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Philo May 7 2019 at 1:33pm On your “simplistic” theory of the left-right distinction: I understand why people would have anti-market feelings, though I think that those who take such feelings seriously (leftists) are wrong to do so. But your account of “rightism” leaves the rightist’s antipathy to leftists or to leftism unmotivated, given that many rightists are not very enthusiastic about the market. Fundamentalist Christians, Nazis, and other “rightists” who are not strongly pro-market must be reacting against some other aspect of leftism besides the latter’s anti-market bias; but that implies that your account of leftism is incomplete. Perhaps you might

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Philo
May 7 2019 at 1:33pm

On your “simplistic” theory of the left-right distinction:

I understand why people would have anti-market feelings, though I think that those who take such feelings seriously (leftists) are wrong to do so. But your account of “rightism” leaves the rightist’s antipathy to leftists or to leftism unmotivated, given that many rightists are not very enthusiastic about the market. Fundamentalist Christians, Nazis, and other “rightists” who are not strongly pro-market must be reacting against some other aspect of leftism besides the latter’s anti-market bias; but that implies that your account of leftism is incomplete. Perhaps you might add, to your characterization of “leftists,” that they tend to be “rationalists” in Hayek’s pejorative sense (they underestimate their own ignorance), and to be objectionably self-congratulatory about their own behavior (which is mostly just verbal–just striking a pose).

Bryan Caplan
Bryan Caplan is Professor of Economics at George Mason University and Senior Scholar at the Mercatus Center. He has published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Law and Economics, and Intelligence, and has appeared on 20/20, FoxNews, and C-SPAN. Bryan Caplan blogs on EconLog.

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