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Jeff Deist: The Trouble with Progressives

  • Mises Weekends with Jeff Deist

Tags Big GovernmentThe FedStrategyThe Police StateWar and Foreign Policy

06/03/2016Jeff Deist

Mises defined liberalism as rooted in property. Modern progressives and social justice warriors—mislabeled as "liberals"—attack property as an impediment to their program of radical egalitarianism. In their view, all human conduct must be viewed through the filters of identity politics, privilege, and undefinable concepts of social justice. Disagree with them and you'll find your campus building or political rally attacked by angry demonstrators who view dissent as hate.

Where does libertarianism fit into this equation? Should we adopt the premises, language, and goals of progressives, but argue for achieving them through capitalist means? Should we inform our worldview using utilitarianism? Should we side with SJWs in the culture wars? Or, should we make the case for a nonpolitical world, one grounded in Misesian private property and Rothbardian natural law ethics?

Jeff Deist makes the case that the real issues confronting us are war and peace, central banking, and state power—not inequality or racism or sexism. And, he argues against adopting leftist language used to advance the libertarian message.

For further reading, see Mises's 1927 classic Liberalism and Jeff Deist's recent Notes on the LP Convention.

Note: The views expressed on are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.

Contact Jeff Deist

Jeff Deist is president of the Mises Institute. He previously worked as chief of staff to Congressman Ron Paul, and as an attorney for private equity clients. Contact: email; Twitter.

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