Tuesday, October 7, 2008

You Tell 'Em, Jan!

God damn. Just wanted to share with the world a little piece of Jan Narveson's mind:
…the idea of collective ownership of the earth is, really, a myth, a dish of romantic political nonsense. And like almost all romantic myths when they are politicized, the results of taking it seriously are inevitably evil. Some general story of the Lockean stripe is all there is, because it is all there can be. Individual people pick fruit from individual trees, dig up particular patches of soil, kill particular deer, grow particular pigs, and the rest of it – up to and including inventing the digital computer and putting on productions of Wagner’s Ring of the Nibelungs. That is how mankind is fed, and clothed, and entertained, because there is no other way. To “collectivize” agriculture is not, because it cannot be, to cause the plants to grow in some other way; it is, instead, to force people to work differently: to work under the direction of others who need pay no attention to the worker’s interests, and to disconnect those workers from the incentives and disincentives that have always impelled people to work. It is not surprising that it does not work very well, but it is important to appreciate what it is and that it cannot be what it appears to pretend to be.

That, my friends, is some philosophical ass-kickery that we can believe in. Check out the rest of Narveson's excellent essay, "Collective Responsibility," in the Journal of Ethics if you have access to it. That quotation comes from pages 196-197.

No comments:

Philosophy Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory Libertarian Blogs Add to Technorati Favorites Back to the Drawing Board - Blogged
"Rational philosophy is on the march. It will f--- up all of your sh-- and leave you without any teeth."