Spiritual Needs

 This is part four of a seven part series, with a new post each day. Each post will be linked to the preceding post. The essay in its entirety can be found on the “Page” titled “Politics and Social Philosophy” which will be posted on 2/12/08.

            People have not only material needs, they have psychological needs, they have spiritual needs. And it is the spiritual needs that will have the last word. Until the libertarian vision  is understood as a spiritual quest and not merely an economic quest, it will continue to face the kind of misunderstandings and adversaries it faces today.

          So I’m enormously interested in what has to be understood if a free society is to survive and flourish. A free society cannot flourish on a culture committed to irrationalism. And 20th-century philosophy has witnessed a virulent worldwide rebellion against the values of reason, objectivity, science, truth, and logic — under such names as postmodernism, poststructuralism, deconstructionism, and a host of others.

         It’s not an accident that most of the people doing the attacking also happen to be statists. In fact, I don’t know of any who aren’t. You cannot have a noncoercive society if you don’t have a common currency of exchange, and the only one possible is rational persuasion. But if there is no such thing as reason, the only currency left is coercion. So one thing that libertarianism in the broad philosophical sense has to include is respect for the Western values of reason, objectivity, truth, and logic, which make possible civilized discourse, argument, conversation, confrontation, and resolution of differences.  

To view previous parts of this essay please click on the following  link – Part 1, Part 2 , Part 3 

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3 Comments on “Spiritual Needs”

  1. sepowell Says:

    “You cannot have a noncoercive society if you don’t have a common currency of exchange, and the only one possible is rational persuasion. But if there is no such thing as reason, the only currency left is coercion.”

    Yes, Dr. Branden. Thank you.


  2. Dear Sepowell.

    I agree (Oh, heck, couldn’t I have written something more exciting?)

  3. Ralf Wilmes Says:

    I’m not sure where to post this question but I admit I find myself filled with thousands of questions since I discovered this blog, but ‘something’ made me write down all the questions in a file first. Next day I force myself to answer them to see if I really don’t know at least some kind of an answer and -surprise- I hit 90% of them by myself. I suspect this works in the same way that your sentence stems do, but I cannot do better than to think it has to do with( fear of )intellectual autonomy, but still..what does writing it down change, I mean what’s the ‘magic’?


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