Saturday, October 2, 2010

Bastiat and Hayek stand for rights, not religion

Kate Zernike, writing in the NY Times, seeks to perpetuate the smear that the Tea Party promotes the Religious Right when she conflates the work of Frédéric Bastiat and Friedrich Hayek - who promoted individual rights and espoused a view of government limited to protecting those rights - with books like The 5,000 Year Leap which AFAIK promotes an expressly religious view of government. In doing so, she promotes the old liberal canard that the only people who care about Capitalism and government intervention in the economy are theocrats. Note that while she does mention Atlas Shrugged in the article, she also fails to mention that Ayn Rand was an atheist and that the ideas presented in Atlas are at least implicitly anti-religion.

While it is true that some are trying to use the Tea Party to push an explicitly religious agenda - particularly here in Oklahoma - this remains at odds with the movement's original purpose. And I personally condemn those who seek to do so.

Tea Partiers are better served when they recognize that the separation of church and state is the ideal model for all government. If the Tea Party leads to a resurgence of interest in Austrian economics, so much the better.

And I do commend Zernike for doing us all a service by directly quoting Bastiat in the pages of the NY Times:
“If you wish to be strong, begin by rooting out every particle of socialism that may have crept into your legislation,” he urged. “This will be no light task.”

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