Libertarianism is a fractured and somewhat incoherent political camp if you look at libertarians as a whole. But, there are many sharp libertarians who know what they believe and why. Today’s book review looks at some of the arguments in favor of liberty from a libertarian perspective, while exposing some of the problems with libertarianism.Grab your copy of Arguments for Liberty here>>
Libertarian Political Philosophies
In this book, you get 9 different arguments for liberty from libertarian philosophers. Here are the political philosophies discussed:
- Natural Rights
- Virtue Ethics
- Ethical Intuitionism
- Moral Pluralism
Problems with Libertarianism
One issue I find with libertarian thought is that it's scattered. There isn't one philosophy like there is for Classical Liberalism, Progressivism, and Socialism. There are a couple different wings to the Libertarian party, and several different approaches to solving issues. A great example is Reddit's problems with libertarianism. Like most places on the internet, political discussions are so hard to have.
Problems with Libertarianism Philosophy
One issue with the libertarian philosophy is confusing Liberty and licentiousness. Liberty is not the ability to do whatever you want, but the freedom to pursue the good. One of the problems with libertarianism's philosophy in 2016 was that they put forward a candidate who was in between. Gary Johnson didn't please the anarcho-capitalist wing or the more politically engaged side. He really just split the difference and made nobody happy.
There are also problems with libertarianism and free will. Without a grounding in religion, I think it's hard to come to free will. Many of the libertarian thinkers are materialist or scientistic. With that worldview, free will just doesn't make much sense. And, if there's no free will, you can't have liberty.