Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another economics professor for state-sponsored torture

Robin Hanson may not be a libertarian, but he is a marketeer, which is the name I just invented for the broader category of people who generally favor market-based solutions wherever possible. He's definitely one of the smart ones, and generally non-dogmatic, so it pains me to see that he is making incredibly idiotic arguments in favor of torture. He actually tries to imply that the difference between torture and the ordinary kind of judicial punishment is no different than the difference between the left and right hand. It's rare to see an analogy that maladroit.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

This blog has been around for about two years now (I started it as a horrified reaction to the effects of Katrina), and hasn't yet found a coherent theme other than "stuff that happens to interest me". But it may be converging on "libertarians (ok, marketeers) are wack". Too bad the niche is taken.

5 comments:

cxx_guy said...

He favors torture, by the state. He is not a libertarian. Q.E.D.

Robin Hanson said...

? How is torture a "market" in any sense of the word? I think it is much clearer to say I am a consequentialist; I evalute policies based on the consequences I can understand. And I don't think the choice between state-imprisonment or state-torture has much of anything to do with libertarianism.

mtraven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtraven said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mtraven said...

Whoah, I forget that laying into someone on the net these days is liable to lead to an actual conversation! I wonder when George Bush will start answering me here.

Hi Robin, you are right, there is nothing explicitly libertarian or market-based about your torture proposal. Nevertheless I see a link between those two things, which I will try to explain in a separate post.