Wednesday, 31 July 2019

On Libertarian Political Movements

Leonardo da Vinci
(Self-Portrait) 
The libertarians assert that they are better than other political groups because they are men of reason and liberty. But what is the evidence that they stand for these ideals, and even if they stand for these ideals, what is the evidence that they are capable of bringing positive transformations in society if they come to power?

Words like “reason” and “liberty” can be used by politicians to mask questionable motives, or to justify ruthless behavior. History of last 250 years shows that political movements that are motivated by the ideals of reason and liberty often achieve the opposite of what they promise. A man of reason can be as easily corrupted by power and wealth as any conventional man.

Broadly speaking, reason can be of two kinds: first, speculative and idealistic reason, which Immanuel Kant calls Pure Reason; second, reason that is embedded in logic, science, and empirical evidence, which Kant calls Practical Reason. Most libertarians are the followers of Pure Reason, and that is why there is a surfeit of idealism and rationalization in their political thinking.

When the libertarian view of reason is impractical, then we cannot be sure what kind of free society they are capable of creating? I believe that the libertarians brand themselves with words like “reason” and “liberty” because they want to feel superior to the trivial masses and businessmen. They don't consider the fact that it is these masses and businessmen who keep the country running through their hard work and enterprise.

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