“Liberalism,” overt statism, and pseudo-libertarianism are contrivances, based (respectively) on state-imposed “rationality” (often nothing more than whims wrapped in pseudo-intellectual language); unapologetic brute force; and an unrealistic, anti-social view of humans as arms-length negotiators. “Liberalism” and overt statism impose the preferences of powerful elites and individuals on everyone, regardless of the effects of those impositions on the well-being of everyone. That the impositions are advertised as beneficial does not make them so; such claims are delusional and self-serving. Pseudo-libertarianism can be dismissed as nothing more than a pipe-dream; “liberalism” and overt statism are the true enemies of liberty and prosperity.
True (conservative) libertarianism rests on six principles:
- Belief that political problems, at bottom, are religious and moral problems.
- Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life, as distinguished from the narrowing uniformity and egalitarian and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.
- Conviction that civilized society requires order.
- Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected, and that economic leveling is not economic progress.
- Faith in traditional mores and distrust of “sophisters and calculators.” Tradition and sound prejudice provide checks upon man’s anarchic impulse.
- Recognition that change and reform are not identical.
These principles, taken together, set conservative libertarianism apart from “liberalism,” overt statism, andpseudo-libertarianism. Unlike those “systems,” conservative libertarianism relies on evolved social norms to regulate interpersonal relations and to channel them in mutually beneficial directions. That is to say, conservative libertarianism “works” because it is consistent with human needs and human nature; it incorporates the lessons of experience into everyday rules of conduct.
Greed, Cosmic Justice, and Social Welfare
Positive Rights and Cosmic Justice
The Interest-Group Paradox
Parsing Political Philosophy
Is Statism Inevitable?
Utilitarianism, “Liberalism,” and Omniscience
Utilitarianism vs. Liberty
Law and Liberty
Negative Rights, Social Norms, and the Constitution
Rights, Liberty, the Golden Rule, and the Legitimate State
The Near-Victory of Communism
The Mind of a Paternalist
Accountants of the Soul
Rawls Meets Bentham
Is Liberty Possible?
Our Enemy, the State
Pseudo-Libertarian Sophistry vs. True Libertarianism
Bounded Liberty: A Thought Experiment
The Meaning of Liberty
Positive Liberty vs. Liberty
Corporations, Unions, and the State
Rethinking the Constitution: “Freedom of Speech, and of the Press”
What Is Libertarianism?
Nature Is Unfair
True Libertarianism, One More Time
Human Nature, Liberty, and Rationalism
Utilitarianism and Psychopathy
A Declaration and Defense of My Prejudices about Governance
Merit Goods, Positive Rights, and Cosmic Justice
More about Merit Goods
Don’t Just Stand There, “Do Something”
What Is Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism?
Liberty, Negative Rights, and Bleeding Hearts
Legislating Morality (II)