1/8/13

Libertarians yell at each other, Women's edition, part 4271

1/8/13
So I put this video in my sidebar. It got a few obscure libertarian sites to talking (obscure libertarian, why yes that probably is redundant).

And I just found the whole conversation interesting. I'm a little too under the weather to think too much about it right now, but hey, if philosophy and politics aren't spectator sports, I don't know what is.

I'll start with Julie Borowski's video. It's self-explanatory:


And yes, I can see how many women would be offended by this. Even a libertarian woman:
But the way that Borowski’s video answers the question, “Why aren’t there more female libertarians?” is, sadly, just by being itself. There aren’t more female libertarians because libertarians say things exactly like this. Nearly every female libertarian we know can tell stories about being told, “Women aren’t really equipped to understand libertarianism. It’s a biological thing.” Or “Of course women are statists. They all just want to be taken care of.” Or “Women’s brains just can’t do economics.” Or “Women’s right to vote ruined the country.” Now Borowski has added yet another insult to the pile.
Cue Bryan Caplan, who decides to burst in to this argument with some more nuance. He begins by reciting some findings of his where men are more "thinkers" and women more "feelers", and it's quite a significant difference. He goes on:
To make a long story short: Thinking people tend to have "hard heads" and "hard hearts," while Feeling people have "soft heads" and "soft hearts." Unsurprisingly, then, Feeling people tend to hold more anti-market views. I've similarly found strong evidence that males "think more like economists." This gender belief gap increases with education, consistent with a simple model where male and female students gradually learn more about whatever their personalities incline them to study.

The whole premise "Bleeding Heart Libertarianism," of course, is that we should unbundle the hardness of our heads and the hardness of our hearts. Logically speaking, we can combine hard heads and soft hearts. Empirically, though, this combination is rare. And that's why Bleeding Heart Libertarians have their work cut out for them. If you're trying to sell libertarianism to Feeling people, "hard head, soft heart" ideas are more persuasive than "hard head, hard heart" ideas. But the libertarian remains at an inherent disadvantage against intellectual rivals pedaling "soft head, soft heart" ideas.
Much of the comments are equally interesting.

Oh and there's plenty more of this out there.

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