My Quiet Life My Quiet Life

the moral libertarian

Rev noted this url in the comments of this post, which appears to be an attempt of a refutation of sorts of libertarianism in general. It appears to be coming from some sort of religious authoritarian perspective, or maybe he’s arguing for some sort of platonian rule, with a class of wise rulers, except there’s just one ruler, and he’s imaginary. He also asserts that without god, individual morality takes precedence, and “cannibalism, polygamy, slavery, or predatory sexual behavior” run rampant. I assume that “dogs sleeping with cats” is a given.

As luck would have it, I ran across a passage tonight that is relevant to how society (and moral codes along with it) evolves, and that there’s no delineation between societal and individual development. It’s from The Poverty of Philosophy, by our good pal Karl Marx. I’m not sure it’s a refutation to what this dude is saying, because I’m not 100% sure what he is saying, other than that we should have a theocratic government, and that liberterianism is bad because it interferes with that or something. Anyways, here’s the passage:

It is superfluous to add that men are not free to choose their productive forces – which are the basis of all their history – for every productive force is an acquired force, the product of former activity. The productive forces are therefore the result of practically applied human energy; but this energy is itself conditioned by the circumstances in which men find themselves, by the productive forces already acquired, by the social form which exists before they exist, which they do not create, which is the product of the preceding generation. Because of the simple fact that every succeeding generation finds itself in possession of the productive forces acquired by the previous generation, and that they serve it as the raw material for new production, a coherence arises in human history, a history of humanity takes shape which becomes all the more a history of humanity the more the productive forces of men and therefore their social relations develop. Hence it necessarily follows that the social history of men is always the history of their individual development, whether they are conscious of it or not. Their material relations are the basis of all their relations. These material relations are only the necessary forms in which their material and individual activity is realized.