Tuesday, May 5, 2020

What It Means To Be A Libertarian

I defer to this excellent review of this fine book. Historically, my concern with the standard view of libertarianism -- "LEGALIZE ALL DRUGS!". "MAKE ALL THE ROADS TOLL ROADS"!  ... has been challenged by Corona (outside of Christ, what hasn't?)

I've often described myself as a "Christian Burkean Conservative", however since only I have read and to a large degree written in blogs on what that actually means, it is a bit of a dodge. I often find "Libertarians" as really pretty much being "anti", with their main "anti" being "I'm totally opposed to the two party system!". Unfortunately, when pressed on what they are FOR, they tend to be extremely vague at best. 

Since "liberty" is a very general term, that is not surprising. Being "always right" is one of the really appealing virtues of being an "anti" -- you don't stand FOR, you stand AGAINST! 

Murray to a large extent breaks that mold and has given me a new appreciation of thoughtful libertarianism. The following from the linked ... 

... one finds in this book a surprising degree of sympathy for a thinker like Edmund Burke, usually considered a founding father of traditionalist conservatism; for the wisdom and efficacy of the common law; and for the idea that freedom is to be prized not merely for its own sake but as the necessary precondition of a virtuous life and virtuous society. Like Meyer before him, Murray offers a brand of libertarianism designed to appeal precisely to those traditionalists and moderates who distrust libertarianism, and to convince them that the libertarian emphasis upon “spontaneous order” is an essential complement to their own aspirations.
As I've observed erstwhile supposed libertarians willingly  succumb to the pronouncements of "the experts", declaring that Constitutional rights are all null and void at the point when some someone screams "EMERGENCY"! I've been forced to reconsider, and fortunately, this book was at the top of the reading list. As William F Buckley once declared "I would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston telephone book than by the Harvard faculty.", Corona and this book make that statement extremely clear to me, and has increased my agreement. 

Why? Because the Harvard faculty increasingly have a very precise single world view that they KNOW in a metaphysical sense to be true. The first 2K people in the phone book are likely to have MANY different world views, that are conflicting. Getting to agreement in such a group is going to require A LOT of discussion, bargaining, trade-offs, etc . I firmly believe that none of us, and certainly not a very specifically selected group of us, is nearly as intelligent as "all" (or a somewhat randomly selected group) of US! 

A MORE than worthy book for our current time! 

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