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Tag Archives: economic liberty

Is libertarianism fish or fowl?

Many people, even sophisticated political commentators, think that libertarianism is internally inconsistent. How else could you assess this philosophy, they plaintively ask? After all, supporters of this view favor the legalization of prostitution, certainly a left-wing position, as well as elimination of the minimum wage law, a stance not only associated with conservatives, but the far right. Libertarians favor the legalization of gay marriage, again a left-liberal...

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Kant Unbound!

Rights Theory I neglected to post about this while it was actually happening, but I just finished participating in a Cato Unbound exchange on Immanuel Kant’s place in classical liberalism – with digressions on, inter alia, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rand. My interlocutors were a Kantian and two Randians. Reading it is categorically imperative! Catch the phenomenal action here....

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Nozick’s Method

A great deal of Anarchy, State, and Utopia is meant to respond to left-liberals. Left-liberals think that each person has an extensive set of negative civil liberties, i.e., rights against interference from others in making personal decisions about what to wear, what to worship, what to read, and with whom to associate. But left-liberals think that the extent of our negative economic liberties should be determined on instrumental grounds, on the basis of whatever turns out,...

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Think nothing can be done? Vote for Gary Johnson. Let’s work on getting moralistic and paternalistic laws off the books so that there is less policing in the first place. No, this isn’t easy, but changing federal law (POTUS doesn’t do this directly, but can have an affect) and having a SCOTUS that will take seriously protecting individuals from bad state law may be the best way to start. Consider the following very-possible case: police pull over a car because they can see that...

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Book on Confucian Libertarianism Published

I’m pleased to announce the publication of the second item from the Molinari Institute’s new POD publishing program. This one is my own Rituals of Freedom: Libertarian Themes in Early Confucianism, a book-length expansion of a much shorter article I wrote in 2003. Here’s the summary: When scholars look for anticipations of libertarian ideas in early Chinese thought, attention usually focuses not on the Confucians, but on the Taoists. But in their account of spontaneously evolving...

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