The Libertarian Virtue Of Slack – Ryan Calhoun

The tenets of the Tao Te Ching express the first anarchist or at least proto-anarchist political philosophy, to my knowledge. The Taoist opposition to government springs from a radical non-interventionist philosophy on all three major branches of philosophy. While Taoism rejects the normative, they recognize a sort of logic about the state of the universe, and that forced intervention into affairs of people is bound to cause even worse chaos.

According to legends, Laozi leaves China on hi...

This doctrine is known as Wu-Wei, translated imprecisely as non-action. Putting it very roughly, you do not need to force your will onto the world around you in order for it to yield positive results. There is also a principle of least action involved that many things are better left untouched than touched and then possibly worsened. You cannot know all possible effects of your actions. This doctrine does not urge people to never better things around them, but that such action should come naturally to them, that they should not be compelled whether under force or various social pressures to complete an action that they might otherwise not do.

The common libertarian nowadays is of the same non-interventionist temperament as the Taoists. They endorse individual preference, spontaneity and self-interest. They loathe the State and central planners of all kinds. Most libertarians identify, also, as individualists – both methodologically and ethically. However, much of libertarian culture is hostile to the idea of the slacker, of the non-contributor, of the lazy. Libertarians have very much embraced the protestant work ethic, that work in and of itself is valuable. It’s good to work, it’s good to be disciplined and rigorous. While all libertarians, in line with the non-aggression principle, must support the right to be lazy, most libertarians have taken to looking down upon those who simply don’t do much with their lives.

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