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19 January 2011

Introducing Feasibilism

Many tendencies of rightist thought go by monikers akin to 'voluntarism,' 'volunteerism,' or 'voluntaryism.' These power-words serve to drive home the point that everything that isn't coerced is considered voluntary. The use of the word 'voluntary' and its various contrived inflections open the door to trite belittlements such as "nobody's holding a gun to your head," and "if you don't like your job or income you can always go elsewhere."

The voluntarist meme has now infected the self-described left-libertarian movement. To their credit they view it as a necessary but not sufficient condition for freedom.

Getting back to the snarky cliché about the worker always being able to go elsewhere:

* If a lifestyle that doesn't involve work is feasible, then work can be thought of as voluntary.
* If a workplace you like is feasible, then a job you don't like can be thought of as voluntary.
* If living dirt cheap is feasible, then working for a low income can be thought of as voluntary.

Feasibilism can be thought of as a sort of 'thick voluntarism,' paralleling thick libertarianism and thick individualism.

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