No More Bullying, Part II

by Don Boudreaux on October 23, 2010

in Charity, Complexity & Emergence, Cooperation, History, Myths and Fallacies, Other People's Money

Here’s a letter to the Wall Street Journal:

Jack Kinstlinger alleges that Tea Partiers are motivated by “greed and selfishness” and “reject what is fundamental to our religious teachings – that it is our duty to help those less fortunate and that we cannot live in isolation but are part of a larger community” (Letters, Oct. 23).

I have no idea what motivates the typical Tea Partier, but I do know that opposition to a heavy-handed government is not evidence of “greed” or of the absurd belief that human beings are not “part of a larger community.”

There’s a long tradition of classical liberalism – boasting names such as Adam Smith, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Madison, Jefferson, Tocqueville, Macaulay, Gladstone, Cobden, Mencken, and Hayek – based on the understanding that forced “charity” is not generosity; that no agency better serves the narrow and anti-social goals of the truly greedy than does the state; and that individuals left to regulate their own affairs with a minimum of interference from government will create extensive and deep patterns of social cooperation that are far more effective at meeting human needs than will any bureaucracy or program imposed by the state.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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