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July 22, 2006

Comments

Mike Huben

There's no end to this twaddle.

Self-reliance is often expensive, but you don't see Miron noting that. The regulations Miron decries, such as food labelling, generally reduce information or other transaction costs.

Salaried employment, such as Miron's, is another example of a missed opportunity for self-reliance: why doesn't he simply have private students?

Modern society is made from interdependence, not self-reliance. The whole ediface of knowledge is interdependent: I'd love to see how far Miron got with only self-reliance there.

Now of course, it is possible for lost self-reliance to be harmful. But once again, Miron has no numbers for us, just vague hand-waving. As I predicted.

I typed this without the need for a government minister to sit next to me

Self-reliance would indeed be dangerous and expensive, in many cases. We should instead rely on family, friends and neighbours for advice and guidance, based on their own experience, passed on from their own family, friends and neighbours, et cetera.

James

Mike,

Let's see, you start with an insult, then go on to complain that the post was not about the topic you had in mind, all of which means exactly nothing. You approach substance with, "Modern society is made from interdependence, not self-reliance. The whole ediface of knowledge is interdependent: I'd love to see how far Miron got with only self-reliance there." Or you could be deliberately misconstruing Miron's usage of self-reliance, conflating it with individual autarky. I wonder... Then you claim that he has failed to provide numbers to justify a claim about a sign, rather than a magnitude.

Here's a suggestion that you may or may not care to take. When some libertarian says something you disagree with, skip the insults, identify the claim you disagree with and provide an argument that passes the same criticisms to which you would subject the claim you are disagreeing with.

Mike Huben

James, the day I take your advice on arguing is the day I'm diagnosed with Alzheimers.

Twaddle is not an insult: it is an accurate diagnosis. Miron seems to be working directly from my satirical Libertarianism in One Lesson. Two especially:

This whole series consists of Count only the benefits of libertarianism, count only the costs of government.

And the series itself is an examplke of Five of a factoid beats a full argument.

James

Mike,

You are certainly free to argue as you please, or change styles of argument to suit whatever mental conditions you are diagnosed with.

One thing I did want to clear up: I don't want to give the mistaken impression that my suggestion offered above is my own original idea. Many prominent critics of libertarian ideas (e.g. Amartya Sen, R. Musgrave, Duncan Kennedy, Allin Cottrell, etc.) seem to argue this way, and among other things it makes their writing more helpful because one doesn't need to sift through insults trying to figure out what the actual point of disagreement is. That said, I recognize that you might have adopted your chosen approach because you know something that these guys don't.

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