Tag Archives: libertarianism

Progressive/Libertarian: The alliance that isn’t

Source: EconLog
by Bryan Caplan

“My one big disagreement with Ed Glaeser’s great piece on housing deregulation is when he says: ‘Reforming local land use controls is one of those rare areas in which the libertarian and the progressive agree. The current system restricts the freedom of the property owner, and also makes life harder for poorer Americans. The politics of zoning reform may be hard, but our land use regulations are badly in need of rethinking.’ Actually, there are four other big areas where the two ideologies converge. … These four issues are so massive, you’d expect a staunch progressive/libertarian alliance would have been forged long ago. But of course it hasn’t. Why not?” (06/22/17)


The Pope’s cartoon libertarians

Source: Libertarianism.org
by David S D’Amato

“With all due respect to His Holiness, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ is profoundly ignorant of even the most basic features of libertarian thought, as conceived by the people who actually urge its adoption in public policy. In this, of course, he has plenty of company. And this is nothing new for the Pope, who has been warning the faithful of the dangers posed by greedy, malevolent freedom-lovers for years. But in disseminating his views, the Pope has only regurgitated, apparently without much thought, various superficial and long-exploded caricatures of libertarianism. He attacks a bizarre version of libertarian thought that few, if any, actual libertarians espouse—one in which thoughtless and self-centered borderline sociopaths seek to live shallow, atomized lives of material consumption and accumulation.” (05/10/17)


The poverty of natural rights libertarianism

Source: Libertarianism.org
by Brink Lindsey

“Among libertarians today, advocacy of minimal or nonexistent government in the name of defending natural rights is considered the ‘pure’ libertarian position. Any deviation from that line, any qualifications or exceptions, represents a watered-down or compromised version of our political faith. Libertarian intellectual rigor is thought to consist of following natural rights premises to their logical conclusions regardless of how at odds with conventional wisdom those conclusions may be. The more rigorous the libertarian, the more willing he is (and yeah, it’s usually a he) to bite the bullets of hard cases — say, whether there should be laws against blackmail, or against cruelty to animals. In this essay, I want to explain why I believe that libertarian natural rights radicalism is an intellectual dead end.” (05/04/17)


How nationalism and socialism arose from the French Revolution

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Dan Sanchez

“Liberalism unlocked humanity’s creative potential, yielding the first ever rise of widespread abundance through industrial mass production. Nationalism and socialism unleashed humanity’s capacity for destruction, unleashing the first ever rise of industrial-scale mass murder. The twin banes of nationalism and socialism followed the boon of liberalism remarkably quickly. To understand why, we must consider a fourth big idea that historically links the other three: the idea of the people’s state.” (04/12/17)


Why does the Libertarian Party fail every four years?

Source: HubPages
by Garry Reed

“Campaign season or not it’s easy to find headlines virtually everywhere asking why the Libertarian Party fails, doesn’t work, can’t win and falls short every election year. Everyone, friend and foe, has an endless array of answers and an even longer list of fixes. But few get to the true heart of the matter. The fundamental reality is that as a philosophy, as a political ideology, as a personal psychological mindset, libertarianism is an individualist concept while all other forms of social organizing are authoritarian.” (04/05/17)


The epic triumph of liberalism and its tragic betrayal

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Dan Sanchez

“Three years ago, the New York Times asked whether ‘the libertarian moment’ had finally arrived. Since then, we have seen no libertarian revolution in politics or policy, leading many to ask whether the libertarian moment had indeed come … and gone. Perhaps, the thinking goes, the libertarians had their political American Idol audition, delivered a pitchy performance, and were sent home: end of story. In a sense, to even frame things in this way is silly. It would only make sense if libertarians were a curious sect with quirky ideas that somehow gained outsize national attention, giving us a one-time chance to seize the reins of power …. Poor branding is partly to blame: specifically, the use of the label ‘libertarian’ instead of the philosophy’s original name, ‘liberalism.'” (03/23/17)


The term I’ve been looking for is “path dependence”

Source: [email protected]
by Thomas L Knapp

“[Y]esterday in a Facebook discussion, I wrote: I agree with Clayton Hunt that anarcho-capitalism and paleoconservatism aren’t the same thing. Anarcho-capitalism is an ideology. Paleoconservatism is a cult based on an attack of explosive strategic diarrhea that Rothbard would presumably have eventually taken some Kaopectate for if he hadn’t died before he could get away from the toilet for more than a few seconds. … Which brings me to the quite possibly apocryphal tale explaining why the Solid Rocket Boosters used to launch the old Space Shuttles were the size they were.” (03/02/17)


What does “freedom” actually mean? Self-indulgent Libertarian hypocrisy knows no bounds

Source: Salon
by Jeremy Sherman

[editor’s note: I’m not even going to try to excerpt this. It’s like someone challenged the guy to come up with an answer to the question “what would it look like if someone without the slightest idea what libertarianism is or where it came from had to demonstrate what it takes to get an F on a high school freshman composition exercise?” Yes. That bad. Really. – TLK] (02/27/17)


Libertarianism and immigration enforcement

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“For the past several years, there has been a running debate within the libertarian movement between libertarians who favor government immigration controls and those who favor open borders. As an advocate of open borders, I have never been able to figure out how those libertarians who favor government-controlled borders are able to reconcile their position with the libertarian non-aggression principle, which condemns the initiation of force against others and holds that people should be free to do whatever they want so long as their conduct is peaceful. I have also been unable to understand how the government-controlled-borders libertarians reconcile their position with the concepts of natural, God-given rights, private property, free markets, and limited government, all of which are bedrock political and economic principles of libertarianism.” (02/22/17)


A Kantian case for libertarianism

Source: Libertarianism.org
by Jason Kuznicki

“Kant was a classical liberal. Not only that, but even in those places where Kant diverged from what we now would call libertarianism, one might argue that he did so in spite of his deeper philosophical commitments, rather than because of them. With the help of further reflection, we might even say that a somewhat better Kantian would be significantly more libertarian than Kant himself ever was. Importantly, Kant’s own system was explicitly open to this kind of development and growth, and it is a mark of his philosophical acumen that he left the door open for those sorts of future improvements.” [editor’s note: No idea why this didn’t appear in my RSS feed for more than a month, but interesting enough to run even at this late date … – TLK] (01/03/17)