Margaret Thatcher as an Accidental Libertarian Heroine

Market freedom brings personal freedom:

If libertarianism means anything it means freedom from state coercion and the freedom to be who you wish to be. It may seem paradoxical that an era in which inequality increased and in which the bonds of “community” were said to fray should also be an era in which Britain became a kinder, more tolerant, more open society but I suspect that it is not and that economic advancement and personal freedoms are in fact two sides of the same coin that, by definition, can scarcely be separated.

Thatcher challenged orthodoxy and vested interests. But it is surely a mistake to presume that these economic battles would not have spill-over effects in other parts of society. The blessed victory of economic liberalism has helped marginalise social conservatism (itself a matter of orthodoxy and vested interests).

In these ways, then, Margaret Thatcher proved herself an accidental libertarian heroine. She might not have welcomed all these developments – indeed she would have opposed many of them – but they are part of her legacy too. And, I would say, they are parts that are as welcome as they were unintentional. Three cheers for that.

Via Margaret Thatcher: An Accidental Libertarian Heroine » Spectator Blogs.

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