While flying yesterday, I began a set of readings for a Liberty Fund conference on Bastiat (thanks Matt!). I haven’t read Bastiat in a serious way since grad school. My reaction to the first set of readings recalls the (perhaps apocryphal) story of when Eric Clapton first heard Jimi Hendrix play. Supposedly Clapton said “that’s […]
Last week in my Constitutional Economics class we discussed Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty (1960). My favorite chapter in that book is Chapter 2, “The Creative Powers of a Free Civilization.” Hayek argued that “Liberty is essential in order to leave room for the unforeseeable and unpredictable; we want it because we […]
Libertarians sometimes take their analogies too far. From the plausible insight that taxation is like forced labor certain respects, they jump to the entirely implausible conclusion that taxation is forced labor. To libertarians, this move appears to be a penetrating insight into the “essence” of taxation. To non-libertarians, it appears to be a kind of […]
I think that libertarian hostility to Hobbes has blinded them to one of his deepest insights, an insight that in many ways makes him less authoritarian than many of the libertarians I know.
I. Hobbes and the Problem of Private Judgment
First, I recommend this on Hobbes’s moral and political philosophy.
While writing the section on free immigration for my forthcoming book, Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know, I posted this as my Facebook status: “If you claim to care about the poor and support social justice, but you are not in favor of open immigration, I do not have to and do not take you […]
So, it turns out that Bryan Caplan isn’t a bleeding heart libertarian either.
Unlike Will, though, Bryan’s problem isn’t with the libertarianism of BHL, but with its bleeding heart. Bryan, you see, doesn’t think we have much in the way of obligations […]