The Difference Between Right and Left

This “is the great divide between right and left: not that the former stands for freedom, while the latter stands for equality (or statism or whatever), but that the former stands for freedom for the few, while the latter stands for freedom for the many” (Corey Robin “When Libertarians Go to Work” 2012).

Disinterring the philosophical roots of both social conservativsm and economic libertarianism–both of which yearn for a more modern and contemporary version of serfdom, Robin discusses an example of this conservative difference (more or less: “Freedom for me and my friends. The Fuck for everyone else.” The paraphrasing is mine, not Robin’s. He’s very polite.)  in the recent (2012) libertarian gender politics, where we find libertarians fighting to legally force doctors to rape women who request abortions.

Libertarian sophists argue that this mandatory institutionalized rape is “regulation,” equivalent to requiring businesses to follow basic worksite safety regulations–except better because women deserve it since women are dirty, bad property.

Robin provides a link to James Grimmelman’s post on libertarian contract theory.

A contemporary psychology movement, in contrast to Robin’s political-historical analysis, tries to argue that the difference between conservatives and liberals is simply that conservatives are more moral than liberals. Don’t you just adore ahistorical ideal-types empiricism? It’s so cute. It’s like a little intellectual/ethical baby vole, all hairless and blind.

They don’t even acknowledge that Leftists exist in their scheme, so I’m guessing the psychologists would classify Leftists as abjectly immoral.  Or maybe it’s only liberals who have a stunted morality. Shrug. It’s also possible that Leftists may not exist in Viriginia, home of “moral psychology,” so maybe they didn’t have access to Leftists to hook up to their moral measurement-o-tron.

So guess who adores the intellectual/ethical baby vole mostest? You got it: Professional liberals. The same folks what love conservatives’ Latte’ Liberals critique (eg. “Stuff White People Like”). Ah, they love a joke on themselves. Were I a psychologizin’ man, I’d quickly hypothesize that every foundation liberal carries a little internalized voice, the voice of his or her conservative daddy.–Doesn’t every opportunity to reconcile with the Patriarch feel cathartic.

Liberals: perpetually frozen in terror and propriety, teetering at the brink of Enlightenment, and with only a light breeze of patriarchal romanticism, tumbling backward into freedom for the few at the expense of the many.

At least Stiglitz and Krugman dove into the eternal Enlightenment question on the side of expanding freedoms for the many.


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