individualism, properly understood

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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14 Responses

  1. Very interesting post ED! I think I share your belief that the FPR-type folks need to spend some time in the weeds of policy debate and reconcile that with their notion of ‘place’ and localism. While I think their goals are sound, the proposed methodology is a bit like trying to put the genie back in the bottle.Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      Very well said, Mike. Actually following the FPR line of thought led me straight into a wall – the word “implementation” haunted me. Once you get past the wishful thinking, you have to start thinking about policy. And that’s where things get very tricky.Report

      • Ultimately I think their notion of us all moving back to the farm is pretty fantastical. Most of us who believe in localism are like you and myself, we look for ways to stay where we are and increase the bonds of community. FPR seems to think that is only possible when we move away from cities. I say the more worthwhile goal is to stay and fight.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “At the heart of libertarian philosophy is at least some degree of faith in the individual to make the best, or at least the most rational or most predictable, decision.”

    It’s not that as much as the malice that the individual is capable of creating is nothing compared to the malice that a group of people with decentralized responsibility is capable of creating… be it corporation or government.Report

  3. Avatar mike farmer says:

    Very good. Thank you. This is my view of individuality — and it’s also my belief that the term individual rights is redundant — there are no rights other than rights which individuals possess.Report

  4. Avatar Cascadian says:

    Isn’t talking of sin in this context encouraging local behavior that doesn’t resort to the institutional variety? Is the only kind of protectionism institutional? If I put up billboards encouraging people to buy Cascadian, is that fundamentally different than having my neighborhood association, city, or State (Province) doing the same? Do you consider resource or environmental protection, restrictions on internal investment, to be protectionism?Report

    • Avatar E.D. Kain says:

      I’m not sure I follow. I think protectionism, broadly defined, is an act of the government which raises tariffs or provides subsidies to specific industries or players within those industries in order to “protect” them from foreign competition. Environmental protections can certainly be abused, the regulations distorted, etc. but they are not the same thing.Report

  5. Avatar Cascadian says:

    I’m thinking of the problems of gradating society from the National to the family level in conjunction with the many different types of protectionism. Is investing in education a subsidy for the industries that eventually employ the students? Is the ban on exportation of water, or State water rights a form of protectionism? How about local investments in energy infrastructure. Can the benefits of that investment be kept for local populations? Down the road can that be cast as protectionism on the export side? Basically, I’d argue that protectionism can be more complex than a federal government imposing an import tax and that not all forms of protectionism are bad.Report