Apropos of two recent posts here at WWWtW, and in response to this characteristically unilluminating Will Wilkinson post, Daniel Larison highlights the non-discursive nature of Wilkinson's remarks:
My concluding points in these two cases (Two previous instances, linked in Daniel's piece, in which D.L. observes that Wilkinson is not really arguing anything - Maximos.) were to draw attention to the fact that the points of contention between Mr. Wilkinson and his interlocutors are not disagreements over anything like measurable practical benefits for the world’s poorest or anyone else. They are disagreements between libertarians such as Mr. Wilkinson and conservatives, because the two are sharply, seemingly irreconcilably at odds about basic values. He berates conservatives for privileging the interests of fellow citizens and countrymen (which he finds “morally abhorrent”), but beyond asserting that this act of privileging is wrong he does not give any persuasive reason why this should be so, except to fall back on his assumption that distinguishing between citizen and non-citizen is arbitrary and wrong.
I would like to enter a simple observation, namely, that there is a transparent reason for the non-discursive nature of Wilkinson's remarks, and that is, that their moral terms are functions of two (implicit) libertarian
Relatedly, Mr. Lee, incognizant of the follies of his previous post, has more or less done precisely what I said libertarians would do in my comments on Wilkinson, throwing in the hoary old libertarian shibboleth of 'denying social services to the masses of third-world utility-maximizers we are obligated to admit'. It is incumbent upon us to acknowledge that the willed imposition of such Dickensian conditions would be gravely immoral; albeit that denial would be the squaring of the circle - of the rights of Americans to maximize their utility and the rights of the third world migrants to maximize their utility - for the libertarian, for whom citizenship matters, except when it doesn't.
Libertarianism: applied autism.