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Okay After Friday's attempt by a close libertarian - to again get me to declare I am a 'closet libertarian' - the missing link why 'I cannot ever be converted to libertarianism' - see below quote for more insight ......

From a great book I hae almost finished - "The politics of hope - Jonathan Sacks


".... To sum up : I have suggested that there are certain goods which cannot be privatised without loss. They range from parks to days of rest to a public culture which sustain liberty, equality, fraternity and the pursuit of happiness. These goods are essentially social. They are enjoyed by each of us as individuals. Nor could they be brought into being by political means alone. Liberty cannot be created by law. Equality cannot be brought about by simple income redistribution. Fraternity is not established by contract. The pursuit of happiness depends on the possibilities within a social system.
This ultimately, is what makes libertarianism so unsatisfactory an account of who we are and what our culture should be like. The most convincing case for libertarianism is that in a world in which we were free to do what we like so long as we do not harm others, everyone would gain and no one lose. The truth is, though, that we would all lose, for we would lose the social domain, the realm of public good within which we discover our identity and allegiances, our loyalties and common strivings, our sense of liberty and equal regard. A world without public meanings - like one without parks and public holidays - would be one in which important dimensions of human security, worth and happiness, would be missing. It might be that in the fullness of time we would grow so accustomed to the loss that we would no longer miss it. But that seems unlikely, for man is a social animal, not a private one.
The libertarian society was created with the highest of intentions,to maximise the scope of individual freedom. But though freedom is in some respects like a private garden it is also like a public park, and it needs powerful habits of self-restraint if it is not to be quickly ruined by litter graffiti and wanton damage. A society whose values are monetary - advertising, consumption, and the pursuit of wealth - will be inegalitarian, not just because there are differences of income but because in it money matters too much. A society which neglects the socialising effects of the family will be increasingly unfree, not because there are too many laws but because order depends on them too much. A society in which relationships are based on contract rather than loyalty will create places where we happen to be, but not places where we belong. The result is inevitably that, while standards of living may rise, quality of life declines"


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November 2011



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