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The Essence of the Political Left

Bryan Caplan is not persuaded by my argument that the essence of political leftists is their failure to appreciate the reality and power of spontaneous-ordering forces.  Also unpersuaded is Ben Zycher.  Pasted below is Ben’s e-mail to me, shared here in full with his kind permission.

Hi Don. I don’t think it’s correct to argue that leftists do not “grasp the reality of spontaneous order.” It is precisely that spontaneous order and the freedom that yields it that the left hates, because it is the opposite of the centralized control that is the reason d’etre of the left. Here is a simple conceptual experiment: Suppose that the left did understand spontaneous order and its implications. Can anyone believe that they would applaud it? Of course not, because it is a specific set of evolving allocational outcomes that they demand, along with the coercion needed to effect them. That is why the left is fundamentally anti-human.

Speaking of which: Here is my recent column on the anti-human implications of the fossil-fuel divestment campaign. Perhaps worthy of CH; perhaps not.

Other People’s Money: The Immorality Of The Fossil-Fuel Divestment Campaign

Best, Ben

Both Bryan and Ben make good points.  My hypothesis might well be mistaken – and I don’t concede this point merely to be polite.