My hypothesis i…


My hypothesis is that progressives, conservatives, and libertarians view politics along three different axes. For progressives, the main axis has oppressors at one end and the oppressed at the other. For conservatives, the main axis has civilization at one end and barbarism at the other. For libertarians, the main axis has coercion at one end and free choice at the other.

Arnold Kling on the three languages of politics. HT: Ben Harrison

The language of…


The language of individual-
ism (i.e., the idea that people make decisions
for themselves and that at least in economic
matters these are the best decisions) serves as
a powerful legitimation for free-market liber-
alism. The irony is that this profoundly anti-
expert, anti-elitist, democratic ideology has its
own expert class, its professionals of market le-
gitimation, and has been the vehicle of a class
polarization far greater than at any other time
since World War II.

I’m often interested in the language of how we speak about markets. I’ve never found the Friedmanite conflation of economic freedom and political freedom to be very satisfying. As this strikes me as an attack on elitism and expertise.