Tag Archives: libertarianism

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)


Thinking about libertarian foreign policy

Source: Niskanen Center
by Matthew Fay

"Libertarians have an uneasy relationship with foreign policy. The state, after all, is the primary actor in international relations. In many situations, the alternative to action by the American state is not the action of a private sector or civil society actor, but rather the action of another state. In many cases, action by more repressive or brutal regimes may well be worse for American interests and the world at large than action by the U.S. government, for all its many failings. For libertarians, who want the state to do less, not more, this fact can be hard to stomach." (02/02/17)


Against libertarian populism

Source: Notes On Liberty
by Zachary Woodman

"To cite reasons why libertarians should embrace this populist ethos, Alex [Witoslawski] cites the recent surprising election of Donald Trump and the relatively successful Ron Paul primary campaigns of 2008 and 2012, and gives the example of Lew Rockwell's and Murray Rothbard's infamous paleolibertarian phase in the late eighties and early nineties for inspiration. Let me give eight reasons why principled libertarians — and classical liberals — neither can be nor should be populists …" (02/01/17)


How conservatives can save America

Source: The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf

"Karen Stenner, then a professor of politics at Princeton University, studied places like the former Yugoslavia that descended into bloody civil war, as well as citizens of successful democracies in Europe and North America, and identified the conditions and political predispositions that make civil strife most likely. She found that across eras and countries, some humans, who she calls 'libertarians,' strongly prefer individual freedom and diversity, while others, who she calls 'authoritarians,' possess a perhaps innate discomfort with difference that causes them to prefer sameness and unity, even if coercive measures are needed to enforce it. Usually, these types are able to coexist peacefully. But at times they come into conflict. How conservatives react in those times is crucial to the outcome." (02/02/17)