Social cooperation, part 3

posted by
October 30, 2011
Foundation for Economic Education
by Sheldon Richman  
Posted in Commentary

"In recent months I’ve drawn attention to the emphasis that free-market liberals historically have placed on social cooperation. Contrary to the partly self-inflicted caricature of the libertarian as an atomistic, rugged, self-reliant individualist, the weightiest thinkers in this tradition have in fact stressed the indispensability of sociality to human well-being." (10/28/11)  
  • To me the biggest misunderstanding about liberty (among those who stress the need for “social justice” as a primary goal) is that a “charitable” nature can somehow be coerced. The reality (and not just the ethics of the matter) runs counter to this. Even the spiritual mentors (Jesus, Buddha, et alia) never advised that you should help others out of some mandate imposed from outside yourself, but that you should give “from the heart” as willful affirmation of your awareness of the oneness of life.

    The irony is that those critics hold this view of libertarians as ‘selfish ogres’ … even when they know people personally who self-identify as such, yet are among the first to step up when someone is in need! We set the example by our voluntary (and hence, ‘selfish,’ since we freely chose them) actions, even when our rhetoric appears otherwise.

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