Matt Zwolinski on Libertarianism

Matt Zwolinski makes an eloquent case for libertarianism from a non-Nozickean perspective. I emphatically agree (although I think his section on coercion does not effectively address liberals’ fundamental belief that the state is a different kind of beast, and hence can be trusted with coercive authority). Who knows, maybe I am a liberaltarian after all.

My favorite section:

Libertarians recognize that their favored political and economic institutions are social constructs. But to note that an institution is a social construct is not the same as showing that it is arbitrary. As libertarians like John Hasnas have pointed out, institutions of private property and free exchange have evolved repeatedly throughout history as an effective means of resolving social conflict in a world of scarce resources and limited benevolence. Property rights give individuals and groups a kind of jurisdiction in which they can pursue their own goals and values without first seeking the approval of any political superior. Market prices emerge even when state authorities actively attempt to stamp them out because the information and incentives they convey play an essential role in social coordination and cooperation. What makes these institutions “natural” is not that they are Divinely mandated. Rather, it is that they, like human language, emerge spontaneously as the “result of human action but not the execution of any human design.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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