Like wood fires and nuclear fusion, ideology is a very bad master. But also, like wood fire in nuclear fusion, it is a most excellent servant. Therefore I cannot sign-on for Jerry Taylor‘s decision to abandon “ideology“. The task, I think, is to make ideologies useful by making them self reflective. After all, if a libertarian founder like John Stuart Mill can say that Positive Liberty is essential—that the British working class of his day was "imprisoned" in spite of all their negative liberty by Malthusian poverty, there is ample space for a libertarianism that keeps its good focus on human choice, potential, and opportunity without blinding itself to a great deal of reality: Jerry Taylor: The Alternative to Ideology: "When we launched the Niskanen Center in January 2015, we happily identified ourselves as libertarians... heterodox libertarians... left-libertarianism concerned with social justice (a libertarian perspective that I’ve defended in debates with more orthodox libertarians here and here)...

...That worldview lacked an institutional voice in 2015. Our ambition was to create a space for it and, in so doing, redefine what it meant to be libertarian in the 21st century. I have abandoned that libertarian project, however, because I have come to abandon ideology. This essay is an invitation for you to do likewise—to walk out of the “clean and well-lit prison of one idea.” Ideology encourages dodgy reasoning due to what psychologists call “motivated cognition,” which is the act of deciding what you want to believe and using your reasoning power, with all its might, to get you there. Worse, it encourages fanaticism, disregard for social outcomes, and invites irresolvable philosophical disputes. It also threatens social pluralism — which is to say, it threatens freedom....


#shouldread

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