Friday, August 12, 2011

Kant 2011

Was the philosopher Immanuel Kant a pro-entitlement liberal?

(from the Metaphysics of Morals)

1. "The people have in fact united themselves by their common will into a society, which has to be perpetually maintained; and for this purpose they have subjected themselves to the internal power of the state, in order to preserve the members of this society even when they are not able to support themselves. By the fundamental principle of the state, the government is justified and entitled to compel those who are able, to furnish the means necessary to preserve those who are not themselves capable of providing for the most necessary wants of nature. For the existence of persons with property in the state implies their submission under it for protection and the provision by the state of what is necessary for their existence; and accordingly the state founds a right upon an obligation on their part to contribute of their means for the preservation of their fellow citizens. This may be carried out by taxing the property or the commercial industry of the citizens, or by establishing funds and drawing interest from them, not for the wants of the state as such, which is rich, but for those of the people. And this is not to be done merely by voluntary contributions, but by compulsory exactions as state–burdens, for we are here considering only the right of the state in relation to the people. Among the voluntary modes of raising such contributions, lotteries ought not to be allowed, because they increase the number of those who are poor, and involve danger to the public property. It may be asked whether the relief of the poor ought to be administered out of current contributions, so that every age should maintain its own poor; or whether this were better done by means of permanent funds and charitable institutions, such as widows’ homes, hospitals, etc.? And if the former method is the better, it may also be considered whether the means necessary are to be raised by a legal assessment rather than by begging, which is generally nigh akin to robbing. The former method must in reality be regarded as the only one that is conformable to the right of the state, which cannot withdraw its connection from any one who has to live. For a legal current provision does not make the profession of poverty a means of gain for the indolent, as is to be feared is the case with pious foundations when they grow with the number of the poor; nor can it be charged with being an unjust or unrighteous burden imposed by the government on the people.""

To reiterate: "the right of the state, which cannot withdraw its connection from any one who has to live."--That's like....Koombayah bullsh*t. Small wonder that Nietzsche and Ayn the Man Rand --and fratboys and hipsters the world over-- detested IK's ethical doctrines (and transcendental metaphysics). Nor should the somewhat rational citizen find it surprising that some of the nazis' first targets were the Kantian progressives of the SPD.

Mo' Kant

Unamuno on IK

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