Re: Why Libertarianism is mistaken
Sun, 5 Sep 1999 17:25:43 EDT

In a message dated 99-09-01 12:56:20 EDT, (Michael A Johnson) wrote:

> Many on the list expouse libertarian views, in many ways so do I, however
> "Libertarianism" has come under sharp attack. In fact, many feel that is
> has been disproven and found untenable. This is why I feel the term
> "Libertarianism" cannot be used to describe Extropian political values.
> Yes, they both share some tennents, but if the Extropian movement is to
> advance it needs to develop its own strain of thought and vocabulary.
> Utilizing a different term instead of Libertarianism is a first step in
> building a new political/social construct. For those not familiar with the
> critique please look at the links below.

I know that others have made this comment, but I have to note that I found these two pieces singularly unconvincing. The first fails utterly because it seems to completely misapprehend the role of law in libertarian thinking, especially by folks like Bruce Benson, Bruno Leoni and David Friedman. The second attacks a straw man by conflating "freedom from coercion" with "freedom from social constraint". The second piece does point out the theoretical dangers inherent in minarchism, but doesn't really undermine at all libertarianism as a set of social values, as opposed to a completely rigorous moral philosophy.

     Attorney  :::  Vice President, Extropy Institute  :::  Wilderness Guide   -or-
                         "Civilization is protest against nature; 
                  progress requires us to take control of evolution."
                                      -- Thomas Huxley