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Entries Tagged as 'Libertarian Theory'

A Postscript on Nozick

June 22nd, 2011 · 15 Comments

Responding to yesteday’s post, Matt Yglesias argues that Stephen Metcalf is still kinda on point because, even if Nozick remained a libertarian on some grounds—maybe pragmatic or consequentialist ones—he nevertheless abandoned the deeper philosophical opposition to redistributive taxation that characterizes Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Matt does, however, back off when I point him to pages […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory

Desert vs. Entitlement

April 14th, 2011 · 19 Comments

In a recent post, I suggested that claims about “desert” are generally misplaced in arguments about copyright—whether they are deployed on behalf of “deserving” small fry artists or against “undeserving” labels. As some commenters pointed out, there’s no obvious reason this argument should be restricted to the domain of copyright—and quite right. I think most […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Libertarian Theory · Moral Philosophy

Genies and Justice

March 26th, 2011 · 2 Comments

An entertaining thought experiment from the folks at Bleeding Heart Libertarians: Suppose a genie gives you the power to snap your fingers and instantly implement your preferred theory of political justice. By “theory of political justice” I mean, very roughly, your theory about the basic moral constraints that govern what states (or, if you prefer, […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

What Is Liberty? Does It Matter?

March 16th, 2011 · 11 Comments

The recently-launched Bleeding Heart Libertarians is rapidly becoming one of my favorite blogs. Jacob Levy, in particular, has been articulating with uncanny clarity a whole cluster of thoughts that had been bouncing around the back of my own head for a few months now. But since agreement gets boring quickly, let me pick on one […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

Libertarian Coalitions

July 14th, 2010 · 27 Comments

It seems like the debate over where libertarians should make their political home is evergreen, even though I’ve always thought the answer was the rather boringly obvious one: Libertarian individuals and institutions should make whatever tactical alliances on specific issues that best suit their dispositions and concerns.  Still, a couple points about Ilya Somin’s response […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

Two Rand Paul Afterthoughts

May 26th, 2010 · 30 Comments

Jacob Sullum has a piece at Reason that is, in part, a response to my Newsweek article on Rand Paul and the Civil Rights Act: Paul’s more sophisticated critics argued not that he was racist but that he was unrealistic. Given the social environment created by centuries of government-backed slavery and oppression, they said, segregation […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

Framing and the New Paternalism

April 5th, 2010 · 16 Comments

My friend Glen Whitman has an excellent essay over at Cato Unbound that takes aim at what’s been variously called “new” or “soft” or even “libertarian” paternalism. I’ve been relatively open to at least some of the ideas circulating under those banners—at least as libertarians go—but Glen’s arguments certainly provide ample reason for severe skepticism.  […]

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Tags: Economics · General Philosophy · Law · Libertarian Theory · Nannyism

Doug Stanhope on Freedom

December 30th, 2009 · 5 Comments

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Tags: Libertarian Theory

Fun With Commerce Clause Counterfactuals

September 21st, 2009 · 2 Comments

In the context of health care reform, Ilya Somin puts on a brave face and makes the traditional textual case for reading the Commerce Clause as a relatively narrow grant of power to legislate about actual commercial activity occurring across state lines, rather than an infinitely flexible mandate to Do Good so long as some […]

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Tags: Law · Libertarian Theory

Fiat Shuffle: Bailout Edition

August 25th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Megan McArdle approvingly quotes Tyler Cowen on the bailouts: Without the bailouts we would have had many more failed banks, very strong deflationary pressures, a stronger seize-up in credit markets than what we had, and a climate of sheer political and economic panic, leading to greater pressures for bad state interventions than what we now […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Libertarian Theory · Markets