"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

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wTuesday, February 11, 2003

GLOBO-A-GOGO ROUND TWO: The current issue of Comment magazine continues a discussion that I helped to start in the last issue. The subject is globalization, and the new participants include Stuart Buck, Caleb Stegall, and Daniel Knauss (who previously accused me of idolatry).

My name actually comes up quite a bit in this discussion. Caleb Stegall opens by admitting that "The arguments seeking to temper Lott's enthusiasm for globalization seem rather impotent in the face of its apparent inevitability." However, he thinks that my argument about globalization advancing freedom, knowledge, and prosperity "begs the more important questions. Instead of asking whether we want more freedom or wealth or knowledge, we ought to ask what kind of freedom (or what kind of wealth or what kind of knowledge) we ought to seek and whether the freedom advanced by globalization is friend or foe to proper freedom?"

Ughh. Look, I'm in favour of the spread of freedom and wealth and knowledge, period, and I find most philosopher king attempts to limit such things to be rather self-serving ("My kinds of freedom, knowledge and wealth are just fine, thank you, but yours needs to be sharply limited."). Yes, there are probably a few qualifiers that I might attach, but they're mostly utilitarian ones (e.g., it might be harmful if the knowledge of how to build a better nuclear bomb was widely distributed; there is such a thing as responsibility or duty, etc.). Honestly, the thing that wrankles so much to me about the anti-globalizers is they want to drastically curtail freedoms, but most of don't want to admit it. [read the rest of the discussion here]

posted by Jeremy at 11:09 AM