Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Speaking of Hobbesian Libertarianism... I did in the preceding post, reminds me of an e-mail from a reader who read my post about "Hobbesian Libertarianism" and followed a link in that post to one about "The Origin of Rights and the Essence of Modern Libertarianism." The reader said:
You use the term, "modern," to distinguish one version of libertarianism from...what? Is there an antediluvian libertarianism? Is there a
non-Hobbesean [sic] libertarianism that advocates positive rights?...

I don't mean to nit-pick; I just don't understand the point you're making.
To which I replied
Libertarianism as we know it today (i.e., "modern" libertarianism) is the cumulative product of centuries of thought. It didn't fall out of the sky as "libertarianism." Yet, Mill, for example, was more or less a libertarian, even though he didn't use that term. So, I'm using the term "modern" to distinguish the "mature" modern version of libertarianism from its less developed antecedents, which went by other names. That's all. Nothing deeper.