Friday, March 09, 2007


Libertarians are against paternalism, libertarian paternalism is an oxymoron. One of the contributors to Overcoming Bias makes the following argument against the libertarianism:
I thought I detected a libertarian strain in Robin's arguements on this and on other issues, but perhaps I am wrong about this. If he is using libertarian arguements, then such arguements rely on a unitary self, as follows:

Libertarianism is based on a person's self-ownership, with liberty to do whatever he wants with his self, as long as he allows others the same liberty.

But with multiple subselves within the same person, when one subself takes an action it will often restrict the liberty of another subself, thus making a nonsense of the libertarian project.
Gosh! That was easy!

My poor little sub-selves! how they have been suffering all these years! Living under the totalitarian rule of umm... other... umm... sub... selves...


Tracy Leigh said...

lol :) This a funny argument. If I can't know and look after the interests of my subselves, then who can?!

Swart Donkey said...

reminds me of that cartoon with all the little people running the big person from inside.

Implying that the subselves all have to agree for the outcome to be acceptable is a silly argument... In what particular other framework would that idea propose that all subselves would agree all the time?

I like the idea though... it lets me blame the stupid things I do on subselves.