Libertarianism

TGIF: Leonard P. Liggio (1933–2014)

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I lost one of my favorite teachers this week, as did so many other libertarians, not to mention  the freedom movement as a whole. Leonard P. Liggio, 81, died after a period of declining health. Leonard was a major influence on my worldview during the nearly 40 years I knew him. While I had not seen him much in ... [click for more]

What Social Animals Owe Each Other

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If I were compelled to summarize the libertarian philosophy’s distinguishing feature while standing on one foot, I’d say the following: Every person owes it to all other persons not to aggress against them. This is known as the nonaggression principle, or NAP. What is the nature of this obligation? The first thing to notice is that it is unchosen. I never ... [click for more]

The Defining Challenge of our Time

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Why Liberty — Your Life, Your Choices, Your Future edited by Tom G. Palmer (Jameson Books 2013) 116 pages. With this short, easily read, yet intellectually powerful book, Tom Palmer continues his work of making libertarianism the philosophy that will appeal to and animate young people around the globe. While the arguments for vastly downsizing our enormous, meddlesome, and ... [click for more]

TGIF: Ownership and Ideas

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Like many libertarians, I’ve learned a lot from Murray Rothbard on a wide variety of subjects. Of course, no one gets everything right, especially someone as intellectually ambitious, multidisciplinary, and prolific as Rothbard. Nevertheless, reading the work of the man who left such a mark on the modern libertarian movement is as profitable as it is pleasurable. While rereading [click for more]

The Calling: Libertarians, Victim Blaming, and Structural Racism

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The events in Ferguson, Missouri have opened up yet another national conversation on race. This time, however, something is different. The images of a mostly white police department dressed in military outfits using military weaponry and vehicles while attempting to control a largely black crowd protesting the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer has ... [click for more]

Libertarianism: The Moral and the Practical

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If I say that a government activity — “public” schooling, perhaps, or the war on selected drug merchants and users — helps turn the inner cities into hellholes and otherwise makes people’s lives miserable, is that a moral objection or a practical (utilitarian or generally consequentialist) objection? Some libertarians are inclined to say it’s a utilitarian objection, but I’ve long ... [click for more]

Let’s Raise Our Vision

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There was once a time when religious liberty had never before been considered. Throughout history, people lived under political systems in which government and religion were combined. Since it was the system under which they had been born and raised and which existed all over the world, people just didn’t give any thought to an alternative. Then one day, ... [click for more]

TGIF: I Can’t Help That I’m a Libertarian

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It’s not easy being a libertarian. I am not looking for sympathy when I say that. I just mean to point out that rejecting the conventional wisdom on virtually (do I really need this adverb?) every political question, current and historical, can be wearying. Life could be so much simpler if it were otherwise. No doubt about that. I ... [click for more]
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