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The Industrial Radical

I've been a bit behind in my reading and my work in general, so I'm finally getting to a few new points of information. I was pleased to see Roderick Long's announcement at L&P of the new periodical, "The Industrial Radical," and not just because he states: "'Industrial' in Herbert Spencer’s sense, 'Radical' in Chris Sciabarra’s sense."

There is a very real need to reclaim the "radical" label in defense of liberty. As Hayek once said, "we are bound all the time to question fundamentals ... it must be our privilege to be radical."

Read up on this new magazine here.

Comments welcome.

Comments

Thank you, Chris, I'll have to check this out.

I have to admit that right now I am not "up" on your specialty, philosophy. I strongly believe in the rights and dignity of the individual and I find--well, libertarianism or "classical liberalism" beguiling (although I am so unschooled in such terms that I really ought not to throw them around carelessly)--and I feel that the ideals of the Founding Fathers were one of the greatest ideals in the Western World.

But believing as I do in the worth of every individual, I have not been able to figure out my niche! As far as collectivism goes, I think Oscar Wilde was correct when he wrote: "It is to be regretted that a portion of our commmunity is practically in slavery, but to propose to solve the problem by enslaving the entire community is childish." Delightful understatment, that. It is childish--and worse. But the coporatization of America and the world leads to evils, too.

I'm a registered Democrat because I fear the takeover of the Republican party by the Religious Right and corporations more than I fear the PC police and the looney left, but as far as I'm really not fond of either one right now.

As I've admitted, I'm not very well versed in political science and philosophy, but find libertarianism intriguing. In your discussion on the cancellation of "Reunion", you mentioned an sorely needed uplifting of the culture. If someone could give me a good arguement that free markets can stop folks like the CEOS of Halliburton and Enron and corporation-owned media, I'd jump right in.

Do you have any suggestions of good books for a layperson to read?

Peri

Hey, Peri, thanks for your comments here as well. I tend to think of my own specialty as "social theory," more than philosophy proper, but your points are well taken.

I understand completely your own anxieties about the Religious Right, and I understand as well your own involvement with the Democratic Party, despite your disillusionment with both major parties.

I, myself, am a registered independent.

I think the key to facing your own legitimate anxieties with regard to firms like Halliburton and Enron is to understand what role the state plays in creating the context for the abuses perpetrated by such corporations. There is much to be said about the nature of government intervention and the ways in which it both shapes and is shaped by the general culture into producing massive social distortions such as monopoly, business cycles of inflation and unemployment, and the globalization of these phenomena in the service of those business interests that feed from the public trough.

You might wish to consult a few primers on the subject. I discuss some of these in this post. On the issue of culture, in particular, let me add to those recommendations a book authored by Don Lavoie and Emily Chamlee-Wright entitled Culture and Enterprise: The Development, Representation, and Morality of Business.

I discuss some of these issues in my own book, Total Freedom, specifically in the later chapters, which take certain libertarians to task for not paying enough attention to cultural forces and the ways in which they shape markets (and vice versa).

You might also wish to check out two other posts of mine:

Capitalism: The Known Reality

Capitalism and Other Isms

Some of the material cited in the above links is more "layperson" friendly than other materials; if you have specific questions about any of the works in particular, fire away! :)

Thank you, Chris, for your response. I'm also enjoying the comments created by your posting of Michael's e-mail to you. It looks like we both have a lot of reading to do! :-)

My concerns revolved around the individual and culture--how to create a culture that recognizes the worth of every individual without exploitation--my philosophy, insofar as I have one, was inspired by the Declaration of Independance and Wilde's "The Soul of Man Under Socialism"--which, of course, really advocates individualism rather than socialism in the end and is very fuzzy on the details(Wilde wasn't a "wonk"; he MAY have approached "Wonka".)

I'll comment more as I read and absorb your suggestions.

Thanks!

Excellent, Peri... I'm just an email or a post away, and will gladly reply to any questions or comments you have.