Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Partial Retraction From My Last Post and Other Thoughts

On reading Patri Friedman's response to Will Wilkinson's post, I feel I was mistaken on how I, in my last post,  characterized what likely is Peter Thiel's position. 

I think Thiel really was just pointing out that most women aren't libertarians, and this is a problem for libertarians. Clearly he's not saying we ought to therefore repeal women's right to vote. That's not what I thought he was saying, but I think I perhaps read more democratophobia into it than made sense to. 

I agree with Friedman than there ought to be more competition is systems of government. I doubt that seasteading is the way to accomplish that- all the same I hope it does succeed. But politics in the way we know it is for the time being inevitable, and until new frontiers open up, on the ocean, in space, or elsewhere, we're going to have to deal with the system we have. Again, this in no way means accepting all the results the system produces. It's just simple realism and pragmatism.

One the wonders of our dynamic, prosperous, and, yes, relatively free society is that people like Patri Friedman are free to pursue their Utopian visions, and more philosophically inclined folks can go about trying to change hearts and minds. These approaches  may both bring benefits, and indeed seem to depend on each other. 

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