“….the barrier to radical reform of social policy is not the pain it would cause the intended beneficiaries of the present system, but the pain it would cause the donors. The real contest about the direction of social policy is not between the people who want to cut budgets and people who want to help. When reforms finally do occur, they will happen not because stingy people have won, but because generous people have stopped kidding themselves. “
The above quote is the closing sentence of Charles Murray’s “Losing Ground” the book that led me to libertarianism. It is a perfect encapsulation of the content of the book describing the abysmal failure of socialist policies.
I started listening to Stefan Molyneux when he was still making his podcasts while driving to work. He was at around #400 and I started diligently with the first. I never caught up, I stopped listening when I realized that he is hopelessly and irredeemably ideological.
His presentations were a little too verbose but fair representations of libertarian principles as they relate to various subjects. Still, I consider his work the best example of the problems of ideological libertarianism today.
He is, of course, not alone, he is standing on the shoulders of the likes of Rothbard, but Stefan represents best what I would call populist ideological libertarianism.
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This is part one of a series on the subject looking at the relationship between ideology and pragmatism through issues related to three ideological systems: Environmentalism, Libertarianism and Socialism.