Saturday, March 14, 2009

"It does not conduce to Aristotelian happiness..."

Jesus, that sounds important.  Im linking to this speech made by Charles Murray at AEI because I disagree with it but respect the level of intellect behind it.  Im not sure why the "European model" has become such a  bogey man of late.  I suspect its because  the pejorative use of the term liberal has lost much of its magic and the right  has had to resort to the specter of European Democratic Socialism to draw scary comparisons.  I wasn't aware that a change of a few percentage points in the upper marginal tax rates had so much import but apparently what the fuck do I know.

The primary problem with this speech to my mind is the absolute faith it has in the necessity of an either/or outcome.   Murray allows that he enjoys visiting Paris or Rome and doesn't take particular note of populations straining under the "yoke of an evil system",  quite the contrary  he observes.   But as lovely as it might seem it isn't quite..... Aristotelian.  Quite. Fuckin' please.

I couldn't say with any objectivity  why  Im a liberal and I suspect Murray  couldn't really explain why he isn't.  I perceive human affairs one way and he another and I doubt either of us would be comfortable with the lack of empirical data to support those perceptions.   However I do not believe in ultimate ideological victories and I think people who do contribute to a good deal of ill in the world.

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