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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 4 years, 7 months ago
    This is long, but it covers a huge amount of philosophical ground and is very easy to read. I enjoyed it.

    At the beginning it talks about liberals not wanting economic prosperity because of the contradiction of valuing self-denial-- that it's moral to help others but immoral to do the same for yourself. This all makes sense, but I think there is something more going on than just self-denial. In the liberal view, the marginal utility of consumption is negative. That's an awkward way of saying once we consume enough food each additional unit of consumption is less important to us. Going from living on the street to a 1-BR $800/mo apartment is more valuable to us than moving from an $800/mo apartment to a $10,000/mo mansion. Getting those basic needs met is so important, and they see going beyond that as increasingly becoming an addiction that trashes the environment, like an addict constantly needing more to get the same high while negatively impacting the lives of people around him. I agree with the liberals on marginal utility but not on socialism, not on seeing creation/consumption as an addiction, and not the notion that creation/consumption must always harm some sacred aspect of the environment.

    The article has me thinking if liberal claims of consumption=addiction=destruction of environment somehow flow from altruism and self-denial. Thanks for posting it.
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