Wednesday , September 19 2018
Home / Bleeding Hearths Libertarians

Bleeding Hearths Libertarians

Unicorn Socialism

In his recent defense of socialism, Corey Robin writes: The socialist argument against capitalism isn’t that it makes us poor. It’s that it makes us unfree. When my well-being depends upon your whim, when the basic needs of life compel submission to the market and subjugation at work, we live not in freedom but in domination. Socialists want to end that domination: to establish freedom from rule by the boss, from the need to smile for the sake of a sale, from the obligation to sell...

Read More »

Puzzles about College

Universities ostensibly aim to promote learning and critical thinking. This is one reason I wanted to become a professor—I share that aim. And this seems to be what most college professors believe too. It’s easy to be cynical. But, in my experience, most professors really do conceive of themselves this way: as purveyors of knowledge and learning. But, if that’s truly a major aim of universities, then many things about the academy don’t make any sense. I’ve been living in the Ivory...

Read More »

Hassoun’s Argument for Global Redistribution

In In Defense of Openness, Bas and I wonder why so much of the global justice literature defends the opposite conclusions of development economics. Philosophers ignore or more often denigrate property rights and trade, despite the overwhelming evidence these things are necessary for sustained growth, and spend most of their time defending global redistribution, despite the evidence the strong evidence that redistribution generally doesn’t help, especially redistribution within...

Read More »

Looking for Daylight: Minarchist Strategy’s Missteps

Reason magazine editors Nick Gillespie and Catherine Mangu-Ward have recently debated the question of minarchism (i.e., minimal government) vs. free-market anarchism. As an anarchist, I’m obviously on Mangu-Ward’s side of the debate. But both writers make some assumptions about strategy that I find problematic. I’ll start with Gillespie, who expresses impatience with “boring, tedious, and fundamentally irrelevant discussions about hypotheticals, first principles, and extreme a...

Read More »

The Single-Entry Moral Bookkeeping of Ethical Opposition to “Price Gouging”

Having spent a lot of time explaining why we should allow prices to move freely during emergencies, I have found that people sympathetic to “anti-gouging” laws will sometimes concede the economics of the case, but raise ethical concerns. It’s not fair, they say, for the self-interested profit-seeking owners of gas or water to exploit people for their own benefit during a time of crisis. As is so often true with ethical criticisms of market behavior, this argument is a bit of...

Read More »

In Defense of Openness: Excerpt

I’m pleased to announced In Defense of Openness is now available. Here’s the blurb: The topic of global justice has long been a central concern within political philosophy and political theory, and there is no doubt that it will remain significant given the persistence of poverty on a massive scale and soaring global inequality. Yet, virtually every analysis in the vast literature of the subject seems ignorant of what developmental economists, both left and right, have to say about...

Read More »

Reign of Fire

Are the wildfires that have been devastating California a gift from government? So argues William Finnegan in a recent article, “California Burning.” According to Finnegan, the seeds of disaster were planted when the mission of the U.S. Forest Service was expanded in the early decades of the 20th century: The Forest Service, no longer just a land steward, became the federal fire department for the nation’s wildlands. Its policy was total suppression of fires …. Some experienced...

Read More »

Cambridge Handbook of Classical Liberal Thought

While this volume edited by Todd Henderson (Chicago law) will apparently not be out in hard copy for a couple of days, it’s now available electronically for those whose university libraries subscribe to Cambridge Core. BHLers include: Jason Brennan, Back to the future: New classical liberalism and old social justice Fernando Téson, The bourgeois argument for freer immigration and me: Political libertarianism. This is a companion piece to my Toward a non-Lockean libertarianism” that...

Read More »

Two new podcasts

The evolution of the ideas of liberty” and “Libertarian conceptions of order”, both recordings of talks I gave at a Cato University event this month. There’s also a Mike Munger session, “Tomorrow 3.0: Transaction Costs and the Sharing Economy,” on that same page, which is to say it was a Cato event in August, though it wasn’t part of the same event. Published on: August 20, 2018Author: Jacob T. Levy

Read More »