Friday, July 30, 2010

Ethical Subjectivism and Anarchism Without Adjectives

My comment in response to Anna Morgenstern's most recent C4SS article and Stephan Kinsella's later comment:
As an ethical subjectivist who finds amoralism to be a valid concept, I approach this very similarly to Anna. Almost all people, including psychopaths or "amoralists," have a general degree of overlap in value systems, which is why arguments similar to David Friedman's would seem to have the most universal appeal: it allows for variation in value systems. The purpose is to de-legitimate the overreaching locus of control and decentralize to tenable, functioning societies.

However, as a libertarian (as derived from my theism), my values are incompatible with many of the values others would hold. Since I believe my values make more sense, the point of holding them in the first place, it makes perfect sense that I would try to spread my them. That value is liberty and to extend that liberty and the self-determination it offers to the greatest degree possible.

But anyone with any value system should be aware of its fallibility. And the more precise the value judgments become, the less likely they are to represent any sort of "truth." Ethics is like shooting blindly in the metaphysical realm just hoping to hit something correct. And the bigger that metaphysical universe is, the harder it is to hit the mark. That is why I'm simultaneously favorable to the concept of thick libertarianism and wary of it becoming too dogmatic, preachy, and alienating. The proposition that X, Y, and Z are "true" is inherently less likely to actually be true than the proposition that X is "true." I don't think any ideology based off false premises is likely to bring positive results and so acknowledging that fallibility in rhetoric and in practice seems essential.

Stephan, the reason, I suspect, you don't find the validity in "thickness" is because of your conflation of "liberty" with "property." And no, I'm not referring to "property in self." Any justification for acquired property and its rightful use involves a "leap" of faith. Liberty is in relation to choice and determination, not over arbitrary/ambiguous standards such as "use" and "labor." Of course, acquired property and it's rightful ownership is a very important component of choice and liberty, but to equate them is fallacious.