Wellington anarchist Sam Buchanan posed an interesting question a few posts ago.
I note your judging the passing on of information you disagree with as ‘indoctrination’. From a libertarian perspective, one would expect an acceptance that everyone has a different viewpoint and these should be accepted as part of the grand ‘free-market of ideas’. Care to comment?
This is how I see it Sam.
Indoctrination is the aggressive pushing of ideas on someone rendered vulnerable by youth, lack of education, poor intellect, sleep deprivation, drugs, torture, deliberate censoring of other viewpoints, lying or any combination of the above.
Greenpeace for example targets the young, lies as a matter of course and attempts to shut out competing ideas-indoctrination.
The North Korean’s use virtually all of the above.
While I believe in a free market of ideas, that does not mean mean all ideas are equal, or that none are beyond criticism.
I’m sure you’d agree with me that the ideas of Ayn Rand (Alice Rosenblum)are not equal in value to those of Rosa Luxemburg, or the ideas of Christ worth the same as the ideas of Kropotkin?
We might disagree on the relative value of those ideas, but I am sure you would agree that all ideas are not equally valid.
One reason I love free markets (economically, socially, philosophically) is that ideas may be freely tested against reality.
All things being equal, good ideas do better in free markets than bad ones. That is because people can try them and observe the unvarnished result.
Truth can best be discovered by testing ideas fairly and squarely in the real world.
If the ideas market is distorted by state intervention of any form, truth becomes harder to discern and lies become more widespread.
That’s why so much bullshit comes out of academia. Many academics, particularly in state run universities, are shielded from market realities.
Therefore they can and do promulgate the most stupid ideas with no negative economic or social consequences.
In short I believe in freedom of ideas, but I also believe in freedom to criticise those ideas.
You can’t have one without the other.