Understanding other ideologies by mattsteinglass
August 20, 2009, 7:31 am
Filed under: Libertarianism

Julian Sanchez says he finds it depressing how infrequently people “understand the views of people with different ideologies,” and says that Matthew Yglesias’s attempt to outline a sympathetic characterization of libertarianism falls short and that the commenters on his thread clearly consider libertarianism “not so much a belief system as an adolescent emotional disorder.” I don’t understand why understanding an ideology precludes considering it an adolescent emotional disorder. Or, to be less prejudicial, just thoroughly wrong in its approach to human nature. Does Sanchez feel he has a pretty decent understanding of Marxism? How sympathetic is he towards it? I bet I’m considerably more sympathetic to libertarianism than Sanchez is to Marxism. And I’m sure Sanchez wouldn’t disagree that a lot of extremely smart, fascinating, complex people have been Marxists. And yet the ideology is on the whole, and with notable areas of exception, a pretty crappy one. And you could take a bunch of courses on Marxism, have read many of the relevant texts, have immersed yourself in trying to empathize with the passions that motivated various Marxists at different points in the 150 years that it was a going concern, and still feel it was a pretty crappy ideology and dedicate a lot of your mental energy to trying to refute it.


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