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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Fun With Evolutionary Psychology

Dan Cicconi wrote:
DC) One thing I have noticed the LRC is made of a lot of former GOP people like me who want the party to convert without them having to convert at all. They want to make their GOP arguments from inside their newly remodeled Libertarian Party. (DC
What exactly is Republican about the Platform that the LRC just gave us?  This lame "Republican lite" grunt is repeated so often that I keep the answer permanently posted here:
DC) I have evolved along the way and made major conversions with my political beliefs, I'm now more anarchistic then ever, and damn proud of it. (DC
Proud enough to advocate renaming the Libertarian Party to the Anarchist Party?
DC) The need for a state comes from the most undevelpoed oldest parts of our brains. (DC
The need for a state comes from the theory of market failure -- a theory that eluded political theorists for 2300 years, and that helped win Samuelson the second-ever Nobel Prize after he formalized the theory in 1954.  That the LP has never embraced this very libertarian theory is due to the historical accident that Rothbard and Rand closed the libertarian canon in the late 1940s, just a decade or two too early.  As a result, the LP has been self-marginalized by a simplistic bumper-sticker-sized philosophy, while serious libertarian economists have gone on to effect a series of important market-based policy reforms without any LP help.  Sigh.

The need for anarchist iconoclasm comes from a more recent part of our brain.  Adolescents in a learning social species need a long period of attachment to their parents, and then need to become self-sufficient relatively suddenly.  Evolution solves this problem by programming human teenagers to reject authority and perceptions of conformity.  How many Libertarian anarchists became parents before becoming anarchists, instead of vice versa?  How many Libertarian anarchists successfully breed at all?

Evolutionary psychology is fun, and I agree with much of your analysis about identity politics, but just-so stories can't tell us that one theory of political economy is more valid than another.