Assorted links


6. I don't think Kling's model is "essentially true". Liberals seem only occasionally concerned by government oppression, and libertarians seem uninterested in coercion by non-government actors. You can argue until you're blue in the face that "There's no free entry!" or "How can a market function when a person is bleeding out and needs emergency medicine?", and the libertarian will (lamely) say "Well, you should have bought X insurance ahead of time."

The liberal-libertarian access is much easier to understand on a single axis of comfort with collective action / free choice.

And yet it completely fails to predict any sort of alliance between the religious right and libertarians. In fact, it predicts that they would be strongly at odds with one another when they've been lined up politically for quite a long time. I'm not sure if this "three axis" solution is best, but clearly something more nuanced than a single axis of liberty is necessary to model politics in the US.

And yet it completely fails to predict any sort of alliance between the religious right and libertarians

It predicts alliances with the religious right on a number of important issues, such as school choice, taxes, size of the welfare state, and free-market philosophy. These are central enough that as a result most libertarians and the vast majority of the religious right co-align with the Republican party. Of course there are serious disagreements on abortion, pornography, religious instruction in school and drugs. But these are not necessarily the most pressing threats to liberty today, as basic policy on these issues is unlikely to change on broad scale any time soon.

The Religious Right agenda is considered unconstitutional. It's a comically easy bargain to make when the other side has zero to gain.

"Libertarians seem uninterested in coercion by non-government actors." I don't think that's true. It's fair to say that libertarians don't see a lot of non-governmental actions as coercive, and where they are, the ability to coerce is sustained by some governmental action. But I think it's also true that a lot of private actions that liberals see as oppressive don't concern libertairians precisely because they aren't seen as coercive.

I was censored on his website once. Still, "once" is better than Broad deLarge's, eh?

3: I am shocked, shocked, that these tech elites, not nurtured in East Coast liberal arts programs, are not paying inflated sums for bad art in order to participate in those particular signaling games. How uncultured of them.

Count me in. People known to be on the rational side do not go for worthless bullshit (art's the ultimate sucker's game)? What a surprise.

If anything, I would expect countersignalling in going out of their way to ignore this stuff. I know I do (although I might buy a HR Giger thingy at some point, purely for the shock value) and I am not even a tech entrepreneur.

+1 Maybe artists should respond to demand pressure and create something techies might like? It has never worked screaming that your consumers are stupid to not buy your wares.

Somehow it is terrible hard for me to churn up any sympathy for those poor starving artists.

Gates buys art, but it's techno-art, like an original Gutenberg bible.

@#4- somebody has to say it: with the passing of Thatcher and Reagan, and this blurb: "The Kihango trials were replaced by a new judicial process, which their Mwami trusted to deal with local disputes" - does this mean the end of 'voodoo economics'?

Bada-bing (groan)

I partly agree with one of the above comments. It seems to me that oppression and coercion are essentially the same thing.

Oppression is understood here to be class-based while coercion seems meant to apply only to oppression by the central government.

I agree that the labeling is ambiguous though.

Can't you oppress someone without coercing them? I could go around to all my buddies and convince them not to trade with you. That wouldn't coerce you, but it might oppress you, right? Lots of other example, I am sure.

I would argue that they are completely different given the fact that the government has a monopoly on force.

6: which axis would fit for an utilitarian (i.e. most people, I think)?

When I was an undergrad, I recall going to an IHS/Mercatus Center program where they had a three-axis model that seemed superior to Kling's. I wish I could remember the details because it seemed pretty spot-on to me -- better than Kling's framework.

#6 so Tyler, now you're broadcasting the babbling of undistinguished undergraduates?

It's not that this youngster is necessarily silly--it's that his work is plainlyuninformed.


The techies I know who collect art tend to collect antiques, Asian art, or handmade art of various sorts; handmade/blown glass objects are quite popular. Hugely expensive "social commentary" stuff isn't real popular, particularly since a lot of that art requires a large physical space. Unless you're a billionaire, you don't have a ton of space for physically large art pieces in a typically smallish SV house.

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