Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Ghalib Ghazal 67


Consider me not at leisure for, like the Dawn, or the Sun's pleasure
My Liberality without measure is but Love's thriftless treasure
Which, like the indigence of which the prodigal's hand is proud,
Can but refresh the boutonnière wound of its shroud


fāriġh mujhe nah jān kih mānind-e ṣubḥ-o-mihr
hai dāġh-e ʿishq zīnat-e jeb-e kafan hanūz
hai nāz-e muflisāñ zar-e az-dast-raftah par
hūñ gul-farosh-e shoḳhī-e dāġh-e kuhan hanūz

How to reconstruct Ambedkar's thought


It is usual, when speaking of a genuine thinker, to update his theory to take account of subsequent developments in the fields he had studied or contributed to.

It is foolish to apply wholly foreign, and false, ideas- no matter how modish- to 'frame' that thinker.

In the case of Ambedkar, we can easily reconstruct his thought by focusing on 3 separate, but related, present day fields of inquiry

1) 'Law & Economics' not just of the Coase/Posner type but as arising from a natural extension of Seligman & Beard's approach. This is quite different from standard 'mechanism design' because it accommodates mimetic effects of a 'moral Tardean' type and can have a description in actor-network theory.
By itself, this won't get us very far. However, the Buddhism Ambedkar was attracted to relied heavily on Darwin's theory of Evolution. This meant, when he was in America, he was influenced by

2) Baldwinian Evolution which in turn requires a Game theoretic description in order to gain tremendous explanatory power. I may mention Waddington's 1941 book, 'The Scientific Attitude' as one which influenced young Indian people who were keen to reject Eugenic explanations of the Caste System. This enables us to interpret Ambedkar in terms of 'costly signals' and 'separating equilibria' which in turn relate to coordination and discoordination games, involving canalisation or the damming up of evolutionary capacitance, as arising at every Schelling focal point. Markets can thus be understood as always involving hedging and regret minimization.

3) Buddhist Logic as Type theoretic and thus capable of univalent Foundations. This ties in with Dewey type Pragmatism.

Oh dear. I just bored myself. Nobody is interested in reconstructing Ambedkar's thought. We just want to use the imprimatur of his name to say the stupidest thing possible.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Cowen & Parfit's stubborn attachment to silliness

Tyler Cowen & Derek Parfit wrote the following a couple of decades ago.
 “Imagine finding out that you, having just reached your twenty-first birthday, must soon die of cancer because one evening Cleopatra wanted an extra helping of dessert.”
I can't. There is no Structural Causal Model compatible with the Scientific knowledge I possess which would enable me to 'find out' any such thing. If some Professor tells me this,  I will soon prove he is a fool or a knave.

Suppose it were an Angel or an Oracle. In that case, I'd ask for a miracle or the winning numbers to the lottery.

What I wouldn't do is blame Cleopatra. Instead, I'd be thankful I had 21 years of life because my Mom and her Mom and so on sacrificed so much for their kids.

 The idea that a future life should be worth the same as a present life seems innocent enough.
How is it innocent? If it is true and if people feel more affection for their flesh and blood than for others more distantly related, then nobody should given money to charity. Rather they should concentrate on maximizing the number of their descendants- which means giving them as much of an advantage as possible over their sexual competitors. If the earth can hold only a finite population at any given time, then pro-natalism would combine with Nationalism to create a Nazi type of World Order.
But combine it with Cowen’s other premises and you reach a stunning conclusion: (1) If wealth-plus is the largest driver of human well-being; and (2) if small changes in the current growth rate will lead to huge differences in the amount of global wealth-plus many years from now; and (3) if future people (who will vastly outnumber present people) are just as valuable as you and me; then the most important thing we can possibly do is maximize the sustainable rate of growth so that the majority of humankind—namely those yet-to-be-born—will have much more wealth-plus than they’ll have if we continue chugging along with our current, middling rate of growth.
Either the human race has an infinite life span- in which case it doesn't matter what we do, Total Utlility will always be infinity- or else it has a finite life span in which case pro-natalism- having as many babies as possible- is the way to go.

Cowen's 'wealth-plus' 'includes traditional measures of economic value, as would be found in gdp statistics, but also measures of leisure time, household production, and environmental amenities, as summed up in a relevant measure of wealth.”

Assuming these things (except for 'household production') are 'normal goods'- i.e. Demand for them increases as Income rises- this just cashes out as Income. So Cowen is saying 'If growth is the main driver of growth then small changes in the rate of growth will, over time, lead to big changes in the amount of growth'.
This is a tautology.

Some human beings can make other human beings. If every girl thinks that a baby she can have is just as important as her, she should just keep having babies and encourage her girl children and grandchildren to do the same. This does not mean all will survive. But that's the discovery process for what is 'sustainable' growth. 




Aakash Singh Rathore's double-bind

Viewers of NDTV have taken to drooling over a handsome Philosophy Professor- Aakash Singh Rathore- who is married to the no less attractive and accomplished Diplomat and Medical Doctor, Devyani Khobragarde.

Sadly, Khobargarde was unfairly targeted by some stupid racist in the US Diplomatic Protection Corps and had to leave America with her husband and children. America's self-inflicted loss in India's gain. It is likely that this 'power couple', who would otherwise have been coopted by the 'soft power' Ivy League elite, will take a more independent and critical line with respect to the hegemonic power.

How will this affect Dalit Political theory? Let us see.

Rathore writes-
lf Indians were slaves under imperialism, as Gandhi and others had often claimed, then dalits were the “slaves of slaves.” This was the double-bind of the dalits during British rule. How to disentangle oneself from a double bind? Every move that Dr. Ambedkar made attempting to untangle himself from one of the knots of bondage only seemed to entangle him more tightly in the other. 
Is this a reasonable view? The British abolished Slavery and suppressed the Slave Trade, as Ambedkar well knew. One might as well say 'If Indians were cats under Socialism, then dalits were the cats' pajamas'.

A 'double bind' can only paralyze a cretin or a person with histrionic personality disorder. Ambedkar was not a cretin. He did well for himself and did well for his people. That is why he is still venerated. Unlike Gandhi, Ambedkar was a good economist, a fine lawyer, and a thoroughly sensible man.

It is foolish and false to claim that he delayed Independence by even a single day. That was Gandhi's achievement.

One could plausibly say Gandhi suffered a 'double bind' because he benefited from the status quo- he was financially dependent on mercantile castes similar to his own- while having to pretend to change it. There is an emotional, a hysterical, aspect to Gandhi's quixotry.

It is true that Ambedkar, on returning to India to take up the position of Military Secretary to the Gaekwad, experienced a traumatic rejection and humiliation. However, he quickly adjusted to these adverse circumstances and forged a highly rational and utile path for himself, his community and his country.

In fairness, it must be admitted that Ambedkar- like other politicians of the era- was stung into adopting a highly irrational platform. Though the plight of the Dalit could only be ameliorated if the majority community rose up through education, urbanization, and free enterprise- thus weakening a 'Trade Union' type zero-sum mentality- still, Ambedkar was forced to pretend that the opposite was the case. The Dalits could rise while the Majority fell. However, this was not a 'double bind'. It was casteist stupidity and special pleading of a type which Gandhi's calling off of the Non Cooperation Movement made inevitable.

Rathore takes a different view-
Dr. Ambedkar once quipped, “If Tilak had been born among the untouchables, he would not have raised the slogan 'Swaraj is my birthright', but he would have [instead] raised the slogan 'Annihilation of untouchability is my birthright'”.
Quipped? How is that a quip? It is a perfectly sensible observation. Tilak was a Chitpavan. When his people held power, the position of Dalits worsened. So did that of certain Brahman sub-castes. Tilak and Gokhale and Savarkar and so on belonged to a community which, for perfectly sensible reasons, was distrusted even in Maharashtra. After Gandhi's assassination, these guys where attacked by furious mobs even in their own citadel of Pune.
The tension, at times outright antagonism, between svaraj understood as Indian home rule, and the more focused interests of the dalits, or “depressed classes” as they were called in that era, recapitulates the profound and I believe irreconcilable differences between Gandhi and Ambedkar.
This is sheer nonsense. The Brits decided to exclude Mahars from the Army despite the excellent record of bravery and educational success displayed by people like Ambedkar's father. During the Twenties, the Brits stood idly by as Caste restrictions on Dalits were worsened. Gandhi's Congress cronies were part and parcel of this attempt to extract a bigger surplus from Dalit and Bahishkrit communities.

Economics explained why discrimination against Dalits was increasing even against the wishes of Princes like the Gaekwad. This was a case of Trade Union type assertion of countervailing power by a rising 'intermediate' caste. Ambedkar was an Economist. He understood very well that Gandhi's moralizing was eye-wash, nothing more.

There is an irreconcilable difference between facts and worthless pi-jaw. Why pretend otherwise?
I have discussed this at length in a paper entitled “Gandhi and Ambedkar: Irreconcilable Differences.” That paper responds to the enormously increasing literature that attempts to reconcile the life and work of Gandhi and Ambedkar.
Why respond to it? The proper course of action is to piss upon it from a great height.
I pay particular attention to the exemplary writings of Thomas Pantham, Ramachandra Guha, and Partha Chatterjee, who represent three distinct archetypal techniques of reconciliation (specifically, homogenizing, historicizing, and dialectical reconciliation, respectively).
How can it be exemplary to homogenize shite with genuine food for thought? WTF have Pantham, Guha or Chatterjee ever achieved? Why pay them any attention?
While appreciating the motives behind reconciliatory gestures, I argue that such attempts are both false in principle (if due weight is given to the full extent and nature of their differences) as well as dangerous in practice (given the risk of appropriation of Ambedkar by upper class intellectuals).
Upper class intellectuals need to appropriate stuff that will make them richer. If they don't their kids won't be Upper Class. Thus prattling Fintech or MBA shite is the way to go. Appropriating Ambedkar or Fanon might get you tenure but in a shite Department for a meager amount of money.
In contrast, and to avoid these pitfalls, I argue, quite against the current trend, that we must resist attempts to reconcile Gandhi and Ambedkar. Instead, we must recognize and preserve their differences and keep ever attuned to their tension, and remain vigilant about it. 
Rathore is correct. Pulwana happened coz our jawans were not remaining vigilant against, not Terrorists, but some shitheads who were illicitly reconciling Gandhi and Amedkar.
So, what would dalit svaraj mean in the light of that background and the Gandhi-Ambedkar debate?
Amedkar said dalit svaraj meant moving to Cities and getting high paid jobs in Knowledge Based industries. One way to catalyze the process was by adopting a highly respectable Knowledge Based Religion- viz. Buddhism- and getting rid of all sorts of silly superstitions and reciprocal obligations of a type which militated against Socio-Economic ascent.

Gandhi was welcome to get Marwaris to go look after cows or pretend to spin cotton. The important thing was to keep kicking him in the goolies by showing that he was stupid and ignorant and that his every political initiative immediately back-fired.

Ambedkar's vision for Dalits was one which would benefit everyone- save some elderly shitheads who yearned for a bucolic existence more brainless than that of the cows they worshipped. That's why everybody is now for Ambedkar and against Gandhi-giri of every stripe.
Is it a surreptitious reconciliation by other means? Is it an appropriation of Ambedkar to a majoritarian Hindu cause?
Much of India has a Hindu majority. Hindu minorities, on the sub continent, get short shrift. What is good for Dalits is good for Hindus. Consider what is happening to Indian Muslims. They are going in for Business and Knowledge based industries. This is good for the Majority. Imagine a textile factory employing girls in hijaabs. I'd want to invest in it coz the thing is scalable. These girls will take a break to get married but will only have one or two kids before returning to work. Some may have exceptional entrepreneurial and technical talent. There is a young Muslim girl in every District of India who could be the next Zhou Qunfei . Every Indian benefits if she rises up and becomes a billionaire through her own ability and hard work.

No Identity Group can't rise up through Education and Enterprise. No economic destiny is 'irreconcilable' with any particular cultural or religious heritage.
Is it not the fusion of two irreconcilables? I think not. Quite the contrary, in this certainly most suspect and risky linkage of terms, we might actually uncover a kind of solution to, a way out of, the impossible double-bind that entrapped Ambedkar.
Ambedkar was not trapped. He did well. One might say JN Mandal, his ally, got tricked or trapped by the Muslim League and this destroyed his political career. Nothing similar can be said about Ambedkar- though, no doubt, his death was untimely.
And even beyond that, it was a tacit notion that seems to have carried considerable weight for Ambedkar not only before independence, but also afterwards. As I hope to show in what follows, what I am refering to as dalit svaraj uniquely captures an innovation in Ambedkar's own political thought and practice, and is not merely my academic invention.
Ambedkar wanted to conserve the 'Sangha' represented by his caste (which has always been famous for bravery and academic brilliance) and developed a new type of Buddhism, quite different from that of the High Caste North Indians, so as to make it a highly effective vehicle for upward mobility. Brilliant people like Barrister Khobargarde, or Rathore's own father-in-law, did not face any 'double-bind'. They did well for themselves and for their people.

Dalit svaraj is part of Hind svaraj just as much as Patel svaraj. When a bunch of guys start doing well, it opens doors for everybody. I have a relative who dropped out of College in America to start a Motel business. This was 'Iyer Svaraj' made possible by the example of the 'Patel Motel'. At the time we thought of the guy as a black sheep. Then we realized he'd made a lot more money than the Math Professors at Cow Colleges of whom we had too many. I recall hearing a horrible story about how his daughter, who studied finger-painting at Yale, raped a young Iyengar I.T professional but refused to marry him to restore his 'izzat'. Poor fellow, the boy was completely traumatized and now does H.R in Bangalore in between worshiping Sri Sri.

Rathore, an 'Ironman' triathelete, may not have been raped by a Yalie but, clearly, exposure to 'Indian political theory' can have the same effect.
From the perspective of Indian political theory, what is important to cull out from these arguments is this: dalit svaraj is not just a precondition for svaraj, or authentic Indian independence; rather, dalit svaraj is the mark, measure and metric of svaraj as such.
Dalit svaraj involved fundamental changes in the Law of a Constitutional type. This was made possible when, with Ambedkar's help, the Republic adopted an autochthonous Constitution such that the Privy Council had no jurisdiction on Indian matters.

Mereologically speaking, what Rathore suggests is an impossibility. A part could not attain a property only bestowable if the whole had that property.

What is this shite about 'mark, measure and metric'? It could only have salience if first one part of a whole acquires a property and imposes it upon other parts of the whole by a process of conquest or commercial diffusion. This was not an option for dalits who were a relatively weak minority everywhere.

It was not the case that Ambedkar's Mahars could be the 'Piedmont of India'.
This holds true not simply for svaraj in its straight-forward political sense as 'home rule', but equally for its more nuanced moral and ontological denotations.
Its 'nuanced moral and ontological denotations' were pure unadulterated bullshit.
'Home Rule' has an empirical definition. It either obtains or it does not. What is true of it can't be true of something whose definition is 'essentially contested'.
Gandhi, in his own idiosyncratic way, was himself emphatic about this now and again. In Young India in 1920, Gandhi wrote: Non-cooperation against the Government means cooperation among the governed, and if Hindus do not remove the sin of untouchability, there will be no Swaraj in one year or one hundred years....''
Was Gandhi right? No. He was wrong. India became independent 27 years later.

 A decade later, at the Round Table Conference, Gandhi again said: Just as the Congress considered Hindu-Muslim Unity, thereby meaning unity amongst all classes, to be indispensable for the attainment of Swaraj, so also did the Congress consider the removal of the curse of untouchability as an indispensable condition for the attainment of full freedom.
Was Gandhi right about Hindu-Muslim unity? Nope. Completely wrong.
However, at other times, Gandhi vacillated: A correspondent indignantly asks me...what I am doing for the (untouchables): “Should not we the Hindus wash our bloodstained hands before we ask the English to wash theirs?” This is a proper question reasonably put. And if a member of a slave nation could deliver the suppressed classes from their slavery without freeing myself from my own, I would so do today. But it is an impossible task.
 This is true enough. Only if India was fully independent could it implement the necessary legal and constitutional measures.
As far as Dr. Ambedkar was concerned, he believed that words such as these showed that Gandhi and the Congress were insincere when they said that removal of untouchability was a condition precedent to svaraj.
Ambedkar could see with his own eyes that dominant castes were turning the screws on the Dalits so as to extract a bigger surplus for themselves. He was a practical politician.
After Independence, people like Morarji Desai used all their influence to prevent Dalits and Tribals gaining title to land. Ambedkar knew this. That is why he had continuing salience even though, politically speaking, he'd backed the wrong horse.
But not relying on words alone, Ambedkar also set out to show in his writing that Gandhi's words were anyway never followed through by the required action. Ambedkar provides three main bundles of evidence. First, Ambedkar documents the farce that was made out of the Bardoli Programme, which was a constructive plan of Congress drawn up in 1922 for recruiting members, raising funds, and spending the funds on social and political endeavors. The fourth point of action was, “to organise the Depressed Classes for a better life, to improve their social, mental and moral condition and to induce them to send their children to national schools and to provide for them the ordinary facilities which the other citizens enjoy.” The sub-committee set up to implement the fourth point of action did not receive the funds required to undertake any real work, and thus its head, Swami Shradhanand of the Arya Samaj, resigned. With neither funds nor a sub-committee head, the Working Committee meant to oversee the implementation of the Bardoli Programme decided that, instead of implementing the fourth point of action, it would pass off this work to the All-India Hindu Mahasabha. In 1923, it wrote asking the Mahasabha “to take up this matter and to make strenuous efforts to remove this evil [untouchability] from amidst the Hindu community.” As Ambedkar sardonically concludes his account of these events: “Thus came to an end the Constructive Programme undertaken by Mr. Gandhi and the Congress for the Untouchables.”
Ambedkar was telling the truth. Gandhi was simply being used as a fig-leaf.
Second, Ambedkar narrates the satyagrahas at Mahad and Nasik for establishing their rights for drawing water from a public tank and for temple-entry, respectively. Since these satyagrahas were by untouchables against Hindus, and not by Indians against the British, Gandhi was opposed and Congress did not lend support. The satyagrahis were isolated and demoralized, supply lines cut off  
The third piece of evidence Ambedkar points to in order to show that neither Congress nor Gandhi were sincere about dalit emancipation as a precondition for svaraj relates to the Round Table Conference; specifically, Gandhi's vociferous objections to the demands made there by representatives of the dalits that the Indian Constitution should contain two political safeguards: the right to “adequate representation,” or what today we refer to as reservation; and, separate electorates for a period of 10 years. How these details were decided later through the Poona Pact has been widely discussed in the literature in terms of creating a chasm between Gandhi and Ambedkar. Below we will return to some of these points in relation to the permutations of Ambedkar's understanding of svaraj.
Amedkar was making truthful assertions. His understanding of svaraj was perfectly sensible and pragmatic. Why pretend this brilliant man was actually a cretin caught in a 'double-bind'?
2. Framing the Double Bind 
Dr Ambedkar's discomfort with svaraj, both as a term and what it signified, is fairly well known. Far less known, however, are the subtle ways that Ambedkar appropriated this term from time to time over the years. I have documented 215 uses of the word within the corpus of Ambedkar's writings and speeches. Indeed, if you follow the development of his thought from the 1920s to the 1950s, it is apparent that Dr. Ambedkar mastered a powerful rhetorical use of the term, ultimately deploying it to justify his deeply controversial conversion to Buddhism in 1956.
How was it controversial? Everybody liked Buddhism back then. It is about giving up alcohol and meat and degrading rituals or superstitious practices. There was even a 'Hindi Chini bhai bhai' availability cascade in the background such that Chou En Lai turned up, in 1957, to make a gift of a Buddhist prayer Hall to Nalanda District.
Ambedkar's kairotic genius was to chose a South Indian Dalit path, not an 'Aryanist' North Indian route, to conversion.
But a great deal happened before that moment. To begin, one of the most articulate and direct expositions of Ambedkar's understanding of svaraj can be found in his opening address at the Round Table Conference held in London in 1930. I cite it at length, as it allows us to enter directly into the crux of Dr Ambedkar's understanding of both the problems and the promise inherent in svaraj. The depressed classes, ...one-fifth of the total population of British India...form a group by themselves..., and, although they are included among the Hindus, they in no sense form an integral part of that community. It is one which is midway between that of the serf and the slave....This enforced servility and bar to human intercourse, due to their untouchability...works out as a positive denial of all equality of opportunity and the denial of those most elementary of civic rights.... ...The Depressed Classes had welcomed the British as their deliverers from age long tyranny and oppression by the orthodox Hindus. ...Has the British Government done anything to remove it? Before the British, we could not enter the temple. Can we enter now? Before the British, we were denied entry into the Police Force. Does the British Government admit us in the Force? Before the British, we were not allowed to serve in the Military. Is that career now open to us? ...There is certainly no fundamental change in our position. ...We must have a Government in which men in power...will not be afraid to amend the social and economic code of life which the dictates of justice and expediency so urgently call for. This role the British Government will never be able to play. It is only a Government which is of the people, for the people and by the people that will make this possible.'

This is truth and sweet reason. Where is the 'double bind'?

 ...We feel that nobody can remove our grievances as well as we can, and we cannot remove them unless we get political power in our own hands....It is only in a Swaraj constitution that we stand any chance of getting the political power into our own hands, without which we cannot bring salvation to our people. ...The idea of Swaraj recalls to the mind of many of us the tyrannies, oppressions and injustices practised upon us in the past and fear of their recurrence under Swaraj. We are prepared to take the inevitable risk of the situation in the hope that we shall be installed, in adequate proportion, as the political sovereigns of the country along with our fellow countrymen.
Notice that this speech directly points to the need for universal suffrage of the type the Brits were giving Ceylon at that time. Clearly, Dalit votes would go to that faction of the elite which could and would deliver the outcomes they wanted. The competitive nature of Democratic Politics, like the competitive nature of Market Economies, would work to improve the lot of the Dalit provided Social and Institutional Discrimination was curbed by the proper exercise of the Law.

Ambedkar's speech displays forensic brilliance befitting a highly educated barrister and politician. Rathore thinks it is 'poignant' as if the guy was a whimpering, simpering, hysteric.
This poignant speech touches upon the central dilemmas of the double-bind.
In every Identity Class, there will be haves and have-nots. Thus a Political Movement involving that Identity Class will have its own internal fissure. This could involve 'emotional distress' if a 'have-not' feels obliged to propound a doctrine which is likely to worsen the position of her own sub-class.

Ambedkar experienced no emotional distress of this sort. He acted in a wholly rational manner in furthering the interests of his own Identity Class. The manner in which he counseled his people to rise yielded great benefit to other communities. That is why Ambedkar is now a hero to all Indians- regardless of Caste or Creed.

Rathore takes a different view-
First, that the dalits are included among the Hindus, but in such a way that they are simultaneously caste out from the Hindu fold.
Ambedkar resolved this by taking up a Tamil Dalit's theory that 'Untouchability' arose because of a Brahmanical victory over an originally Buddhist ruling class. Since everybody liked Buddhism back then, Boddhisatva Ambedkar was showing a way by which his people could rise up while simultaneously bestowing an inestimable boon upon Indian Society.
They are excluded within, and they naturally fear that after the coming independence they will be “included out”. Having been always excluded, dalits had earlier falsely invested hope in the British that they should be their liberators from oppression. But the British preserved the social system they found, and carried on permitting the untouchables to be excluded from social and civic life.
Actually, under the influence of 'Aryan' racial science, they had worsened the position of Dalits in Ambedkar's own life-time. Thus, people like him sought allies from younger, smarter, people from all castes and creeds so as to put India on a trajectory to modernity and industrialization.

Thus, Ambedkar's second wife- a Brahman Doctor- had the same agenda. She was continuing a tradition of seeking empowerment for women through education and the removal of legal and social disabilities and obstacles upon her gender.
Thus, svaraj is desirable, despite that it recalls to mind the oppression and tyranny that the untouchables faced for centuries at the hands of the caste-Hindus. Now, to prevent being excluded even after svaraj, government in India must be of the people and by the people: that is, dalits (one-fifth of the population) must be permitted a share of political sovereignty.
This happens by granting universal suffrage.
Finally, Ambedkar makes clear that the dalits themselves must own and address their grievances – it is not to be done for them, but by them.
Wow! What a revolutionary idea! Most lawyers would say 'only the Penguins of Antarctica can do justice to my clients. Kindly grant the Penguins Guardianship over the wretched people I represent.'

Rathore, who thinks Ambedkar was weeping and speaking poignantly while making this speech, also thinks he was exposing a 'vicious irony'.
It is a vicious irony, however, because they need svaraj in order to empower themselves, and at the same time, to empower themselves is to achieve svaraj.
Rathore Sahib, it is a vicious irony that I need to go to the toilet in order to avoid shitting my bed whereas, at the same time, to rid myself of shit in the toilet means I don't have enough shit left in my intestines in order to properly defecate on my bed.

Kindly ponder this poignant  remark of mine. It reveals also sorts of ontological nuances and double binds. Yet it is the story of my life.
Gandhi was himself well aware of the double-bind that Ambedkar found himself entangled within.
Nonsense! Gandhi was a cretin. He wasn't aware of anything at all- except stuff like how sleeping with naked girls increases one's 'soul force'.
Not only did he describe the situation in detail, he also advised Ambedkar that there was only one way out, which was to find salvation in Hinduism: There are three courses open to these down-trodden members of the nation. They may call in the assistance of the slave-owning Government. They will get it, but they will fall from the frying pan into the fire. Today they are slaves of slaves...
This was nonsense. The Brits weren't going to spend money making things cozy for Dalits or any other sort of dusky folk.
.They will be used for suppressing their kith and kin.
Also nonsense. There weren't enough of them and, anyway, they'd want to get paid and there was no money in the kitty for any such thing.
Instead of being sinned against, they will themselves be the sinners....
Coz muscular guys named Rathore would politely extend their necks to be slit.
The second is rejection of Hinduism and wholesale conversion....
Sadly, the lot of the Dalit Muslim or Christian or Sikh was nothing to write home about. Ambedkar knew this very well. Still, he only abandoned the threat to convert to Islam when some Muslim leaders opposed this. His pact with Moonje had to do with converting to Sikhism or the Arya Samaj or some similar sect. This was perfectly sensible. Still, one must say, Ambedkar's kairotic brilliance in choosing just the right moment to convert to a modernized version of the highly prestigious Buddhist religion shows the 'upaya kausalya' of a Boddhisattva.
Then,...self-help and selfdependence, with such aid as the non-Panchama Hindus will render....
That was the only possible, also the only worthwhile, way forward.
The better way...is for the Panchamas heartily to join the great national movement that is now going on for throwing off the slavery of the present Government.
That worked for people like Jagjivan Ram but only because his family had already been doing the other thing.
Thirty years later, Ambedkar reflected back upon this advice: When Gandhi demanded Swaraj I supported him. I asked him just one question: what will be the position of the Dalits in his so-called Swaraj? Will our people have some standard of life, will we be educated, will there be no harassment of untouchables in Swaraj?
Ambedkar said this when it had become clear that Congress Ministries were determined not to give S.C and S.T people their due rights in land, jobs etc. But this 'Old Congress' was losing its grip on the Nation.
But in the interim, at least up until Gandhi's fast-until-death, that forced Ambedkar into signing the Poona Pact, Ambedkar had actually paid some heed to Gandhi's advice. For example, it was reported that when Ambedkar affirmed that he would attend the Round Table Conference in London in 1930, despite the Congress boycott, Ambedkar said “I will demand what is rightful for my people, and I will certainly uphold the demand for Swaraj.” That is the curious, plain statement of the dilemma: the double-bind: what is rightful for Ambedkar's people – since they are both dalits and Indians – is simultaneously swaraj and not swaraj.
Nonsense! Ambedkar is saying 'Svaraj on the basis of universal suffrage plus some minority protection of the Ceylonese type.' Sapru and Srinivas Sastri and Jinnah weren't saying anything very different.

There was no 'double bind' here at all. Ambedkar said 'no swaraj' had been a disaster for Dalits. He wasn't saying 'please, pretty please, O great and good White People, continue to protect us.' There had been no protection.
Chittaranjan Das had remarked somewhere that svaraj was undefinable.
Yes. He was a deeply silly man. Most politicians are.
But that did not prevent him and countless others from impregnating the term with all kinds of meaning.
They may have wanked over it. They didn't impregnate anything.
This could be banal and literal – such as, “purna svaraj means complete independence”– or even sarcastic and ironic – such as svaraj is “the highest bliss and the greatest stimulant”. Gandhi's understanding is surely the most rich and complex.
Only if you think shit is rich and complex, not smelly and sticky.
We are aware of the double-sense of svaraj as home-rule as well as individual self-mastery, as both political and moral.
Political independence is alethic. 'Self-mastery' is an episode of Seinfeld involving not wanking so as to remain the 'master of one's domain'.
Beyond that, Gandhi speaks of it in terms of agency: India must “generate sufficient power to be able to assert herself.” Swaraj thus has these elements of power and self-assertion.
As opposed to shitting oneself and crying quietly.
Gandhi then evokes the image of “paralysis” as the opposite of svaraj: “What can a paralytic do to stretch forth a helping hand...but to try to cure himself of his paralysis?”
Yup! That's how one cures oneself of paralysis, right enough. Was Gandhi really incapable of uttering a single sensible sentence?
And, finally, there are interpretations of others' use of the term. For example, Ambedkar argued that Gandhian svaraj was a “paradox”: it stands for freedom from foreign domination, which means destruction of the political order. But it keeps intact the social order, which permits one class to dominate the other – indeed, on a hereditary basis, which is permanent domination. This is the paradox of svaraj.
It was the paradox of Gandhian swaraj because the man was a cretin. Still,  Ambedkar and Rajah could talk to sensible people like Moonje or the Karweer Sankaracharya, or the Maharajah of Patiala and so forth.

In any case, a new generation was rising up which saw Caste as a prison destructive of their own life-chances.
For some, svaraj suggested not freedom, but tyranny, slavery, something to fear.
That was the actual outcome for Hindu minorities in Pakistan. More generally, the departure of the Brits meant not being able to tuck into a nice beef steak or have a tot of Rum.
Ambedkar closes his well-known “Annihilation of Caste” with words to that effect: In the fight for Swaraj you fight with the whole nation on your side. In this [eradication of caste] you have to fight against the whole nation and that too, your own [nation]. But it is more important than Swaraj....Swaraj for Hindus may turn out to be only a step toward [our] slavery.
Ambedkar was voicing a fear that all young people harbored- viz. that elderly men sitting in khap panchayats would get to fuck up their life-chances. Gandhi was one such fuckwit. Like Ambedkar, most young people shed a tear for Gandhi, when he was assassinated, but also breathed a sigh of relief.
Ambedkar, therefore, fought tirelessly to: “make sure that Swaraj does not become a strangle-hold for the Untouchables.” The dalits must be protected “against the tyranny of the majority under the Swaraj constitution.” This motif is repeated numerous times throughout his writings and speeches: 'Swaraj would be the substitution of domination by the British for domination by the Hindus. Without ensuring protection of all their rights, in a free India [dalits] would not be free. Swaraj meant Hindu Raj.
Ambedkar, like other politicians, said some silly things. In this case, he was backing the wrong horse- viz. the notion that a Dalit-Muslim alliance could take power. The Muslim League used the Dalits and then discarded them. In a bizarre twist, Pakistan simultaneously ethnically cleansed landowning Namasudras while prohibiting the migration, in the West, of the 'sweeper' caste of Untouchables.
So, Ambedkar queries, in conclusion: 'What good can the Congress brand of Swaraj bring to [the servile classes of India]? They know that under the Congress brand of Swaraj the prospect for them is really very bleak. ... If it is [Gandhism] it will mean the spread of charkha, village industries, the observance of caste, Brahmacharya (continence), reverence for the cow and things of that sort. If it is left to governing classes to make what it likes of Swaraj the principal item in it will be the suppression of the servile classes....'
Ambedkar was right to warn of Gandhian idiocy. However, it was the mathematical economists of the Planning Commission who screwed up India's path to industrialization by their crazy 'turnpike theorem' according to which a low wage, labour surplus, country oughtn't to go in for labour-intensive industries- like textiles. However, there was a political angle to this. The politicians wanted the whip hand over the industrialists who had financed their ascent.

If Ambedkar was right in his conception of politics, it must also be admitted that- like other politicians of the time- his actions were stupid, his speeches silly and his strategy self-confuting. He thought a Muslim-Dalit alliance could tyrannize over Hindu majority populations. Could anything more foolish be conceived?Still, even a smart man like Jagjivan Ram could do silly things- like get Ambedkar into the first Cabinet as Law Minister at a time when tact was the need of the hour. Still, we can always pretend that Ambedkar, whose favorite Professor was E.R.A Seligman, who also influenced C.A Beard, would have been a Law & Econ maven. That's a sort of mythology which could actually be useful.

By contrast, consider Rathore's
6. Conclusion 
Gandhi, when speaking of the untouchables' double-bind,
which did not exist
had said that they had only three options before them. From among those options, he had warned them of the dangers of siding with the British.
which nobody had put on the table. The Brits had stopped recruiting Mahars and Dushads and Pariahs when Ambedkar was a kid.
He had also ruled out the second option, the idea of embracing Christianity or any other religion, on the basis of the insincerity and opportunism of doing so.
The problem here was that they would lose access to affirmative action. Still, empirically, Christianity has proven to be the best option precisely because the crutch of quotas is not available. Instead, emigration on the basis of education and training completely transforms life-chances.
What he had advised, rather, as the best option was that the untouchables could find salvation in Hinduism, in entering more completely into the Hindu fold.
Which involves an intensive cultivation of stupidity.
Until now we have spoken only of the first and third options, Ambedkar's Scylla and Charybdis, and the way they manifested themselves for Ambedkar and the dalits as an irresolvable double-bind.
Gandhi was irrelevant. Moonje mattered. The deal made then was that Dalits get reservations provided they convert to an Indic Religion- preferably one which condemned alcohol and meat eating and so forth.
 Ambedkar redeemed his earlier Political silliness by converting to Buddhism- which exported the notion of Untouchability to distant countries like Japan and Korea- at exactly the right time but on his own terms.
But Ambedkar indeed also had the second option before him. And he took it. When Ambedkar was asked what advantage he would gain by conversion, he replied, “What will India gain by Swaraj? Just as Swaraj is necessary for India, so also is change of religion necessary for the untouchables. The underlying motive in both the movements is the desire for freedom.”
Indians got more money from Swaraj. Ambedkar, had he lived, would have got lots of money by being a Boddhisattva. He and his Brahman wife could have lectured the Dalits to their heart's content on the evils of their traditional diet and the terrible sin they commit in honoring, as the Japanese do, Ganapati and Hanuman and other such un-Aryan mischegoss.
Ambedkar deployed the idea of svaraj to justify his controversial decision to convert, we should realize that at that moment, Ambedkar had mastered a powerful rhetorical use of the term.
Ambedkar was imitating Iyothee Thass who, after meeting Col. Olcott, went to Sri Lanka and got diksha as a Buddhist. This was before the Sinhala monks started baying for Tamil blood.

What 'mastery' of a 'powerful rhetorical use' of the, by then wholly passe, word svaraj (which had been replaced by svatantrata) was Ambedkar displaying?

The truth is Buddhism was fashionable at the time. The term 'Panchsheel' was Buddhist. The Ashoka Chakra, not Gandhi's fuckwitted chakri, was India's National emblem. The Chinese were making nice with the Dalai Lama and Chou en Lai gifted Nalanda a Chinese style Buddhist prayer Hall.

Ambedkar had screwed up politically- but then all political lives end in failure- he redeemed himself by going one up on the Mahatma and becoming a Boddhisattva. Meanwhile, Kosambi pere et fils & Rahul Sankrityayan and so forth were making themselves a laughing stock.
Indeed, Ambedkar's use of svaraj is a classic instance of Hegelian sublation (Aufhebung), a simultaneous cancellation and preservation.
Really? In that case Ambedkar was not a Buddhist. He was a cretin who didn't know from Philosophy 101. There can be no Hegelian sublation in a kshanikavada, i.e. momentary, Universe. If Ambedkar is guilty of sublating a concept, he is a closet Radhakrishnan type Idealist. Buddhists don't sublate concepts, they regard them as 'anitya'- evanescent and delusional.
Ambedkar picks up and preserves what he finds valuable in the concept, even as he cancels and overcomes what is retrograde to his aims and intentions.
There is no concept. Just an empty name. Non-Buddhists may find value in a concept because they believe it to something permanent or prescriptive. I find value in the concept of 'Svaraj' because I believe it licenses me to smoke on Air India. I cancel and overcome everything which is retrogade to my aim and intention. But I still get slapped silly by the air-hostess who only agrees not to have me arrested when we land because I pretend to be Captain Vijayakanth and promise her a role in my next movie.
And not only was the justificatory terminology that Ambedkar used a liberating appropriation, but the very act itself – the agentive act of conversion, the refusal to accept the paternalism of Hindu svaraj – was an expression of dalit svaraj.
Ambedkar, as a politician, may have said and done some silly things. But he was a smart guy. His PhD was in a worthwhile subject. The 'justifactory terminology' he uses is that of Economics or the Law. It isn't some shite about 'liberating appropriation'. The guy was a grown-up. Nobody was asking him to accept 'paternalism'. On the contrary, Viceroy Linlithgow asked him to put on a frock and breast-feed Jinnah as part of Churchill's matriarchal strategy to preserve the British Empire.
Buddhism dissolved the tension of the double-bind.
Yup! That's what happened to R.D Laing when he went to Sri Lanka. That lunatic went even further out of his mind.
It was swarajist insofar as the religion originated on Indian soil.
That's 'Svadesi' not 'svarajist'.
It was thus not a search for liberation through British or alien ideas and practices. As a religion, its holy sites were not located outside of the Indian subcontinent, like Christianity (Rome, Jerusalem), Judaism (Israel), or Islam (Mecca, Medina) – in this respect, he picked up into his own conception of svaraj a trace of Savakar's idea of Hindu Swaraj. But at the same time, Buddhism was the destination for the transit out of Hindu bondage, it was svaraj as freedom from alien rule, svaraj as freedom from Hindu domination.
Indeed! Col. Olcott wasn't American. He was from Ludhiana and ate makkian did roti while dancing the bhangra.

Buddhism did a swell job spreading Untouchability all over India and to faraway countries like Japan.
Ambedkar hinted at this in various ways throughout his 1948 Preface that he had authored for Laxmi Narasu's “The Essence of Buddhism”:
Prof. Narasu was the stalwart of the 19th century who had fought European arrogance with patriotic fervour, orthodox Hinduism with iconoclastic zeal, heterodox Brahmins with nationalistic vision and aggressive Christianity with a rationalistic outlook – all under the inspiring banner of the unflagging faith in the teachings of the Great Buddha.
 Narasu was a high caste Naidu who was influenced by Olcott & Arnold. His book was endorsed by Anagarika Dharmapala who was born a Christian 'Burgher' but became a Buddhist under a like influence. Narasu did not battle anything at all but Ambedkar, after all, was only being polite in a manner expected of politicians.

Rathore has gotten it into his head that Ambedkar was some sort of head-case suffering a 'double-bind'. This leads him to the conclusion that
Ambedkar's long search for a resolution to the double-bind took so long that one of the coils of bondage was undone of its own accord.
This means, from August 1947 onward, Ambedkar had only a 'single-bind'.  He remained a Mahar- i.e. a member of a caste most of whom were very poor and many of whom suffered active prejudice and oppression.
The other remained. The political system had changed; the social system abided all change. At the end of his life, Ambedkar found a way out of the social system
he died. Death will do that.
that did not – to call back Gandhi's warning – take the dalits from the frying pan to the fire. This was conversion to Buddhism. This was Buddhism as dalit svaraj.
The moment Dalits became Buddhists they became rich and honored. Buddhism has magical properties. There are plenty of very poor Brahmans. They should convert to Buddism and enjoy the felicity of a 'Brahman svaraj' comparable to 'Dalit Svaraj'.  Why stop there? Disabled people experience much suffering and incovenience. They too should convert to Buddhism. Then they could save money on crutches and wheel chairs.

I don't know if Rathore is a Buddhist. Clearly there is some sort of 'double-bind' he has gotten himself into because he insists on writing hysterical nonsense. Will conversion to Buddhism dissolve that double-bind? Of course it will! Buddhism has magical properties. But only if, like Rathore, you are qualified to teach not just Philosophy but also oenology. Yup. That's right, this iron-man is a wine expert. It is comforting to think of him writing his books as he performs feats of strength and endurance while simultaneously draining a couple of boxes of Chardonnay. I am not saying it's what I want to do when I grow up, but it's nice to know it can be done.



Saturday, 23 February 2019

Isiah Berlin and the Inner Citadel

Freedom is not absence of restraint or coercion, it is the willingness and ability  of members of a specific, legally definable, identity class, to collectively assert certain Hohfeldian rights or immunities by imposing restraints of a coercive type.

Since there is a collective aspect to Freedom- in that a specific Identity class needs to be able to propagate itself on an uncertain fitness landscape- every justiciable conception of it must have a positive, substantive, aspect.

All cultures have a notion of Guardianship, of delegated Responsibility, of uttermost Good Faith, and of a duty of Care involving the exercise of prudence and diligence in securing the interests of others in proportion to one's standing in society. The term 'culpa levis' refers to an ordinary sort of negligence, not normally punished unless it has disastrous consequences. Such negligence might be such as a bonus paterfamilas exacta diligentia- a good father- might be guilty of with respect to his progeny, in which case it is termed 'in abstracto' and refers to the highest possible duty of care. Thus a failure on the part of a person of high standing which leads to a reduction of freedom for someone in a weaker position might be punishable because of a lack of abstract forethought and diligence of an exceptional type.

 Negligence of a sort which might one might ordinarily be guilty of in the management of one's own affairs, quanta in suis rebus diligentia, is termed culpa levis in concreto if another suffers by it. This would vary with the status and ability of the subject.

Clearly, every Culture which has at any time distinguished between free men and slaves, or minors and adults, or citizens and aliens, must have had a positive conception of 'Freedom', encoded, perhaps, in elite Paideia, which would be fully 'factorizable'  from the point of view of 'Law & Economics' such that 'Normativity' would have univalent foundations. However, there would necessarily be power gradients within the realm of Freedom, with the higher being under an 'liturgical' obligation to the lower.

 A culpa levis in concreto type offence occurs where your position is low but the other is more disadvantaged yet. Thus, you could be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor even if your actions towards it are similar to your own actions with respect to your self. By contrast, you may be prosecuted for acting in restraint of trade if the effect of your action is to significantly reduce the economic freedom of a weaker party.

This is an idiographic matter.  The nomothetic method of Political Philosophy can offer us little guidance. Indeed, all it can do is to show itself to be either puerile or paranoid.

Thus, for Isiah Berlin
The Notion of Positive Freedom
 cashes out as the desire to autonomously will oneself to breathe in and then breathe out rather than do so because of the machinations and 'manufactured consent' of Big Air and its minions in the Media and the Trilateral Commission.
The `positive' sense of the word `liberty' derives from the wish on the part of the individual to be his own master.
Which means deciding to breathe in and breathe out by oneself.
I wish my life and decisions to depend on myself, not on external forces of whatever kind. I wish to be the instrument of my own, not of other men's acts of will.
More especially them fuckers wot work for Big Air who are constantly scheming to get us to expand or contract our diaphragms so as to cause us to be the slaves of respiration.
I wish to be a subject, not an object; to be moved by reasons, by conscious purposes, which are my own, not by causes which affect me, as it were, from outside. I wish to be somebody, not nobody; a doer--deciding, not being decided for, self-directed and not acted upon by external nature or by other men as if I were a thing, or an animal, or a slave incapable of playing a human role, that is, of conceiving goals and policies of my own and realizing them. This is at least part of what I mean when I say that I am rational, and that it is my reason that distinguishes me as a human being from the rest of the world. I wish, above all, to be conscious of myself as a thinking, willing, active being, bearing responsibility for my choices and able to explain them by references to my own ideas and purposes. I feel free to the degree that I believe this to be true, and enslaved to the degree that I am made to realize that it is not. The freedom which consists in being one's own master, and the freedom which consists in not being prevented from choosing as I do by other men, may, on the face of it, seem concepts at no great logical distance from each other--no more than negative and positive ways of saying much the same thing. Yet the `positive' and `negative' notions of freedom historically developed in divergent directions not always by logically reputable steps, until, in the end, they came into direct conflict with each other.
Why does Berlin pretend the 'positive concept of freedom' is not verbose paranoia? The point about talking like a lunatic is that sooner or later your lunacy will bring you into conflict with everybody and everything coz like they're all in the pay of Big Air and are sending subliminal messages through the radio waves and polluting our precious bodily fluids so as to cause us to breathe in and then breathe out without consciously willing any such action.

Berlin wrote elegantly and introduced English speaking readers to the mischegoss that was German academic thought. Because Germany fucked up big time, it quite naturally and plausibly had a class of shitheads whose thinking was fucked in the head. Thus, one could always write a paper on how some particular bunch of pedants paved the way to Marx or Hitler or Merkel or, my particular bete noire, David Hasselhoff.
One way of making this clear is in terms of the independent momentum which the, initially perhaps quite harmless, metaphor of self-mastery acquired. `I am my own master'; `l am slave to no man'; but may I not (as Platonists or Hegelians tend to say) be a slave to nature? Or to my own `unbridled' passions?
No! All have been enslaved by the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbor's cat! All hail Chairman Meow!
Are these not so many species of the identical genus `slave'--some political or legal, others moral or spiritual? Have not men had the experience of liberating themselves from spiritual slavery,
No. They have pretended to do so and tried to get a bit of publicity that way.
Or slavery to nature,
The Maharishi made billions teaching people to levitate.
and do they not in the course of it become aware, on the one hand, of a self which dominates; and, on the other, of something in them which is brought to heel?
No. In the course of telling stupid lies they become even stupider and tell even more foolish lies.
This dominant self is then variously identified with reason, with my `higher nature', with the self which calculates and aims at what will satisfy it in the long run, with my `real', or `ideal', or `autonomous self, or with my self `at its best'; which is then contrasted with irrational impulse, uncontrolled desires, my `lower' nature, the pursuit of immediate pleasures, my `empirical' or `heteronomous' self, swept by every gust of desire and passion, needing to be rigidly disciplined if it is ever to rise to the full height of its `real' nature.
Yes, yes. We know. We too have a self-help book to sell. Everybody wants to go on Oprah. My own 'dieters guide to weight-loss through farting' explains how one can take control of one's intestines to produce spiritually enlightening farts.
Presently the two selves may be represented as divided by an even larger gap: the real self may be conceived as something wider than the individual (as the term is normally understood), as a social `whole' of which the individual. is an element or aspect: a tribe, a race, a church; a state, the great society of the living and the dead and the yet unborn.
Very true. Everybody should smell my farts and gain ultimate Liberation. Also send me all your money.
This entity is then identified as being the `true' self which, by imposing its collective, or `organic', single will upon its recalcitrant `members', achieves its own, and therefore their, `higher' freedom.
Smell enough of my farts and you'll feel the same way. Everybody should have access to my farts. That way Humanity will pass the Omega point and become a perfected species of fart-appreciators.
The perils of using organic metaphors to justify the coercion of some men by others in order to raise them to a `higher' level of freedom have often been pointed out.
Reasoning with nutjobs does no good. Lock them up for fraud or medicate the fuck out of them.

Investing in better Policing and Psychiatric services is the way to go. It doesn't matter whether a nutter or a con-man sounds plausible; what matters is whether the the guy is mad or up to mischief.
But what gives such plausibility as it has to this kind of language is that we recognize that it is possible, and at times justifiable, to coerce men in the name of some goal (let us say, justice or public health) which they would, if they were more enlightened, themselves pursue, but do not, because they are blind or ignorant or corrupt.
Coercion is a justiciable offence. Such justification as the coercer offers a court of law involves questions of law and questions of fact and are resolved in a protocol bound manner. Philosophy can't confuse what the Law makes clear.
This renders it easy for me to conceive of myself as coercing others for their own sake, in their, not my interest. I am then claiming that I know what they truly need better than; they know it themselves. What, at most, this entails is that they would not resist me if they were rational and as wise as I and understood their interests as I do. But I may go on to claim a good deal more than this. I may declare that they are actually aiming at what in their benighted state they consciously resist, because there exists within them an occult entity--their latent rational will, or their. `true' purpose-- and that this entity, although it is belied by all that they overtly feel and do and say, is their `real' self, of which the poor empirical self in space and time may know nothing or little; and that this inner spirit is the only self that deserves to have its wishes taken into account. Once I take this view, I am in a position to ignore the actual wishes of men or societies, to bully, oppress; torture them in the name, and on behalf, of their `real' selves, in the secure knowledge that whatever is the true goal of man (happiness, performance of duty, wisdom, a just society, self-fulfilment) must be identical with his freedom--the free choice of his `true', albeit often submerged and inarticulate, self. This paradox has been often exposed. It is one thing to say that I know what is good for X, while he himself does not; and even to ignore his wishes for its-- and his--sake ; and a very different one to say that he has eo ipso chosen it, not indeed consciously, not as he seems in everyday life, but in his role as a rational self which his empirical self may not know--the `real' self which discerns the good, and cannot help choosing it once it is revealed. This monstrous impersonation, which consists in equating what X would choose if he were something he is not, or at least not yet, with what X actually seeks and chooses, is at the heart of all political theories of self-realization.
So what? Make everybody an Oprah Book Choice and let their competing idiocies cancel each other out as noise. So sayeth the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbor's cat. All hail Chairman Meow!
It is one thing to say that I may be coerced for my own good which I am too blind to see: this may, on occasion, be for my benefit; indeed it may enlarge the scope of my liberty. It is another to say that if it is my good, then I am not being coerced, for I have willed it, whether I know this or not, and am free (or `truly' free) even while my poor earthly body and foolish mind bitterly reject it, and struggle against those who seek however benevolently to impose it, with, the greatest desperation.
This is not really true. I know that I live in a Society where I will be locked up in a psychiatric hospital if I daub myself with feces and run through the Shopping Mall chanting the Rituale Romanum. Thus, I emigrate to Canada where such behavior is de rigueur.

Suppose I have a conscientious objection to serving in the armed forces. I might be well advised to emigrate from a country where conscription is required to safeguard the Nation's borders.

It is a matter of fact, not speculation, that citizens of a Democratic country delegate decisions which safeguard Liberty to an elected body. One may not like how Liberty is secured but one has sanctioned the method used.
This magical transformation, or sleight of hand (for which William James so justly mocked the Hegelians), can no doubt be perpetrated just as easily with the `negative' concept of freedom, where the self that should not be interfered with is no longer the individual with his actual wishes and needs as they are normally conceived, but the `real' man within, identified with the pursuit of  some ideal purpose not dreamed of by his empirical self. And, as in the case of the `positively' free self, this entity may be inflated into some super personal entity--a state, a class, a nation, or the march of history itself, regarded as a more `real' subject of attributes than the empirical self. But the `positive' conception of freedom as self-mastery, with its suggestion of a man divided against himself, has, in fact, and as a matter of history, of doctrine and of practice, lent itself more easily to this splitting of personality into two: the transcendent, dominant controller, and the empirical bundle of desires and passions to be disciplined and brought to heel. It is this historical fact that has been influential.
Economics is the subject which studies the efficacy of both 'positive' and 'negative' conceptions of freedom. It does so using the findings of the natural sciences as well as by constructing Structural Causal Models and seeking empirical verification.

Hegel was a silly man. He was not influential. Bolsheviks committing genocide were influential. Why? Not because of the shite they spouted but coz they killed and robbed vast numbers of people.
This demonstrates (if demonstration of so obvious a truth is needed), that conceptions of freedom directly derive from views of what constitutes a self, a person, a man.
Shit directly derives from shit only if people eat shit. Everybody shits. Few eat shit. 'Views of what constitutes a self, a person, a man' are worthless shite such as a few pedagogues get paid a little money to excrete. 'Conceptions of freedom' are similar shite. Why? It's coz
Enough manipulation with the definition , of man, and freedom can be made to mean whatever the manipulator wishes.
That's why sensible people don't bother with this shite.
Recent history has made it only too clear that the issue is not merely academic.
Recent history showed that only being able to kill and rob lots of people mattered. Talking high minded shite was useless.
The consequences of distinguishing between two selves will become even clearer if one considers the two major forms which the desire to be self-directed--directed by one's `true' self-- has historically taken: the first, that of self-abnegation in order to attain independence; the second, that of self-realization, or total self-identification with a specific principle or ideal in order to attain the selfsame end.
 Why restrict oneself to only two selves? What about one's Porn Star Self and Super Hero Self and Talk Show Self and Country and Western Self and so forth?
The Retreat To The Inner Citadel
I am the possessor of reason and will; I conceive ends and I desire to pursue them; but if I am prevented from attaining them I no longer feel master of the situation.
Nonsense! One can always masturbate and master the shite out of all dem bitches but good.
I may be prevented by the laws of nature, or by accidents, or the activities of men, or the effect, often undesigned, of human institutions. These forces may be too much for me. What am I to do to avoid being crushed by them?
Like Rousseau, you can give yourself a hernia jacking off. 
I must liberate myself from desires that I know I can not realize.
Why? Having a wank is cheap and good for the prostate.
I wish to be master of my kingdom,
Like Seinfeld and chums wanted to be the 'masters of their domain'. 
but my frontiers are long and insecure, therefore I contract them in order to reduce or eliminate the vulnerable area. I begin by desiring happiness, or power, or knowledge, or the attainment of some specific object. But I cannot command them. I choose to avoid defeat and waste, and therefore decide to strive for nothing that I cannot be sure to obtain.
Yup. That's what happened in that episode. Everybody had a wank.
I determine myself not to desire what is unattainable. The tyrant threatens me with the destruction of my property, with imprisonment, with the exile or death of those I love. But if I no longer feel attached to property, no longer care whether or not I am in prison, if I have killed within myself my natural affections, then he cannot bend me to his will, for all that is left of myself is no longer subject to empirical fears or desires.
But you still die in a Gulag.
It is as if I had performed a strategic retreat into an inner citadel-- my reason, my soul, my `noumenal' self--which, do what they may, neither external blind force, nor human malice, can touch. I have withdrawn into myself; there, and there alone, I am secure. It is as if I were to say: `I have a wound in my leg. There are two methods of freeing myself from pain. One is to heal the wound. But if the cure is too difficult or uncertain, there is another method. I can get rid of the wound by cutting off my leg. If I train myself to want nothing to which the possession of my leg is indispensable, I shall not feel the lack of it.'
Alternatively one can say 'SHAZAM!' and turn into Captain Marvel and get it on with Wonder Woman.
This is the traditional self-emancipation of ascetics and quietists, of stoics or Buddhist sages, men of various religions or of none, who have fled the world, and escaped the yoke of society or public opinion, by some process of deliberate self-transformation that enables them to care no longer for any of its values, to remain, isolated and independent, on its edges, no longer vulnerable to its weapons.
How come all these 'perfected' beings need vast donations from credulous old maids?
All political isolationism, all economic autarky, every form of autonomy, has in it some element of this attitude. I eliminate the obstacles in my path by abandoning the path; I retreat into my own sect, my own planned economy, my own deliberately insulated territory, where no voices from outside need be listened to, and no external forces can have effect. This is a form of the search for security; but it has also been called the search for personal or national freedom or independence. From this doctrine, as it applies to individuals, it is no very great distance to the conceptions of those who, like Kant, identify freedom not indeed with the elimination of desires, but with resistance to them, and control over them. I identify myself with the controller and escape the slavery of the controlled. I am free because, and in so far as, I am autonomous. I obey laws, but I have imposed them on, or found them in, my own uncoerced self.
Yup! I am God and this is the little joke for which I excuse my flippancy in having created the world. Kindly give me a bj.

Pedagogy began, in the West, not with a Crisis of Values but a pederast trying to fuck the boy Lysis. However, Philosophy was no use here. Pretending to be God is a better way to get tail. Plato's importance lay in his getting people to study Math- which is useful. Applied Math- i.e. Econ- enables us to get to substantive conceptions of both positive and negative freedom of a utile type.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ghalib's 150th anniversary- what changed meanwhile?

Like Mao's re-gifting to the Prole, his un-relished Pakistani mango
Or Ghalib re-gifting Gandhian Ind, an incompossible Mughal Hamlet
Poet's recoil from Revolution's Cultural Contango
Art's demotic devolution, the Heart's Parrando bet


Envoi-

Midons! Thy Eden muggled,what Carol housels Eve?
The two mangos she smuggled weren't up her sleeve.













Ali Mir wrote in Scroll.in-

Ghalib accompanying Bahadur Shah Zafar, in the orchard of Baagh-e Hayaat Bakhsh, whose fruit was reserved for the nobility. Ghalib peered at the mangoes with sufficient intent for Zafar to ask what he was looking for. Ghalib replied in a calculated fashion:

I have heard the elders say:
bar sar-e har daana ba-navishta ayaañ
ka-een fulaañ ibn-e fulaañ ibn-e fulaañ

(On every piece one can see written quite clearly
That this is for so-and-so, son of so-and-so, son of so-and-so)

Perhaps, said the canny old man, I can spot the names of my ancestors on these fruits. Zafar got the message and Ghalib his case of mangoes.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Luciana Berger leaves Labour so as to go into it in a less hostile environment

Most ordinary Labor voters thought that charges of anti-Semitism against Corbyn's Party were exaggerated. It arose out of competitive virtue signalling whereby anti-Zionist Jews like Norman Finklestein or Gilad Atzmon keep shifting the boundary of 'right on' political correctness which forced non-Jewish Lefties to adopt more and more demented language.

However, Luciana Berger- who will be going into labor soon and is thus a genuine proletarian- has quit the Party after being at the receiving end of horrendous abuse from senior people in her own Constituency Party. This is tantamount to a pregnant woman being forced out of her own home by racist abuse. A line has been crossed. Even Ash Sarkar had something nice to say about Luciana earlier today.

There are a couple of other Labour MPs who have quit the Party since the election because they feel let down over sexual harassment or other similar allegations. A couple of them have raised anti-semitism as an issue- as did senior statesman Frank Field when he dramatically quit the party over a year ago. Clearly, two things are happening simultaneously in the Labour Party. One is political correctness of the sort that makes a big deal about silly Facebook posts from a decade ago. The other is a virulent anti-Zionism which has made the Party a hostile environment for Jews.

What is the way forward? Why can't we all just agree to gang up on the Iyengars? It is they who are using a simple Maratha boy- Leo Varadkar- to illegally occupy Iyerland.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Isaiah Berlin's 2 conceptions of Political Liberty

Classical Economics assumed that Wealth was a stock and Income a flow. Actually, Wealth and Income are impredicatively defined in terms of each other- Wealth is what you can't spend without diminishing future Income and Income is what you can spend without diminishing Wealth in the future. Both ultimately depend on perceived Uncertainty. The greater the uncertainty, the less both our Income and Wealth because prudence requires us to do 'ontologically dysphoric' things which probably aren't going to be productive- just in case.

Having greater Income and Wealth means being able to do more- to have a wider choice menu. This may appear to be related to Freedom. However, a slave could be much better off and more secure than a free man. However, he may not have the option to enfranchise himself 'on demand' so to speak.

Freedom is the opposite of being bound, or being the property of someone else. There was a period in medieval India when everyone was queuing up to become a slave of the Sultan. This meant you could kill or rape or steal with impunity because few would dare to destroy the property of the King.

I suppose, if one really wanted to be free, one could take to the open seas or hole up on some unclaimed atoll. However, this is risky and inconvenient. We prefer to pay taxes and be bound by laws in return for some limited rights and immunities of a Hohfeldian sort. However these rights and immunities are defeasible.

Every country does have a small number of rhetoricians who can make a little money pretending that the indigenous regime is more righteous or cuddly or liberal or socialist or moral or racially pure than those repulsive foreigners and their naughty little ways.

In a democracy, we expect our politicians to talk a certain amount of crap and kiss a certain number of pooping babies. This is to reassure us that they aren't really free but rather live only to serve.

Under a totalitarian regime, all the sociopaths long to vow obedience to the Party. Few would wish their own children to have a free and independent spirit because their lives in some Gulag would be nasty, brutish and short.

This is not to say that the word 'Freedom' is meaningless. On the contrary, it means incurring a prudential cost so as to gain the protection of a countervailing power and, in this manner, have a reasonable expectation of continuing to belong and answer only to oneself in certain areas of one's private and commercial life.

This is a matter of economic choice- one where 'regret' (in particular such as would arise by endangering one's own liberty) is minimized; present utility is not maximized. This involves an obvious opportunity cost of an ontologically dysphoric type. Unlike physical systems, Social configuration spaces are fundamentally impredicative in a manner which undoes the possibility of their having univalent foundations. Thus two observable states of the world which are observationally equivalent, nevertheless are indiscernibly non-identical. This is the idiographic aspect of Economic analysis which continually overturns its own nomothetic foundations. Freedom- which appears a nomothetic concept- something endowed from on high- is actually an idiographic praxis which has evolved because of regret minimizing Social Choice on a multivalent configuration space. As such, a comparative study of Freedom can be elaborated within the discourse of Law & Economics. However, in the process, Economic and Legal paradigms prove defeasible. It is not the case that either can provide Political Philosophy with a set of common knowledge principles.

A Philosophical, or Political conception of freedom is bound to be incoherent because neither type of discourse has an independent understanding of the global nature of the opportunity cost involved in safeguarding Freedom. This is because the Social configuration space is of a much higher degree of complexity than the ad captum vulgi truths pedagogues purloin from Economics and Jurisprudence.

Consider Isaiah Berlin's essay- two concepts of Liberty- the first of which is foolish and the second of which is paranoid

His analysis of 'negative Freedom' begins with this fallacy-

To coerce a man is to deprive him of freedom.
A slave may be coerced just as much as a free man. If you enter my house and I coerce you to leave it, I have not deprived you of freedom. No doubt, my act of coercion has an opportunity cost. I may regret having done so. Economics is concerned with regret minimization and its tools can help improve our decisions.

Berlin is concerned not with 'Law & Economics' and its Hohfeldian rights and immunities- which are justiciable- but rather with 'political conceptions' of freedom which, however, can seldom have bright-line judgments on 'wedge issues'- e.g abortion, immigration, conscription, 'just war' and so on.

It is not the case that Liberty can itself say that there is something fundamental it secures which may not have to be sacrificed at a given moment simply so as to preserve the possibility of its restoration.

 The first of these political senses of freedom or liberty (I shall use both words to mean the same), which (following much precedent) I shall call the 'negative' sense, is involved in the answer to the question, 'What is the area within which the subject - a person or group of persons - is or should be left to do or be what he is able to do or be, without interference by other persons?'

The answer is 'ask an economist.  Nothing is off the table when it comes to Trade-offs. Your question is about externalities or merit or repugnancy markets.  Externalities can be internalized.  Repugnancy markets can be regulated or reformed. Merit goods can be subsidised or publicly provided.
'This is complicated idiographic stuff. Don't try to puzzle it out for yourself on the basis of a priori, or nomothetic, first principles. You are bound to fuck up.'

 The second, which I shall call the positive sense, is involved in the answer to the question .'What, or who, is the source of control or interference that can determine someone to do, or be, this rather than that?'
The essence of Coase's theorem is that property rights don't matter so long as there is freedom to contract and a sufficiently rich environment of public signals. This is equivalent to a Goldilocks condition on preference diversity which in turn means that 'limited arbitrage' can do everything substantive because such contracts can be 'incomplete' and involve continuous revision of their 'process' and 'outcome' aspects.

Thus the only sane and rational answer to the question 'who should have auctoritas?' is-  'the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbor's cat when considered in the light of the correct Economystic theory'.

Not everybody will agree but by dint of showing them pictures of your neighbor's cat and making meowing noises they will, by and by, fuck off and go be a nuisance somewhere else.
I am normally said to be free to the degree to which no man or body of men interferes with my activity.
A slave of the Sultan is a guy no one fucks with. A minion of the Mafia can swagger down the street harassing and humiliating all whom he encounters. Such a person is not normally said to be free.
Nobody lives to interfere with a person who can and will kill them if they try. We don't normally say of such a person 'She is free'. We say 'she's a fucking homicidal nutjob. Stay out of her way.'

A person who manages, at great personal sacrifice, to exercise a countervailing power over this lady such that she ceases to be a menace may be praised for restoring liberty to others- they no longer feel terror when going about their business.

However, if as a matter of good business, local notables pool resources to hire a bunch of guys to exercise a countervailing power over dangerous gangsters or lunatics, then it is not the case that Freedom has been established but that there is a free-rider opportunity at a certain location.

This does not mean that we normally speak of people at such locations as free. The affluent stockbroker broken upon upon the wheel of his quotidian routine, as much as the scruffy pedagogue grading term-papers on the Aristotelian concept of Eudaimonia, are scarcely exemplars of the flourishing of the free and unfettered Human Spirit. Nevertheless, both serve Society by providing a specific sort of hedge and may acquiesce in their miserable fate under Nietzchean palingenesia.

Berlin says-
Political liberty in this sense is simply the area within which a man can act unobstructed by others.
What he means is an area where a man can free-ride in a certain way. If the man himself is paying into the common pool, then something of a purely economic, not political, type has occurred. A specific Hohfeldian right or immunity has been purchased as part of a collective security compact.

To believe otherwise is to say foolish things like-
If I am prevented by others from doing what I could otherwise do, I am to that degree unfree; and if this area is contracted by other men beyond a certain minimum, I can be described as being coerced, or, it may be, enslaved.

I am prevented from pissing on you by your punching my face or by my fear of being arrested. I may say- 'Poor me! I'm un-free. The generous flow of my golden urine has been curbed by the forces of Illiberalism from spraying upon the upturned faces of the poor and suffering masses! Boo hoo! I am being coerced! My life is that of a slave!'- but, sensible people will ignore me.

A follower of Berlin, however, would be obliged to give ear to me. That's a good reason not to be a follower of Berlin. Save time by considering the matter from a purely Economic point of view.

Otherwise you will have to say something as fucking obvious as-
Coercion is not, however, a term that covers every form of inability. If I say that I am unable to jump more than ten feet in the air. or cannot read because I am blind, or cannot understand the darker pages of Hegel, it would be eccentric to say that I am to that degree enslaved or coerced.
It is equally eccentric to say this very thing. It only became necessary because Berlin had previously said something downright stupid.
Coercion implies the deliberate interference of other human beings within the area in which I could otherwise act. You lack political liberty or freedom only if you are prevented from attaining a goal by human beings.
If  you can inflict asymmetric harm- either by yourself or by resort to a collective security mechanism- on those other human beings, they won't prevent you doing what you want. Why give the name of Political liberty to such a situation? It is something you bought and paid for.

Certain 'Liberals' have expressed puzzlement that voters don't care about freedoms which they themselves don't or can't exercise because of service provision rationing or discrimination by the Police or other Agencies funded by their own taxes. Thus, the fact that the SAS aren't turning up to take out the gangsters who are getting kids to stab each other on the Council Estate next door to me, sours me on paying for those guys to go off to Venezuela or Iraq to take out some gangster there. Of course, if the occupation of Iraq had given us lower petrol prices then, okay, we'd have been prepared to play along with  a silly sort of rhetoric which invokes Universal Human Rights and the blessedness of Democracy and Women's Rights and so forth so as to legitimate higher standards of living for ourselves.

Berlin's mistake is to implicitly assert that there actually was a coherent Political concept of Liberty which, however, is now being stretched a little too far.
Mere incapacity to attain a goal is not lack of political freedom.' This is brought out by the use of such modern expressions as 'economic freedom' and its counterpart' 'economic slavery''.
These expressions were used in the context of a theory that the State should own the means of production. But then, Classical Liberalism was a revolt against the notion that all realty should vest in either the Crown or the Church or else be held in Common. Coase's theorem shows that ownership needn't matter. The Law, by means of 'legal fictions' could overcome medieval restrictions on appropirable and residuary control rights.

'Political Liberalism' had no problem with actual, indentured, slavery and considered Transportation for Life to be an appropriate punishments for any worker seeking to engage in collective bargaining because this was to seek to impose a 'Restraint on Trade'.

This gave rise to some deeply hypocritical rhetoric just as the Bolsheviks adopted a wholly mendacious rhetoric against 'social parasites'- including Refuseniks and Dissidents who wouldn't do what they were told and hence who couldn't get a job.
It is argued, very plausibly, that if a man is too poor to afford something on which there is no legal ban - a loaf of bread, a journey round the world, recourse to the law courts - he is as little free to have it as he would be if it were forbidden him by law.
That is because it is forbidden him by law, assuming the law is enforced, to beat some guy who has that round the world ticket till he hands it over.  But Judges and Policemen and Prisons cost money.  The freedom to have and enjoy the stuff you paid for comes at the price of paying into a Collective Security system though, no doubt, at the margin, some free-riding obtains.

Berlin doesn't get the wholly economic nature of 'freedom' as a Hohfeldian right or immunity which corresponds to an obligation under a bond of law. If that vinculum juris is not incentive compatible, the thing misfires. On the other hand, it may create a virtuous circle of 'endogenous growth'.
If my poverty were a kind of disease, which prevented me from buying bread, or paying for the journey round the world or getting my case heard, as lameness prevents me from running, this inability would not naturally be described as a lack of freedom, least of all political freedom.
If I break your leg I don't cease to be lame. If I smash your head in and take away you ticket round the world- ceteris paribus- I do get to go round the world.  Berlin is showing that 'political freedom' is only meaningful with respect to transferable goods and services whose production involves an opportunity cost. But this is because 'political freedom' is purely economic. It may wear a universalist or nomothetic disguise but that is mere puffery.
It is only because I believe that my inability to get a given thing is due to the fact that other human beings have made arrangements whereby I am, whereas others are not, prevented from having enough money with which to pay for it, that I think myself a victim of coercion or slavery.
Being in jail, getting bent over, could do that to you- sho' nuff.
In other words, this use of the term depends on a particular social and economic theory about the causes of my poverty or weakness.
Nothing depends on a theory. What matters is if this guy can get together with a bunch of others to bust out and put the hurt on the powers that be till they cry Uncle and hand over goodies.
If my lack of material means is due to my lack of mental or physical capacity, then I begin to speak of being deprived of freedom (and not simply about poverty) only if I accept the theory.
Nonsense. Gibbering idiots don't accept or propagate anything as foolish as an economic theory. Nor do weak and terribly handicapped people. On the contrary, they may speak of the riches of Spirituality, the treasures of a compassionate heart, the Heaven to which the altruistic Soul expresses an indefeasible tropism.
If, in addition, I believe that I am being kept in want by a specific arrangement which I consider uniust or unfair'.1 speak of economic slavery or oppression.
What would be the point to that? The sensible thing to do would be to seek countervailing power against those who unfairly benefit from that specific arrangement. No doubt, as a matter of puffery, your action may be described by sympathizers as a blow struck for freedom or the true Church or the purity of the Race or the right of senior citizens to incessant sodomy or whatever other nostrum has been taken up by the chattering classes.
'The nature of things does not madden us, only ill will does', said Rousseau.
coz he was mentally ill.
The criterion of oppression is the part that I believe to be played by other human beings, directly. or indirectly, with or without the intention of doing so, in frustrating my wishes.
No! It isn't human beings but rather the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbor's cat which is responsible for all this mischegoss.

Why is Berlin giving a paranoid criterion for an unjust or unfair practice which reduces our potential utility gain? Asserting a countervailing power by establishing a 'threat point' is the sensible course of action.

 As shitty little teenagers, no doubt, we whined on and on about how like Mom is intentionally or unintentionally fucking up my big project to be all kool & gangsta and thus frustrating the hell out of me.
 By being free in this sense I mean not being interfered with by others.
Yup! That's a teenager talking right enough. The horrible thing is they probably are being interfered with by their Soccer Coach or Parish Priest so give 'em a break, willya?
The wider the area of noninterference the wider my freedom. This is what the classical English political philosophers meant when they used this word.
Rubbish! In so far as they were philosophers they could not mean anything in English. They could merely pathetically gesture at their own gibbering idiocy.
They disagreed about how wide the area could or should be. They supposed that it could not, as things were, be unlimited, because if it were, it would entail a state in which all men could boundlessly interfere with all other men; and this kind of `natural' freedom would lead to social chaos in which men's minimum needs would not be satisfied; or else the liberties of the weak would be suppressed by the strong,
These idiots invented an oxymoron called 'Political Liberty' and then pretended that it had some magical power even though, through out history, people have been smart enough to pool resources so as to hire tough guys to beat or kill sociopaths and hooligans.
Because they perceived that human purposes and activities do not automatically harmonize with one another, and because (whatever their official doctrines) they put high value on other goals, such as justice, or happiness, or culture, or security, or varying degrees of equality, they were prepared to curtail freedom in the interests of other values and, indeed, of freedom itself.
This is sheer nonsense. No Society has ever put a high value on 'justice', 'happiness', 'culture' or 'equality'. It would be silly to do so because these are essentially contested concepts which only bullshitting cunts drone on about.

It is a different matter that, if a bunch of gangsters have established a 'reign of terror', they get a kick out of pretending they are 'men of honor' or are protecting 'the purity of the Race' or are actually Robin Hoods or some other such shite.
For; without this, it was impossible to create the kind of association that they thought desirable.
Such associations arose without the inter-mediation of any bunch of bullshitters whatsoever.  A small bunch of self-publicists jumped on such bandwagons but they may as well have been whistling Dixie for all the good they did.

The Law has always existed. Much more money could be made by its practice than by writing a silly little pamphlet or an even sillier door-stopper. That's because the Law serves an actual purpose. The other thing is wholly make-believe.

Consider the profundity of thoughts like this-
Consequently, it is assumed by these thinkers that the area of men's free action must be limited by law. But equally it is assumed, especially by such libertarians as Locke and Mill in England, and Constant and Tocqueville in France, that there ought to exist a certain minimum area of personal freedom which must on no account be violated; for if it is overstepped, the individual will find himself in an area too narrow for even that minimum development of his natural faculties which alone makes it possible to pursue, and even to conceive, the various ends which men hold good or right or sacred.
Unicorns ought to exist coz they are sooooo sweet. When I grow up, I want to be a fairy and to ride a nice pink Unicorn.

There is no need for any minimal 'Seeta-Rekha' of freedom. Kids having arranged marriages and becoming parents in their teens can be more or less successful then kids who choose their own partners and themselves decide when to start a family. Even highly abhorrent practices like female genital mutiliation don't correlate with lower reproductive success. I may not like it, but I have to admit that a Bohra girl upon whom f.g.m has been performed, has better not worse life-chances as a result of this deeply repugnant 'costly signal'.

Suppose I'd had horrible parents who kept beating me till I passed exams in difficult subjects. Further suppose, that I'd been employed by a sociopathic Corporation which forced me to perform at the top of my ability for fear of physical sanction. I'd be miserable but somewhat less of a worthless sack of shit than I currently am.
It follows that a frontier must be drawn between the area of private life and that of public authority.
This is nonsense. Actual Liberalism is about abolishing any such frontier. Parents should not be allowed to mutilate their kids or to beat them till they got a degree in a STEM subject.
Where it is to be drawn is a matter of argument, indeed of haggling. Men are largely interdependent, and no man's activity is so completely private as never to obstruct the lives of others in anyway. `Freedom for the pike is death for the minnows'; the liberty of some must depend on the restraint of others. `Freedom for an Oxford don', others have been known to add, `is a very different thing from freedom for an Egyptian peasant.' This proposition derives its force from something that is both true and important, but the phrase itself remains a piece of political claptrap. It is true that to offer political rights, or safeguards against intervention by the state, to men who are half naked, illiterate, underfed, and diseased is to mock their condition;
That is where Berlin was wrong. The Egyptian felaheen wanted the State to stop intervening in favor of the tax-farmer turned landowner. They wanted the State to use its Revenues to pay for the education and healthcare of their children. Nasser delivered on these reasonable demands which is why his people are still in power there.

they need medical help or education before they can understand, or make use of an increase in their freedom. What is freedom to those who cannot make use of it?
Not having to worry about guys in uniform coming to throw you off your land if you get on the wrong side of the Sheikh is genuine freedom. The Oxford Don may have received a similar immunity from the sack for his purely political opinions. However, the guy could always emigrate or quit Academia so as to have an even higher standard of living. JBS Haldane and his wife renounced British Citizenship and settled in India after the latter was sacked for drunkenness. More sensible savants
 headed for California.
Without adequate conditions for the use of freedom, what is the value of freedom?
What is the value of gassing on about freedom, or spirituality or the purity of the Race? Only economics matters.
First things come first: there are situations, as a nineteenth century Russian radical writer declared, in which boots are superior to the works of Shakespeare;
What a great discovery! But what does it really mean? Markets for boots and books and so forth are a good thing.
individual freedom is not everyone's primary need.
Primary needs like secondary needs and needs wot bin to Collidge and needs wot went to Collidge but dropped out to join a Commune or found a Start Up, are all Economic. They have no coherent, or indeed, sensible, description in Political Philosophy.
For freedom is not the mere absence of frustration of whatever kind; this would inflate the meaning of the word until it meant too much or too little;
nor is it the presence of something coz it refers to prudential actions with respect to contingent events.
The Egyptian peasant needs clothes or medicine before, and more than, personal liberty,
The Egyptian peasant- like every other sort- needs to stop reproducing himself like crazy. He needs to have an exit strategy for his progeny. That exit should be towards urban areas with a flourishing private sector.

Nobody is going to turn up with clothes and medicines and free food for a Malthusian race of sub-subsistence peasants. They themselves have to migrate, undergo demographic transition, and then subsidize a declining agricultural sector- perhaps with a view to environmental effects rather than food production.
but the minimum freedom that he needs today,and the greater degree of freedom that he may need tomorrow, is not some species of freedom peculiar to him, but identical with that of professors, artists, and millionaires.
This is stupid. 'Professors, artists and millionaires' exist by reason of 'market power' which is greater where economic activity is concentrated and linkages are greatest. Peasants need different sorts of freedoms precisely because they are price takers at the end of tenuous supply chains. They experience terrible 'last mile' delivery of Public Services.

What matters for 'Professors, artists and millionaires' is transfer earnings in equivalent jurisdictions. The greater their mobility, the greater their effective freedom. Peasants have low mobility but need Exit on more favorable terms. Otherwise their 'Voice' and 'Loyalty' will be illiberal.

This, increasingly, is the lot of the indigenous working or lower middle class in advanced economies. We don't have the option of 'Exit'. So we exercise our 'Voice' and give our 'Loyalty' to those who claim to represent a countervailing power to the cosmopolitan 'Professor, artist or millionaire'.
What troubles the consciences of Western liberals is not, I think, the belief that the freedom that men seek differs according to. their social or economic conditions, but that the minority who possess it have gained it by exploiting, or, at least, averting their gaze from, the vast majority who do not.
Western Liberals only pretend to have a conscience for the purpose of competitive virtue signalling.
If this were not the case, they would be engaged in a purely Economic, not Politico-Philosophical, Research Program.
They believe, with good reason, that if individual liberty is an ultimate end for human beings, none should be deprived of it by others; least of all that some should enjoy it at the expense of others.
 What good reason could there be for having a silly belief? Not getting old or dying horrible is an ultimate end for human beings. The only reason I myself have grown old and will die horribly of some obesity related disease is because I am such a wonderful, caring and sharing human being, that I've said to God- 'Sorry Elvis. I refuse to stay young and beautiful for ever. Not till everybody can enjoy eternal youth will I accept this gift. Yes, I agree, Elvisji. Eating cheeseburgers on the loo is the way to go.'
Equality of liberty; not to treat others as I should not wish them to treat me; repayment of my debt to those who alone have made possible my liberty, or prosperity or enlightenment; justice, in its simplest and most universal sense--these are the foundations of liberal morality. Liberty is not the only goal of men. I can, like the Russian critic Belinsky, say that if others are to be deprived of it --if my brothers are to remain in poverty, squalor, and chains-- then, I do not want it for myself. I reject it with both hands and infinitely prefer to share their fate.
Incidentally, I should explain why I write like crap. It's not coz I iz stoopid and iggnirint. It's just that I refuse to let my brilliance become manifest while even the lowest of my brothers is Homi Bhabha and the most wretched of my sisters is Gayatri Spivak.
But nothing is gained by a confusion of terms. To avoid glaring inequality or wide spread misery I am ready to sacrifice some, or all, of my freedom: I may do so willingly and freely: but it is freedom that I am giving up for the sake of justice or equality or the love of my fellow men.
Why stop with freedom? Why not give up intelligence and education and the ability to talk or write anything other than shite?

Oh! Political Philosophers never had any such thing in the first place.

Economics considers all things as fungible. I trade off the disutility of working in a boring job for the utility of buying nice things for my family. To protect the liberties I currently enjoy, I am prepared to pay somewhat more in tax than is strictly required for Public Safety and the provision of Public Services. The surplus is used for precautionary purposes- e.g nuclear missiles which will never be used.
I should be guilt stricken, and rightly so, if I were not, in some circumstances, ready to make this sacrifice. But a sacrifice is not an increase in what is being sacrificed; namely freedom, however great the moral need or the compensation for it. Everything is what it is: liberty is liberty, not equality or fairness or justice or culture, or human happiness or a quiet conscience.
Everything which yields utility or disutility is mutable and can be transformed into anything else.
If the liberty of myself or my class or nation depends on the misery of a number of other human beings, the system which promotes this is unjust and immoral.
But remediable.
But, if I curtail or lose my freedom, in order. to lessen the shame of such inequality, and do not thereby materially increase the individual liberty of others, an absolute loss of liberty occurs.
Nonsense! The thing is probabilistic. What matters is if there is a realistic chance of success. In any case, increasing the cost curve of the bad guys is a good thing.

There is a Law of Conservation for Energy, there isn't one for the Conservation of Freedom or Happiness or being Too Cool for School. Why? Conservation laws exist where there is a differentiable symmetry. But biological organisms are examples of dissipative systems. More generally, notions like utility and regret refer to a higher dimensional configuration space and are expressed as possibilities. This makes nonsense of any attempt to treat Economic phenomena like Physical phenomena.  A Physical field interferes, but cannot propagate in the high-dimensional configuration space. A probability distribution propagates in the configuration space, but cannot interfere, since possibilities cannot interact with one another.
 This may be compensated for by a gain in justice or in happiness or in peace, but the loss remains, and it is a confusion of values to say that although my `liberal', individual freedom may go by the board, some other kind of freedom--'social' or `economic'--is increased. Yet it remains true that the freedom of some must at times be curtailed to secure the freedom of others. Upon what principle should this be done?
A purely economic principle involving trade-offs, not some shite about indefeasible rights or sacred values.
If freedom is a sacred; untouchable value, there can be no such principle.
Sure there can. You just have to believe in an Occassionalist God, or Divine Providence or some emergent 'Gaia' regulating Evolution. There is always an after the fact Mathematical Theodicy involving higher dimensions or the non Euclidean geometry Ivan Karamazov refused to accept even if all of the insulted and the injured rose up at the eschaton to forgive their tormentors and declared the whole cascading history of human atrocity to be the perfection of Justice and Mercy.
One or other, of these conflicting rules or principles must, at any rate in practice, yield: not always for reasons which can be clearly stated, let alone generalized into rules or universal maxims. Still, a practical compromise has to be found.
This is the economia of equity which compensates for the over-reaching, by reason of too great a generality, of the Law's rigid akrebia.

You don't need book-smarts to understand this stuff. Commerce can thrive, Courts can enforce contracts efficiently, with only minimal literacy and no wasteful expenditure on a foolish Paideia.
Philosophers with an optimistic view of human nature and a belief in the possibility of harmonizing human interests, such as Locke, Adam Smith and, in some moods, Mill, believed that social harmony and progress were compatible with reserving a large area for private life over which neither the state nor any other authority must be allowed to trespass.
They were wrong. Courts have always required defendants in actions in tort to show that their private life was not such as might have led to a negligent or prejudicial act or omission. Mill accepted that 'responsibility' meant 'punishability'. None of these guys stood up for homosexual rights or anything else which might have got them into trouble back then.

No doubt, as in Lawrence vs Texas, Mill's harm principle could be given a liberal juristic interpretation. But it wasn't for more than a century, when public opinion was even more fucking retarded.
Hobbes, and those who agreed with him, especially conservative or reactionary thinkers, argued that if men were to be prevented from destroying one another and making social life a jungle or a wilderness, greater safeguards must be instituted to keep them in their places; he wished correspondingly to increase the area of centralized control and decrease that of the individual. But both sides agreed that some portion of human existence must remain independent of the sphere of social control. To invade that preserve, however small, would be despotism.
It would also be expensive and self-defeating. Political Philosophy wasn't helping anybody by saying stuff which no despot could achieve, without destroying the basis of his own power, would be wrong coz it would be like totally despotic and uncool.
The most eloquent of all defenders of freedom and privacy, Benjamin Constant, who had not forgotten the Jacobin dictatorship, declared that at the very least the liberty of religion, opinion, expression,property, must be guaranteed against arbitrary invasion.
Constant was a silly man. Property must pay for its own protection- preferably collectively coz there are economies of scale and scope. It oughtn't to be guaranteed against anything.  Neither should anything else. Let them pay their own way. A small amount of free-riding may be tolerated- it shows the robustness of the system. However, at the margin, nuisances will be curtailed no matter how much whiners whine about their Yuman Rites.
Jefferson, Burke, Paine, Mill, compiled different catalogues of individual liberties, but the argument for keeping authority at bay is always substantially the same. We must preserve a minimum area of personal freedom if we are not to `degrade or deny our nature'.
We must breathe in and then breathe out. Failure to do so could lead to suffocation. Why are our Professors and Politicians and Media Pundits speaking out on this vital issue? They are all in the pay of Big Air. We need a proper pedagogy of breathing in and then breathing out. Won's someone think of the children?!
We cannot remain absolutely free, and must give up some of our liberty to preserve the rest.
We can't just breathe in. We must also breathe out.
But total self-surrender is self-defeating.
Only breathing out is self-defeating.
What then must the minimum be?
A proper Scientific pedagogy of breathing in and breathing out would be able to specify that minimum after suffocating a whole bunch of Grad Students. Why are our elite Colleges not ensuring the thing happens? They are all in the pay of Big Air. Meanwhile, there is no one to speak up for the children.

Once we have established the lower bound for Pneuma, we will be able to specify 'Human essence'. As in-
That which a man cannot give up with out offending against the essence of his human nature. What is this essence? What are the standards which it entails? This has been, and perhaps always will be, a matter of infinite debate.
Like- can Spiderman beat up Dracula.
But whatever the principle in terms of which the area of non-interference is to be drawn, whether it is that of natural law or natural rights, or of utility or the pronouncements of a categorical imperative, or the sanctity of the social contract, or any other concept with which men have sought to clarify and justify their convictions, liberty in this sense means liberty from absence of interference beyond the shifting, but always recognizable, frontier.
 WTF? Did Berlin have a stroke?  Liberty has a sense in which it means being free from 'absence of interference'?  Why? Fuck is wrong with Liberty? Is it high? Or just stupid?
`The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way'
Everybody pursues their own good in their own way. If they fail, either individually or collectively to guard against the possibility of being fucked over while doing so then their freedom may decrease. They may find themselves down a deep hole with a guy  standing above them saying 'it rubs the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose again'.

If saying something so stupid is the kind of thing that 'celebrated champions' of Freedom do, then fuck Freedom and fuck the horse on which it rode in on.
, said the most celebrated of its champions. if this is so, is compulsion ever justified? Mill had no doubt that it was. Since justice demands that all individuals be entitled to a minimum of freedom, all other individuals were of necessity to be restrained, if need be by force, from depriving anyone of it. Indeed, the whole function of law was the prevention of just such collisions: the state was reduced to what Lassalle contemptuously described as the functions of a night watchman or traffic policeman. What made the protection of individual liberty so sacred to Mill?
So sacred he didn't speak up for homosexuals being persecuted under the new law.
In his famous essay he declares that, unless men are left to live as they wish `in the path which merely concerns themselves'; civilization cannot advance; the truth will not, for lack of a free market in ideas, come to light; there will be no scope for spontaneity, originality, genius, for mental energy, for moral courage.
Mill was wrong. Soviet Russia and Communist China produced better Scientists and Artists than economically similarly placed countries. India had a 'free market in ideas'. The result was that Kosambi started publishing fake proofs of the Reimann hypothesis. Meanwhile, Chinese mathematicians powered through the Cultural Revolution and have greatly raised the International ranking of China's elite Universities.

Mill was a false prophet. Liberal England started falling behind Germany in STEM subjects. Tzarist Russia produced better novelists- even playwrights.
Society will be crushed by the weight of `collective mediocrity'.
That could certainly be said of the Oxbridge or Ivy League elite. Without immigration, the decline would have been precipitous.
Whatever is rich and diversified will be crushed by the weight of custom; by men's constant tendency to conformity, which breeds only `withered capacities', `pinched and hidebound', `cramped and warped' human beings. `Pagan self-assertion is as worthy as Christian self-denial.' `All the errors which a man is likely to commit against advice and warning are far outweighed by the evil of allowing others to constrain him to what they deem is good.'
Such constraints encourage a psychic and intellectual investment in ontologically dysphoric lebenswelts. This can actually be a very good thing for intellectual, artistic and soteriological Research Projects.
The defence of liberty consists in the `negative' goal of warding off interference . To threaten a man with persecution unless he submits to a life in which he exercises no choices of his goals; to block before him every door but one, no matter how noble the prospect upon which it opens, or how benevolent the motives of those who arrange this, is to sin against the truth that he is a man, a being with a life of his own to live.
Exactly! That is precisely my point! I have been campaigning for giving a prominent position in the curriculum to the proper pedagogy of breathing in and breathing out. I have been mercilessly persecuted for interrupting lectures on Political Philosophy to remind every one present of the need to first breathe in some nice Air and then breathe it out again. People tell me there is no need for me to carry on with my life-work. I should get a job delivering pizza and stop being a smelly homeless person. However benevolent the motives of those who say this to me, they sin against the truth that I am a man, a with a life of my own to live.

Also, all these bastards are in the pay of Big Air. Won't someone think of the children?
This is liberty as it has been conceived by liberals in the modern world from the days of Erasmus (some would say of Occam) to our own.
None of these guys achieved anything useful. They only figure on the curriculum of fundamentally worthless University subjects which yield a Credential of declining signalling value. Why bother with them?
Every plea for civil liberties and individual rights, every protest against exploitation and humiliation, against the encroachment of public authority, or the mass hypnosis of custom or organized propaganda, springs from this individualistic, and much disputed, conception of man.
That's the problem. These shitheads think standing up for the rights of Nazis to march through a community with a lot of Camp survivors proves they are holier, not stupider than thou.

All this virtue signalling has turned Liberalism into what Reagan called 'the L word'. The thing has become utterly rabid.
Three facts about this position may be noted. In the first place Mill confuses two distinct notions. One is that all coercion is, in so far as it frustrates human desires, bad as such, although it may have to be applied to prevent other, greater evils; while non-interference, which is the opposite of coercion, is good as such although it is not the only good.
Confusing two false propositions does not matter. Ex falso quodlibet. Coercion requires skills that can be learned and technologically enhanced. As with 'Games against Nature', there are positive externalities associated with developing Coercive power and updating one's Offensive doctrine.

By contrast holier-than-thou 'non-interference', or 'passive resistance' or 'Ahimsa' has negative knowledge based externalities. It makes its advocates and practitioners stupider and more backward than the common herd. 

Protesting against everything under the sun causes a backlash towards the status quo. No nuisance is justified for so paltry a purpose as competitive virtue signalling. Nor can any substantive good- something which 'pays for itself'- come out of a purely political or philosophical conception of something.
   
This is the 'negative' conception of liberty in its classical form. The other is that men should seek to discover the truth, or to develop a certain type of character of which Mill approved--critical, original, imaginative, independent,non-conforming to the point of eccentricity, and so on-- and that truth can be found, and such character can be bred, only in conditions of freedom.
Smart people shouldn't waste their time doing stupid stuff- like political theory or philosophy. They should invent or discover things which can make everybody better off. On the basis of the surplus they create, by all means, let them gas on a little in a high minded manner. It's a perk of a job well done.

Both these are liberal views, but they are not identical, and the connexion between them is, at best, empirical. No one would argue that truth or freedom of self-expression could flourish where dogma crushes all thought. But the evidence of history tends to show (as, indeed, was argued by James Stephen in his formidable attack on Mill in his Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) that integrity, love of truth, and fiery individualism grow at least as often in severely disciplined communities among, for example, the puritan Calvinists of Scotland or New England, or under military discipline, as in more tolerant or indifferent societies; and if this is so, Mill's argument for liberty as a necessary condition for the growth of human genius falls to the ground. If his two goals proved incompatible, Mill would be faced with a cruel dilemma, quite apart from the further difficulties created by the inconsistency of his doctrines with strict utilitarianism, even in his own humane version of it.
The way out of the dilemma was not far to seek. Only kowtow to the bien pensant shite uttered by genuine inventors and discoverers. After all, it is comforting to see those idols have feet of clay.

To balance things, one could look for and publicize people who haven't discovered anything but who have survived terrible adversity and yet display superior rationality and humanity.
In the second place, the doctrine is comparatively modern. There seems to be scarcely any discussion of individual liberty as a conscious political ideal (as opposed to its actual existence) in the ancient world. Condorcet had already remarked that the notion of individual rights was absent from the legal conceptions of the Romans and Greeks; this seems to hold equally of the Jewish, Chinese, and all other ancient civilizations that have since come to light.
Condorcet was a good mathematician and a nice guy- championing Women's Rights and opposing Slavery and laws criminalizing Sodomy. Unfortunately, he proposed a theory which justified the oppression of women and minorities as 'necessary stages' in a determinate process of human perfectibility unfolding though History. Unlike John Adams, he didn't get that the very notion of a Right which an individual may exercise on his own behalf arises not in any Religious or Philosophical or purely Political context but rather in the context of overlapping legal jurisdictions. This is what happened when St. Paul asserted his rights as a Roman citizen. Where jurisdiction shopping is possible, a right clearly inheres in the individual making the election. In India, it is a matter of empirical fact that both Islamic and Hindu jurisprudence made themselves assimilable and were indeed subsumed by British jurisprudence precisely because Case Law evolved in a manner which clarified what rights under Islamic or Hindu law adhered to the individual and how Legislation could remove instances of superior individual rights accruing to members of a competing creed. Mohammad Ali Jinnah gained salience as an All India Muslim leader by demanding a reform of Waqf law which disadvantaged Hanafi enterprises. It is jurisdiction shopping which leads to a lowest common denominator of indefeasible Human Rights. However, these are merely cosmetic unless there is an underlying incentive compatible mechanism.

Philosophers gassing on about Political Liberty did not originate or change the Law. The needs of Commerce, of Industry, of Capital accumulation and Portfolio Diversification, drove its origin and trajectory. Simply importing the latest model of Liberal Constitution- as happens in Gilbert & Sullivan's Mikado- is futile.
The domination of this ideal has been the exception rather than the rule, even in the recent history of the West.
Ideals don't dominate anything. Business does.
Nor has liberty in this sense often formed a rallying cry for the great masses of mankind. The desire not to be impinged upon, to be left to oneself, has been a mark of high civilization both on the part of individuals and communities.
It has been the hallmark of the Shaman and the Shraman, the Eremite and the Epicurean. 'High Civilization', on the other hand, has been characterized by the desire to be recognized as a celebrity. Fame is the stalker who only shreds your skin if he leaves you alone.
The sense of privacy itself, of the area of personal relationships as something sacred in its own right, derives from a conception of freedom which, for all its religious roots, is scarcely older, in its developed state, than the Renaissance or the Reformation.
It is scarcely older than Lawrence vs Texas. Both the Renaissance and the Reformation, not to speak of various ultra-Rational Revolutions, were associated with a perception of increased, not decreased, external effects. Enlightenment is something private- or imaginary- which is supposed to have a positive externality. Indeed, that is the cash value of Berlin's otherwise vacuous conception of 'positive freedom'. By contrast, not caring about whatever Liberal moral panic is going the rounds is, we are told, to fatally endanger the body politic and cause the rise of Trump.

Berlin's own people had a communal form of life stigmatized by Renaissances and Reformations and Enlightenments and the Ethnic Cleansings they justified. The inviolability of the private sphere is contingent on its collective expression as resistance to isonomia.

Consider this extract from a Guardian article published last month- 'Ultra-Orthodox Jewish parents and teachers are warning that schools may go underground and children be educated at home if the government presses ahead with guidance on teaching about same-sex relationships and gender reassignment.'

Apparently, Liberalism's notion of privacy, even for little kiddies, means having to hear about sodomy and people having their dicks surgically inverted into vaginas.

Berlin, no doubt, would have been appalled. He says-
Yet its decline would mark the death of a civilization, of an entire moral outlook.
That's what happened to the Incas. I recall reading about it in Tintin's 'Prisoners of the Sun' comic book. The Inca King had a peculiar and wholly private relationship with his favorite llama. The Spanish, very meanly, publicized this tender relationship which led to a lot of sniggering across the Andes. This caused the death of Inca Civilization. Snowy, the dog, said 'woof woof' to express his sorrow at this outcome. As should we all say 'woof, woof' coz the death of an entire moral outlook is no joking matter even if no llamas had their feelings hurt in the process.
The third characteristic of this notion of liberty is of greater importance. It is that liberty in this sense is not incompatible with some kinds of autocracy, or at any rate with the absence of self-government. Liberty in this sense is principally concerned with the area of control, not with its source. Just as a democracy may, in fact, deprive the individual citizen of a great many liberties which he might have in some other form of society, so it is perfectly conceivable that a liberal-minded despot would allow his subjects a large measure of personal freedom. The despot who leaves his subjects a wide area of liberty may be unjust, or encourage the wildest inequalities, care little for order, or virtue, or knowledge; but provided he does not curb their liberty, or at least curbs it less than many other régimes, he meets with Mill's specification.
Which is why Mill was a silly billy. Freedom is an Economic concept, not a Political one. It means making the regret minimizing choice to topple or flee a regime where the opportunity to do so is ceasing to exist.
Freedom in this sense is not, at any rate logically, connected with democracy or self-government.
It could be provided there is free entry and exit and 'Tiebout sorting' occurs.  In this case, people with similar regret-minimizing preferences flock together and can have mechanisms conducive to the preservation of the freedoms they value.
Selfgovernment may, on the whole, provide a better guarantee of the preservation of civil liberties than other régimes, and has been defended as such by libertarians.
Provided, the Tiebout model does not have too much rent dissipation relative to preference diversity. This sort of stuff is a proper subject for idiographic 'Law & Economics' type analysis. It's something ordinary people can do 'well enough' a lot of the time.
But there is no necessary connexion between individual liberty and democratic rule.
There is no necessary connection between any two things under Knightian Uncertainty except Rationality and Regret Minimization. Freedom is about contingent events- not what is happening now but what might happen unless you have insured yourself against the risk.
The answer to the question `Who governs me?' is logically distinct from the question `How far does government interfere with me?'
Both questions only have answers on a higher order configuration space such that they can't be logically distinct because of radical interdependence and indeterminacy.

Who governs is contingent on how far the government interferes which in turn depends on the costs and returns on governance which in turn depends on the governed.
It is in this difference that the great contrast between the two concepts of negative and positive liberty, in the end, consists. For the `positive' sense of liberty comes to light if we try to answer the question, not `What am I free to do or be?', but `By whom am I ruled?' or `Who is to say what I am, and what I am not, to be or do?'
So, the positive sense of liberty is paranoia. Everybody knows that we are all ruled by the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbor's cat. I mean, they would know it, if pussy willed it.
The connexion between democracy and individual liberty is a good deal more tenuous than it seemed to many advocates of both.
Connctions may be tenuous but provided Muth rationality prevails no great scandal arises. In other words, if people coordinate on the basis of the correct economic theory, Political Philosophy can go fuck itself.
The desire to be governed by myself; or at any rate to participate in the process by which my life is to be controlled, may be as deep a wish as that of a free area for action, and perhaps historically older. But it is not a desire for the same thing. So different is it, indeed, as to have led in the end to the great clash of ideologies that dominates our world.
Berlin was writing at the height of the Cold War when it was by no means apparent that Ideology can talks till it is red in the face but it is Economics which  walks all over its naked sweaty body in a pair of stilettos. Obviously, what happens next is that Economics gives Ideology a golden shower and then takes a dump upon its chest. Not that Ideology isn't into twisted shit of that description. It's just that it gets done for fraud when it pretends its credit card was stolen by, like this real big black dude- actually, come to think of it, there was a whole bunch of them and anyway, the only reason I'm so confused about my sexuality is coz Mommy made me wear my sister's hand-me-downs till I was 42.
 For it is this--the `positive' conception of liberty: not freedom from, but freedom to-- to lead one prescribed form of life--which the adherents of the `negative' notion represent as being, at times, no better than a specious disguise for brutal tyranny.
What Berlin means is that there were some Ideological dickheads who were pretending that Communist countries granted genuine freedoms while Capitalism was bound to end in an underconsumption crisis with everybody on the dole. AJP Taylor thought Hungary was in better shape than Britain. Joan Robinson thought North, not South, Korea was a success story.  There was a film titled 'Letter to Brezhnev' about a Liverpudlian lass who thought emigration to the Soviet Union would make her life better.

History has recorded its own verdict on all this silliness. Unfortunately, it got real drunk and, next morning, in a rare moment of clarity, realized it was wholly illiterate. Also there was this huge charge on its Credit Card bill which it tried to get out of paying by claiming that it had been mugged by this black dude- Ranajit Guha- actually it was a whole bunch of black dudes from the Subaltern Studies street gang and, boy, is my ass sore.