Libertarians reject an expansive state. But this doesn’t mean they reject social bonds or the benefits of working with others to achieve common goals.
William Graham Sumner often gets unfairly labeled a social Darwinist. In this first post in a new series, Zwolinski tries to nail down just what “social Darwinism” means.
Jason Kuznicki argues that “anyone who cares about human liberty—to whatever degree—ought to despise the Confederacy.”
Conservatives use the precautionary principle to justify domestic spying just as the left uses it to justify environmentalism. Neither is convincing.
Reconciling the interests of different people can be done via force, but it’s much better to solve this “problem” through freedom and markets.
Government’s very nature attracts the vicious, corrupts the virtuous, and encourages foolish decisions—so we should limit its power as much as possible.
The classic argument John Rawls sets out in A Theory of Justice provides a strong foundation for libertarianism, Kogelmann says.
Libertarians are mistaken to seek foundations, to take sides over moral approaches, and to have no proper theory of liberty.
Kuznicki shows how libertarianism is the result of treating people as ends instead of merely as means, and thus is the fulfillment of Immanuel Kant’s “kingdom of ends.”
The non-aggression principle assumes a radical simplicity just not present in the real world, Lindsey argues.
Libertarians need to stop looking for easy answers in simple rules, Zwolinski argues, and instead embrace a pluralism of principles.
An introduction to thinking about the state within a framework of virtue ethics.
If socialist planners want to allocate consumer goods, they first have to know what they all are. But planners can’t know, because no one does.
Most of us agree that what goes on at Guantanomo Bay isn’t right. But what exactly isn’t right about it? Kogelmann explores the moral philosophy of the detention facility.
“Excursions” series author George H. Smith has a new book out on themes in the history of classical liberalism.
A article on anarchism and the Occupy movement highlights what’s wrong with a theory of freedom that excludes private property.
Socialism can’t use market prices to determine the value of goods. Alternatives to prices just don’t work very well, however.
Libertarians certainly like to debate the merits of the non-aggression principle. Matt Zwolinksi attempts to figure out what libertarians really think.
A socialist planning super computer would have to know how many goods are in the economy. And that turns out to be a very difficult question indeed.
The Non-Aggression Principle (i.e., Respecting Liberty) is Necessary and Sufficient for Libertarianism
Philosopher J. C. Lester defends the non-aggression principle by arguing that we should better understand it as a minimization of aggression principle.
An introduction to virtue, the life well-lived, and the state’s role in the good life.
The Socialist Calculation Debate, with Prolegomena to Any Future Metamarkets. Part I: Really Hard Math.
The first in a series on socialist calculation, the work done by the price system, and some things we can already know about any future resource allocation strategies that might supplant the strategy of using markets.
Lester argues that when conflicts arise in applying the non-aggression principle, we should choose whichever option minimizes aggression.
Aggression and property rights are, by themselves, not the only categories relevant to moral or juridical evaluation.
The non-aggression principle isn’t sufficient to help guide most of our political decisions, and so isn’t sufficient to be the core argument for libertarianism.