Roderick Long – Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com Free Markets and Social Justice Wed, 15 Nov 2017 17:16:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.3 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/cropped-site-icon-BHL-32x32.png Roderick Long – Bleeding Heart Libertarians http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com 32 32 22756168 Left-Libertarian Economic Anthology Published http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/03/left-libertarian-economic-anthology-published/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/03/left-libertarian-economic-anthology-published/#comments Sat, 11 Mar 2017 22:12:41 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11653 I’m pleased to announce (belatedly) a new anthology from the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS): Free Markets & Capitalism?: Do Free Markets Always Produce a Corporate Economy?, edited by...

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I’m pleased to announce (belatedly) a new anthology from the Center for a Stateless Society (C4SS): Free Markets & Capitalism?: Do Free Markets Always Produce a Corporate Economy?, edited by Cory Massimino and James Tuttle.

One third of Free Markets & Capitalism? (not to be confused with C4SS’s earlier anthology Markets Not Capitalism) reproduces an online exchange from last year among Kevin Carson, Derek Wall, and Steve Horwitz on the question of whether corporate capitalism would indeed wither away in a genuinely freed market, as left-libertarians contend, or whether instead, as both capitalist and socialist critics of left-libertarianism maintain (whether cheerfully or gloomily), market incentives would tend to reproduce much of the structure of corporate capitalism even without state intervention to support the process.

The other two-thirds of the book are devoted to background readings (most by Kevin Carson – including his classic, The Iron Fist Behind the Invisible Hand – but also a couple by me, and one by the late Roy Childs) expounding the left-libertarian position on the issue.

Buy a copy today! Buy two copies tomorrow! Buy four copies the next day, and eight the day after that, and so on ….

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Stop Banning Muslims, Stop Banning Guns http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/03/stop-banning-muslims-stop-banning-guns/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2017/03/stop-banning-muslims-stop-banning-guns/#comments Sat, 11 Mar 2017 22:06:41 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11651 The debate over President Trump’s travel ban and the debate over gun control look surprisingly similar – except for who’s on which side. In each case, supporters of the policy...

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The debate over President Trump’s travel ban and the debate over gun control look surprisingly similar – except for who’s on which side.

In each case, supporters of the policy argue that it’s necessary in order to prevent incidents of lethal violence, while opponents argue, first, that the policy’s likely impact on such incidents is overstated, and second, that it’s unjust to restrict the freedom of a vast group, most members of which are peaceful and innocent, merely on the grounds that a small percentage of that group’s members might turn violent.

When the vast group in question is Muslim immigrants and would-be immigrants, those defending restrictive policies tend to be Republicans, and those in opposition tend to be Democrats.

On the other hand, when the vast group in question is gun owners and would-be gun owners, those defending restrictive policies tend to be Democrats, and those in opposition tend to be Republicans.

Yet it’s hard to see how the two cases differ in fundamental principle. Either the state is justified in disrupting, micromanaging, and in many cases endangering large numbers of innocent lives for the sake of a speculative chance of blocking a small number of criminals, or it isn’t. The rights and wrongs of such a case can’t magically reverse themselves depending on whether it’s gun owners or Muslim immigrants who are being targeted.

Notice, too, how similar are the rhetorical appeals made by proponents of restrictive policies in both cases. “Look into the eyes of families impacted by gun violence,” many Democrats urge, “and consider how you can dare to support the rights of gun owners in the face of these victims’ suffering.” Or again: “Look into the eyes of families impacted by domestic terrorism,” many Republicans urge, “and consider how you can dare to support the rights of Muslim immigrants in the face of these victims’ suffering.” Each side finds such emotional blackmail convincing in one case, while rightly remaining unmoved by it in the other. For such appeals invariably blur the distinction between an innocent many and a criminal few.

The pragmatic aspects of the two policies are similar also. A travel ban’s likely impact on terrorist acts is questionable, given that most recent acts of terrorism within the United States have been homegrown (and given that many of those blocked from entry are potential allies against terrorism). Similarly, gun control’s likely impact on gun violence is questionable, given the existence of a thriving black market in guns (and given gun ownership’s role as a deterrent to crime). In both cases, the cost of government action is a curtailing of freedom for millions of harmless people, while the benefits appear scanty.

Liberals and conservatives both display inconsistency; each group employs arguments in connection with one issue, that they forcefully reject in connection with the other issue.

When Donald Trump’s son compared the risks of letting in Syrian refugees to eating Skittles from a bowl in which a small number of Skittles were poisonous, liberals were properly outraged, pointing out that such a comparison was not only insulting but also grossly exaggerated the risks involved. Yet liberal support for gun control is based on the same logic as the Skittles comparison – sacrificing the freedom of the many in order to ward off a potential threat from the few – and likewise ignores evidence of gross exaggeration of risks.

Liberals who rightly oppose Trump’s travel ban should consider looking at their own support for gun control through the same analytic lens. And conservatives who rightly oppose gun control should likewise consider looking at their own support for Trump’s travel ban through that same analytic lens.

Travel bans use the violent actions of a few as a pretext to victimize millions of peaceful Muslims. Gun control laws use the violent actions of a few as a pretext to victimize millions of peaceful gun owners. Neither policy has any place in a free society.

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Liberty and Immigration Symposium http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/liberty-immigration-seminar/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/liberty-immigration-seminar/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2016 00:22:20 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11497 The Molinari Society will be holding its annual Symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 East Pratt Street,...

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The Molinari Society will be holding its annual Symposium in conjunction with the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 East Pratt Street, in Baltimore, January 4-7, 2017. Here’s the current schedule info:

Molinari Society symposium: Libertarianism and Refugees
GFC. Thursday, 5 January 2017, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 noon.

presenters:
James P. Sterba (University of Notre Dame), “Libertarianism and the Rights of Refugees
Jan Narveson (University of Waterloo, Ontario), “Accommodating Refugees and Respecting Liberty

commentators:
Charles W. Johnson (Molinari Institute)
Roderick T. Long (Auburn University)

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to participate in person, but my comments will be read out in absentia.

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Against Greatness http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/against-greatness/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/against-greatness/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2016 05:21:01 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11481 We’ve been hearing a lot lately about making America “great again” – from a man who seems not to care how many people’s liberty he violates in order to pursue...

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We’ve been hearing a lot lately about making America “great again” – from a man who seems not to care how many people’s liberty he violates in order to pursue his conception of national greatness.

In this context, I’m happy to announce the Molinari Institute’s latest t-shirt, which features a quotation from Jeffersonian political activist Abraham Bishop, one of the most radical of the American founders:

“A nation which makes greatness its polestar can never be free.”

polebish2

Thanks to Sheldon Richman for introducing me to this line, which comes from an 1800 antiwar speech titled Oration on the Extent and Power of Political Delusion; here’s a bit of context:

A nation which makes greatness its polestar can never be free; beneath national greatness sink individual greatness, honor, wealth and freedom. But though history, experience and reasoning confirm these ideas; yet all-powerful delusion has been able to make the people of every nation lend a helping hand in putting on their own fetters and rivetting their own chains, and in this service delusion always employs men too great to speak the truth, and yet too powerful to be doubted. Their statements are believed – their projects adopted – their ends answered and the deluded subjects of all this artifice are left to passive obedience through life, and to entail a condition of unqualified non-resistance to a ruined posterity.

Bishop’s other works include an attack on church-state unions and a defense of the insurgent slaves in the Haitian revolution (showing himself, in that connection, a better Jeffersonian than Jefferson himself, who sided with the slaveowners). Bishop also championed women’s education and was an early critic of the Constitution. So he wasn’t an anarchist? Well, nobody’s perfect.

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What’s So Bad About Flag Burning? http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/whats-bad-flag-burning/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/12/whats-bad-flag-burning/#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:43:25 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11469 President-elect Donald Trump’s recent call for a year’s prison term or loss of citizenship for those who burn the American flag – incidentally a reversal of Trump’s previous support for...

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President-elect Donald Trump’s recent call for a year’s prison term or loss of citizenship for those who burn the American flag – incidentally a reversal of Trump’s previous support for flag-burners on the Letterman show two years ago – leaves me with some questions. Four questions, specifically: two for Trump’s conservative supporters, and two for his liberal critics.

trumpflag

My first question for pro-Trump conservatives is this: In the past I seem to recall hearing quite a few of you (though admittedly not Trump himself) speaking pretty loudly in favor of free expression when the issue was laws in Muslim countries criminalizing speech or writings that “disrespect” Islam or the Prophet Muhammad. How exactly do the arguments you gave then, not apply to Trump’s proposal now?

Second, I also recall that you conservatives used to talk a lot about government’s duty to protect people’s private property rights (although admittedly eminent domain poster boy Donald Trump was never really in your camp on that issue either). Well, if I buy an American flag with my own honestly earned money, or make one with my own cloth and thread, it seems like it’s then my property, the product of my labor; and I don’t see why I shouldn’t have the right to burn my own property, if I do it without endangering anyone else. If the government claims that it, rather than myself, is the one who gets to decide what I do with my flag – that it is, in effect, the real owner of the flag I bought or made – doesn’t that sound more like communism than like a free market?

Next, I have a couple of questions for the liberals who’ve been criticizing Trump’s proposal for its excessive harshness toward flag burners. First: It’s great that you’re calling Trump out on his contempt for freedom of expression; but how many of you were offering similar howls of outrage just over a decade ago when Hillary Clinton was supporting the Flag Protection Act of 2005, which likewise called for one-year prison terms for flag burners?

Finally, a question especially for those liberal critics who say that they support the right to burn the flag but disagree with the flag burner’s message. What exactly is supposed to be wrong with the flag burner’s message?

Even if the flag were legitimately a symbol of freedom, a ban on flag burning would be an odd way to honor the flag – sacrificing the reality of freedom to the mere symbol. But is freedom what the flag really stands for?

trumpflag2

It’s now becoming more widely accepted that the Confederate flag, however much its supporters may revere it as an icon of freedom, is inextricably associated with the cause of slavery and white supremacy. But how is the American flag – the symbol of the Federal government – any more defensible?

The Confederate flag flew over slavery for five years. The American flag flew over slavery for nearly a century, and then flew over Jim Crow and similar slavery-like restrictions for another century after that. (And the Federal government didn’t move against Jim Crow until the grassroots civil-rights movement had grown strong enough to be worth co-opting rather than ignoring.) And even today, the American flag flies over a country where blacks are disproportionately likely to be killed or imprisoned by agents of the state.

The same flag flew over the slaughtering of American Indians, the kidnapping of their children, and the theft of their land; and that theft still continues today, as for example in the case of the Dakota Access Pipeline. That flag also flies right now over a land where the state records our phone calls, tells us how we can and cannot medicate ourselves, and maintains a regime of privilege that props up the crony corporate elite at the expense of everyone else.

To be sure, American citizens enjoy a higher degree of freedom than do citizens in many other countries, and it is this fact that leads so many to view the American flag as a symbol of freedom. But such liberty as Americans enjoy was hard-won, in the main, by grassroots efforts that eventually prevailed against government resistance. Honoring the flag, the symbol of the Federal government, doesn’t celebrate our freedoms; it celebrates the central authority from whom those freedoms were heroically wrested.

Around the world, too, troops bearing the Americsn flag have too often propped up dictators and bombed civilian populations, from Asia to Central America to the Middle East. American bombs have killed dozens of civilians in the past several months just in Yemen alone. Is it any wonder that millions of people around the world view the American flag with fear, seeing it not as a symbol of freedom but rather as a harbinger of terror and death? In the face of that reality, defensive insistence that the flag “really” means something else rings as hollow as the neo-Confederate’s claim of “Heritage, Not Hate.”

We’ve begun, as a nation, to relinquish our blinkered reverence for the Confederate flag. It’s high time that reverence for the American flag followed it into equally well deserved oblivion.

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iRad II.1 in Print, iRad I.4 Online http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/irad-ii-1-print-irad-4-online/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/irad-ii-1-print-irad-4-online/#comments Thu, 24 Nov 2016 02:39:09 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11430 After a couple of years’ hiatus (for financial reasons), The Industrial Radical is back! The fifth issue of the Molinari Institute’s left-libertarian market-anarchist magazine goes in the mail to subscribers...

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After a couple of years’ hiatus (for financial reasons), The Industrial Radical is back! The fifth issue of the Molinari Institute’s left-libertarian market-anarchist magazine goes in the mail to subscribers this week. (The Molinari Institute is the parent organisation of the Center for a Stateless Society.)

The page files for this issue have been ready to go for a while, being originally intended for our Autumn 2013 issue – which means that some of the references to current events are a bit dated. (The next issue will be up to date, with all new content.) But the theoretical content remains timeless.

Issue II.1 features articles by Sebastian A.B., John Ahrens, Paul Buchheit, Kevin Carson, Dawie Coetzee, Nathan Goodman, Charles Johnson, Irfan Khawaja, Thomas Knapp, Jennifer McKitrick, Skyler Miller, Grant Mincy, and Sheldon Richman, on topics ranging from border security, technological design, prison abolition, jury nullification, police misconduct, overpopulation, and the Keystone XL pipeline, to the persecution of whistleblowers, feminist and antifeminist censorship, civil strife in Egypt and Syria, torture, necrophilia, and the economic structure of state capitalism.

Industrial Radical II.1 (Autumn 2016)

With each new issue published, we post the immediately preceding issue online. Hence a free pdf file of our previous issue (I.4, Summer 2013) is now available here. (See the first, second, and third issues also.)

Want to write for The Industrial Radical? See our information for authors and copyright policy (which, incidentally, will change from CC BY-SA to the less restrictive CC BY starting with the next issue).

Want to subscribe to The Industrial Radical? Visit our online shop.

Want to give an additional donation to the Molinari Institute (and help to prevent a future hiatus)? Contribute to our General Fund.

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The Benefits and Hazards of Voting http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/benefits-hazards-voting/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/benefits-hazards-voting/#comments Mon, 07 Nov 2016 03:58:47 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11349 Conventional wisdom has it that a) you have a duty to vote, and more specifically that b) at least in winner-take-all two-party electoral systems like the u.s., you have a...

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Conventional wisdom has it that a) you have a duty to vote, and more specifically that b) at least in winner-take-all two-party electoral systems like the u.s., you have a duty to vote for whichever you regard as the least bad of the two major candidates (as opposed to “throwing away your vote” on a third-party candidate).

According to a contrary argument, one that enjoys some popularity in libertarian circles, c) voting – for anyone – is irrational, since the outcome is overwhelmingly likely to be the same whether you vote or not.

I think all three of these positions are mistaken.

(I’m not going to talk in this post about the argument that voting is immoral; but see my discussions here and here.)

Think first about (c), the argument that voting is irrational. If that argument worked, it would also prove that contributing to a Kickstarter is irrational – at least in cases where the total amount needed to be raised is significantly larger than the amount of one’s contribution. An example would be the Veronica Mars movie project, which raised five million dollars on Kickstarter; the average donation size was reportedly around $60. The odds that an individual’s personal $60 contribution will make the difference to a multi-million-dollar movie’s being made or not is vanishingly small; hence if not making a difference to the outcome is a reason not to vote, it’s also a reason not to contribute to a Kickstarter (except when the amount to be raised is small enough, or the amount one can personally contribute is large enough, that one’s contribution can significantly alter the probability of the project’s being funded).

Yet I suspect that among libertarians sympathetic to argument (c), few will be willing to issue a similar rejection of Kickstarter (or similar services). After all, Kickstarter is a libertarian’s dream; in the words of Reason editor Nick Gillespie, it “allows creators and funders to escape conventional financial, ideological and aesthetic gatekeepers who have long suppressed heterodoxy in media, business, the arts and more.” The ability to evade such gatekeepers is obviously a major benefit to libertarians and other politically heterodox thinkers.

Worse yet, if argument (c) worked against voting, it would also tell against being a libertarian activist as such, since (as noted elsewhere) “no one libertarian activist’s contribution is likely to make the crucial difference as to whether libertarianism triumphs or not.”

The truth is that civilisation depends on people contributing, in thousands of small ways every day, to practices whose maintenance will not stand or fall with any individual such contribution. Thankfully, people contribute to public goods all the time – and do so voluntarily, rational-choice arguments to the contrary notwithstanding. (See, for example, “Covenants With and Without a Sword: Self-Governance Is Possible” by Elinor Ostrom, James Walker, and Roy Gardner.)

And the same is true at an individual level; my success at any personal project depends on my reliably contributing to it over and over, even though success does not depend on any one of those instances, and so each individual contribution can look irrational. But if it were indeed irrational, then it would likewise be irrational to undertake any project that can’t be completed instantaneously – which is absurd.

The crucial fact to recognise is that we have an imperfect duty to contribute to public goods. (For a defense of the claim that we have such a duty, and that it is an imperfect duty, see my article “On Making Small Contributions to Evil.”) An imperfect duty, remember, is not optional or supererogatory; it’s a full-fledged duty. But it’s a duty that can be satisfied by performing the relevant action merely regularly rather than at every opportunity, leaving the agent with a free choice as to the occasions on which she discharges that duty. A duty to contribute to public goods, then, is not a duty to contribute to any and every public good that comes along; one can choose which ones to support.

Suppose I think that of two major political candidates, one of them (say, Hilnald Clump) is a bit less bad than the other (say, Donnary Trinton). Then I might regard a Clump victory as a public good, and might accordingly choose to vote for Clump as one of the instances in which I fulfill my duty to contribute to public goods. Hence the mere fact that the outcome of the election will not be affected by my individual vote does not render voting irrational.

To be sure, this argument does not generate a duty to vote, contrary to position (a). After all, even if one regards a Clump victory as a public good (given the alternative of the even more odious Trinton), the duty to contribute to public goods is an imperfect duty, and one need not choose this particular occasion as one to count toward fulfilling that duty. All the same, the argument does show how voting could be a way of fulfilling a duty, and so does give some aid and comfort to the pro-voting side, supporting a weaker version of position (a).

But it may give less support even to the weaker version of (a) than meets the eye. And in particular it may not give much support to (b). Let’s look closer.

Suppose there’s a third-party candidate – perhaps Gill Stohnson or Jary Jein – whom you regard as less bad than either of the two major candidates, but the third-party candidate has no chance of winning. Is voting for the least bad of the major candidates, rather than for the third-party candidate, the best way of fulfilling your duty?

Not obviously. After all, if you vote the way you’d prefer everyone to vote, as though you were choosing for everyone, then you should choose the third-party candidate. And if someone responds that it’s irrational to act as though you’re choosing for everyone, since in fact everyone else is going to vote however they’re going to vote regardless of what you do, that argument proves too much, since it’s an equally good reason not to vote at all; in fact it’s just the same voting-is-irrational argument (c) over again.

And once one considers what other results one might be contributing to besides someone’s simply getting elected, the case for voting third-party looks even stronger. After all, the larger the margin by which a candidate wins, the more that candidate can get away with claiming a mandate, thus putting him or her in a stronger political position to get favoured policies enacted. So if one thinks that both of the major candidates would do more harm than good if elected (even if one is worse than the other), then making the winning candidate’s totals smaller becomes a public good to which one might choose to contribute – perhaps by voting for a third-party candidate (though also, perhaps, by voting for whichever of the major candidates one thinks is most likely to lose).

Moreover, if you think that higher vote totals for a third-party candidate are a good thing even if that candidate doesn’t win (e.g., by garnering more publicity for alternative candidates and thus helping to build future support for a political movement you favour, sending a message of disenchantment with the political establishment, etc.), then voting for that candidate contributes to a public good other than just that candidate’s getting elected. Plus your total percentage contribution to the desired end will be greater, both because the number of voters you’re cooperating with will be smaller and because the result is incremental rather than all-or-nothing. All other things being equal, it seems plausible that the case for contributing to a public good gets stronger as the degree of impact of that contribution increases.

So whatever pro-voting case can be extracted from my argument seems more favorable to voting for third-party candidates (when they’re better than the major candidates) than to voting for a major candidate. There seems to be no strong case for position (b).

But in fact the case for voting third-party is not all that strong either; indeed, the problems with (b) turn out to be problems for (a) as well. Suppose your favoured third-party candidate, while better than either of the two major candidates, is still fairly lousy (in your view). Then the message you’re sending, and the cause you’re supporting, are a muddled mixture of good and bad. You might well contribute more effectively and unambiguously to the public good you seek by writing a clear and compelling op-ed or blog post rather than voting for a mixed-bag candidate.

Finally, suppose you’re an anarchist (as you should be). Trying to achieve anarchy via the route of electoral politics seems a lot less promising strategically than the agorist approach of building alternative institutions and trying to win people’s affiliation to those institutions and away from the state; the former requires convincing 51% of the electorate in order to accomplish anything, while the latter makes room for incremental success at the margin. Moreover, just as high vote totals for the winning candidate will be interpreted as a mandate for that candidate, so high vote totals in general will be regarded as a mandate for the system – whereas what we as anarchists should be seeking to do is to deligitimise the system.

In the light of those considerations, refraining from voting, thereby doing one’s part to deemphasise the importance of electoral politics in the wider culture, starts to looks like a better contribution to a public good than voting does.

And that’s why I’ll be boycotting the vote this Tuesday.

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Anarchism/Minarchism Anthology Now in Paperback http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/anarchismminarchism-anthology-now-paperback/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/anarchismminarchism-anthology-now-paperback/#comments Sat, 05 Nov 2016 21:29:45 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11345 I’m pleased to announce that the 2008 anthology Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, edited by the late Tibor Machan and myself, is about to be released...

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Anarchism/Minarchism:  Is a Government Part of a Free Country?

I’m pleased to announce that the 2008 anthology Anarchism/Minarchism: Is a Government Part of a Free Country?, edited by the late Tibor Machan and myself, is about to be released in paperback from Routledge (formerly Ashgate). It’s scheduled for the end of November, but can be pre-ordered now at Amazon (US here, Canada here, UK here).

At $55 it’s still a hefty pricetag, but it beats the hardback cost, which varies between $100 and $150.

The contents:

  • Lester Hunt: “Why the State Needs a Justification”

  • Roger Lee: “Libertarianism, Limited Government, and Anarchy”

  • Adam Reed: “Rationality, History, and Inductive Politics”

  • William Thomas: “Objectivism Against Anarchy”

  • Tibor Machan: “Reconciling Anarchism and Minarchism”

  • Aeon Skoble: “Radical Freedom and Social Living”

  • Jan Narveson: “The State: From Minarchy to Anarchy”

  • John Hasnas: “The Obviousness of Anarchy”

  • Roderick Long: “Market Anarchism As Constitutionalism”

  • Charles Johnson: “Liberty, Equality, Solidarity: Toward a Dialectical Anarchism”

Here are a couple of reviews of the original hardback edition:

This volume is a much needed revival of a debate critical to Libertarians, but also of significance to political theorists generally. The issue itself goes to the heart of what it means to do political philosophy, and the contributions found here skillfully keep those basic concerns in sight. In addition, I found the writing lucid and fair minded – something often missing in scholarly debate anthologies. I have no doubt that this volume will become a standard reference source for those interested in this particular debate and among the sources one consults when considering the foundations of the state generally.
                   – Douglas J. Den Uyl, Liberty Fund

The forceful philosophical and historical challenges to the state presented in this volume should be read not just by libertarians, but by everyone who believes that government is either necessary or legitimate.
                   – Elaine Sternberg, London School of Economics

I’m glad the essays in this volume will now be likely to reach at least a slightly larger audience.

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Kant Unbound! http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/kant-unbound/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/11/kant-unbound/#comments Thu, 03 Nov 2016 16:42:20 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=11335 I neglected to post about this while it was actually happening, but I just finished participating in a Cato Unbound exchange on Immanuel Kant’s place in classical liberalism – with...

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I neglected to post about this while it was actually happening, but I just finished participating in a Cato Unbound exchange on Immanuel Kant’s place in classical liberalism – with digressions on, inter alia, Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rand. My interlocutors were a Kantian and two Randians.

Reading it is categorically imperative! Catch the phenomenal action here.

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Book on Confucian Libertarianism Published http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/06/book-on-confucian-libertarianism-published/ http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/06/book-on-confucian-libertarianism-published/#comments Wed, 08 Jun 2016 16:19:33 +0000 http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/?p=10785 I’m pleased to announce the publication of the second item from the Molinari Institute’s new POD publishing program. This one is my own Rituals of Freedom: Libertarian Themes in Early...

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I’m pleased to announce the publication of the second item from the Molinari Institute’s new POD publishing program. This one is my own Rituals of Freedom: Libertarian Themes in Early Confucianism, a book-length expansion of a much shorter article I wrote in 2003.

Here’s the summary:

When scholars look for anticipations of libertarian ideas in early Chinese thought, attention usually focuses not on the Confucians, but on the Taoists. But in their account of spontaneously evolving social norms, their understanding of the price system, their penchant for public-choice analysis, their enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, their preference for noncoercive interpersonal relations, their call for a laissez-faire economic policy, and their rejection of Taoist primitivism, the Confucians show themselves to be the true precursors of modern libertarianism.

The book will also be available in Kindle format in due course; keep an eye out for the announcement.

Also, look for more Molinari Institute books over the next few months, including:

  • a collection of my academic articles, to be titled Austro-Athenian Essays
  • a collection of my blog posts and op-eds, to be titled Other People Are Not Your Property
  • a transcription of my 2006 philosophy seminar, to be titled Austro-Athenian Foundations of Libertarian Ethics

But, happily, it’s not all me. There will also be a collection of Free Nation Foundation essays (hey, only some of those are by me!), as well as a series of Libertarian Classics, including new translations of works by Gustave de Molinari and the Censeur group. And of course the second issue of the Molinari Review will be coming out in the fall.

Incidentally, the “Look Inside” feature on the Amazon page (US, UK) for the Molinari Review’s first issue has now been activated; check it out!

Want to support these projects financially? Check out either my Patreon page or the Molinari Institute General Fund.

The post Book on Confucian Libertarianism Published appeared first on Bleeding Heart Libertarians.

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