Thursday, July 22, 2004

A Good Summing Up of Libertarianism

Randy Barnett, a professor of law at Boston University and a co-conspirator at The Volokh Conspiracy, has just published "The Moral Foundations of Modern Libertarianism". Here are excerpts of his conclusion:
Unlike moral or religious theorists, a libertarian, qua libertarian, is not seeking a universal and comprehensive answer to the question of how persons ought to behave. Rather a libertarian seeks a universal answer to the question of when the use of force is justified....Libertarians seek a political theory that could be accepted by persons of diverse approaches to morality living together and interacting in what Hayek called the Great Society.
It works for me, especially when "force" is understood to include coercion by the state.