Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Monday, December 11, 2017 06:18:24 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Libertarianism without context is pretext

By
17th-May-2014       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Valdenor Junior :
It is common in Brazil to say, "Text with no context is pretext." The wordplay conveys a valuable truth: Out of context reasoning can be easily used as pretext for an agenda. To comprehend reality outside of context can serve interests very different from those originally intended.
This should be a wakeup call for the rising Brazilian libertarian movement. The examination of political and social phenomena should never be pulled out of context.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed many instances of "de-contextualized libertarianism," the application of libertarian principles to a given political issue without due regard to the circumstances. The analysis is scarily vitiated.
An example is the re-integration of Oi's property, about which I have written. Some libertarians complimented the swift decision by the Justice. This can be seen as, technically, a correct application of the principle that property rights should be upheld. But what is missing? Context.
Thousands of people were deprived their homes by World Cup developments and natives and riverside inhabitants are being expropriated for the building of the Belo Monte dam. The same efficiency displayed by the state to reinstate Oi's property is what allows its violence against the poor. Oi's property reinstating, in context, reveals a state that combines the protection of the rich and powerful's property with systematic aggression against the poor with an impetus to control their access to land.
A second example is the tendency, among some, to criticize Bolsa-Família (a welfare program for the very poor) and its recipients. We should listen to Kevin Carson: Our anger should not be directed towards welfare recipients, because the true parasites are higher up on the social pyramid.
Think about it: The state, by means of countless interventions and laws in the past and present has deprived the poor in Brazil of many opportunities and granted even more privileges (subtly or openly) to the well-connected. Do you really think that the few hundred reais from Bolsa-Família come even close to outbalancing what was taken from the poor in opportunity? They may receive welfare, but they are clearly hurt by the government. It is much better to criticize BNDES (a bank that primarily lends money to the rich on very favorable terms) and the insistence of the government on creating Brazilian transnational corporations.
One last example: Sao Paulo separatism. There exists a historical movement of secession in the Sao Paulo state. Libertarians defend secession, but the one the movement calls for is not libertarian, since they would not recognize the right of its constituent parts to secede as well.
Moreover, some people who argue that Sao Paulo should secede claim that it "supports the rest of the country" by having their taxes seized and spread among the other states in the country. It is impossible to associate libertarianism with that in any way. The Brazilian Amazon and the Northeast have always been hurt by the protectionism in favor of Sao Paulo, poorer people that have always bought more expensive goods to prop up Sao Paulo's industries and finance a supposed "national development." It would make sense, nowadays, to have the Amazonian states trade with the Andes countries. That is not possible, though, because Brasilia thinks the Mercosur is sacred.
Something amazing about the American left-libertarian tradition is its ability to turn libertarianism into a powerful tool of contextual political analysis. Albert Jay Nock, for one, used to denounce the usage of "imposter terms" such as laissez faire and individualism to cover the fact that since the very beginning of the modern factory system, there have been systematic interventions in favor of manufacture. In Brazil, in law schools, a convenient "imposter term" is the "liberal state from the 19th century," a century in which liberals themselves were the opposition.
Hence, the conclusion we can arrive at is that, superficially and out of context, the application of libertarian principles seems to coincide with the interests of the elites, but attention to circumstances reveals that they are in line with the general welfare, especially for the poor. A contextualized libertarianism tends to be some form of left-libertarianism, which promotes individual freedom and social justice at the same time. We will not always agree on the details because the intellectual variety in libertarianism is impressive and positive, but we will be more consistent with the soul of classical liberalism.
Brazil needs a contextualized libertarianism that should be consequently inclusive, liberating and humanitarian. Contextless libertarianism, on the other hand, is but a pretext to those "those selfish and blind interests that set themselves athwart the necessary transformation of a political and economic organization which has ceased to be adapted to societies' present conditions of existence," which Gustave de Molinari mentioned in the 19th century.

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

International »

Chinese billionaire-in-exile wants regime change in Beijing


AFP, New York :Billionaire Guo Wengui, who is seeking asylum in the United States after accusing officials in his native China of corruption, wants "a change of the regime" in Beijing and the introduction of democracy in the world's most populous country."I want to try and to have rule of ...

Editorial »

Aman harvest has no effect on rice market


PASSING the Aman harvest, rice price has not come down as government leaders earlier said and rather gone up to the dismay of the common people all over the country. Though farmers are happy with higher price; although they have suffered production loss at many places due to late receding ...

Cricket »

Players of Comilla Victorians celebrating after dismissal of Chris Gayle of Rangpur Riders during the Qualifier-2 match of the AKS Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) Twenty20 Cricket between Comilla Victorians and Rangpur Riders at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday.


Sports »

Members of Rongdhanu RDS, the runners-up of the Hedayet Hossain Memorial Night Cricket Tournament pose for a photo session at Bangladesh Ground in Old Dhaka recently.


Entertainment »

Gauhar makes to sexiest Asian list for fourth consecutive time


For the fourth consecutive year, Bollywood actress and model Gauhar Khan has been voted to the top 10 list of ‘50 Sexiest Asian Women list’ in the world. It is an annual UK poll, which has been released in London recently. The actress, who is known for her choice of ...

City »

Convenor of Nagorik Oikya Mahmudur Rahman Manna speaking at a discussion organised by 'Mayer Dak, a social organisation at the Jatiya Press Club on Sunday with a call to bring back forced disappeared people to their mothers' laps.


International »

Ex-Fox news anchor Huddy claims Trump kissed her


Huff Post :A former Fox News anchorwoman who accused Bill O'Reilly of sexually harassing her in 2011 is now claiming that Donald Trump kissed her on the lips in an elevator.Juliet Huddy said Thursday morning on the "Mornin!!! With Bill Schulz" podcast (which has a paywall) that it happened around ...

Editorial »

Dust pollution takes toll in cities’ air


PRESENCE of dust and pollution in the air of our cities has reached alarming levels. It's happening mainly due to chaotic construction works, poor management and protracted traffic jams. According to Air Quality Index Report of the Department of Environment's (DoE) "Clean Air and Sustainable Project" earlier this month, air ...

Sports »

Chanchal emerges unbeaten champion in Blitz Chess Championship


BSS, Dhaka  :Chanchal Kumar Ghosh emerged as unbeaten champion in the Blitz Chess Championship with 6.5 points after the 7th round game on Friday at E Commerce Club hall room in Uttara. Five players finished in second to sixth position with 5.5 points after the tie breaking system. They are ...

Sports »

First-place Nao Kodaira (center) of Japan stands with second-place Lee Sang-hwa (left) of South Korea and third-place Arisa Go (right) of Japan after the women's 500 meters at a World Cup speedskating event Friday in Kearns, Utah.


Entertainment »

Akshay to back out of Gulshan Kumar's biopic?


 Akshay Kumar, who has films like Padman and 2.0 lined up for 2018, has created a stir after rumors of him stepping out of the film titled Mogul came to the forefront. Mogul is a biopic on the creator of T-series, Gulshan Kumar. According to the rumors, Akshay Kumar and ...

City »

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, among others, at a discussion organised on the occasion of 10th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Kalyan Party at the Jatiya Press Club on Saturday.


Editorial »

Mysterious theft of fertiliser from Govt depots


DESPITE fertile land loss, inclement weather and depleting irrigation water, Bangladesh's agriculture keeps contributing a fifth of the GDP each year. Along with other factors, government's policy support in the form of fertiliser subsidy plays a big part here. But misappropriation of the key agro input such as fertiliser by ...

City »

`National Committee for the Implementation of Prime Minister`s Approved Gazetted Salaries` formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club on Friday to meet its demands.


.

Entertainment »

Are Virat and Anushka getting hitched?


Over the past few days, there are some reports doing the rounds that ace cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood starlet Anushka Sharma are getting married. According to these reports, both these love-birds will tie the knot in Italy.  The manager of Anushka has already slammed these reports by saying these ...

 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news