Monday, January 2, 2012

Krauthammer accidentally says something true

What a way to start the new year - with a completely new Charles Krauthammer. Here he is writing an entire article that is perceptive, thought-provoking, and actually true. First he spends some time talking about the mysterious silence in the universe - as Fermi asked, where is everybody? - and then he segues into destroying Libertarian philosophy in a single sentence.

Intelligence is a capacity so godlike, so protean that it must be contained and disciplined. This is the work of politics — understood as the ordering of society and the regulation of power to permit human flourishing while simultaneously restraining the most Hobbesian human instincts.

Are we alone in the universe?

This is why free markets must be regulated, and liberty must be constrained: because human existence is an orchestra of competing drives. Regulation is one of them: self-regulation, through morality and reason, and social regulation, through law and custom. The idea that humans are best on their own, indeed the idea that they can exist in isolation from a social framework, is just plain wrong. We need society, to help us make the right choices, just as we need education and self-discipline to help us make the right choices. Man is a social animal. A man trying to live without social input is like a man trying to shave without a mirror.

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