Libertarians

The conservatives’ wishful condescension

And yet they wonder why they keep losing elections: “To say that you want to jettison social conservatives in order to get an emerging demographic of young people is like saying, ‘Well, we lost a close game, so let’s bench our quarterback, who was the most valuable player and gained the most yards,’ ” says…

Randy Barnett on the ‘Libertarian Middle Way’

Writing in the Chapman Law Review, here’s Barnett’s thesis: Libertarianism is sometimes portrayed as radical and even extreme. In this Afterword to a symposium on “Libertarianism and the Law” in the Chapman Law Review, I explain why, though it may be radical, libertarianism is far from extreme in comparison with its principal alternatives: the social…

Q: Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence?

Robert Draper, writing in the New York Times, asks that question. He offers a answer, too, although the GOP likely wont take the required remedy: Later that evening at a hotel bar, Anderson [a GOP pollster] pored over her notes. She seemed morbidly entranced, like a homicide detective gazing into a pool of freshly spilled…

Libertarians and Defensive War

Over at Bleeding Heart Libertarians, Fernando Teson contends (convincingly, I think) that libertarianism is concerned with a defense of self and others, but of persons as such and not the state. If so, the possible support for defenses of foreign persons increases: The distinction between defensive and offensive wars is misleading because it treats the…

Will a Libertarian Ever Lead the GOP?

Probably not: Given his [current RNC chair Priebus] performance and given the popular opinion that it is the social conservatism of the GOP that is having the greatest impact on its perception as a national party, it would only make sense that a libertarian Republican would be in a good position to challenge for national…

Immigration as Voluntary Exchange

It’s not only markets in capital and goods that should be free. It’s markets in labor, too. What’s immigration, at bottom? It’s a voluntary and peaceful transaction between employer and employee. Government interference in these many transactions is presumptuous, oppressive of individuals, and stifling of economic growth. One hears, more often since Gov. Romney’s defeat,…

Libertarianism and Social Justice

Consider two brief videos on libertarianism. The first suggests that social justice and libertarianism are incompatible. The second holds that, if one considers social justice properly, there’s no contradiction at all. Short, clear, informative, and both from Matt Zwolinski, as part of the larger Learn Liberty series. Enjoy. Incompatible: Compatible:

Just a faction? ‘Tea Party at a Crossroads’

Salena Zito writes of the libertarian leanings of the Tea Party, but omits ways in which they’re not libertarian at all (anti-immigration, pro-voting restrictions).  What do you get when you’re half-libertarian?  You’re a GOP faction, but no more: Evidence of the Tea Party‘s waning passion is no more apparent than in the case of Massachusetts Sen. Scott…

So how many American libertarians are there, anyway?

There are lots of us: regardless of party label, about 15-18% of Americans have libertarian views. (The formal Libertarian Party may be small, but libertarians among the major parties and independents amount to about one of every six voters.) Although other surveys put the percentage still higher, these proportions put libertarian-oriented preferences in the very…