant. 
Beyond just the concept of individual decision-making, progressives are hugely uncomfortable with capitalism.   Ironically, though progressives want to posture as being "dynamic," the fact is that capitalism is in fact too dynamic for them.  Industries rise and fall, jobs are won and lost, recessions give way to booms. Progressives want comfort and certainty.  They want to lock things down the way they are.  They want to know that such and such job will be there tomorrow and next decade, and will always pay at least X amount.  That is why, in the end, progressives are all statists, because, to paraphrase Hayek, only a government with totalitarian powers can bring the order and certainty and control of individual decision-making that they crave.
Second, why the labor theory of value is lunacy.


Grim said...

She thought for a few seconds, and responded "but I can't - I don't know how. I need someone to tell me how to do it."

Right. In a word, techne.

Grim said...

However, his subsequent point #1 is fashionable nonsense. There was an intellectual revolution from 1000-1400, too, in which an entire mode of thinking was supplanted by a much more sophisticated combination of Aristotelian and neoplatonic thought. It is certainly not the case that questioning established doctrine was unpopular or discouraged.

This was also coupled with a major increase in the standard of living, and for the same reasons. Look at the way water mills changed in the period, though, and you'll see one reason to rethink our assumptions. (How he claims to calculate the GDP of Europe in 1000 is a question I would like to know more about, but his link is dead.)