Archive | April, 2012

Cordial and Sanguine, Part 21: War Among the Bleeding Hearts

a stately pleasure dome

Greetings from Las Vegas! Our two panels went well, and I’ve been having a great time hanging out with my Molinari/C4SS/ALL comrades. This is the first Vegas conference where I’ve actually stayed at the conference hotel (I got a special deal, half the conference rate) rather than my usual venue, three miles up the strip at the Mohamed Atta EconoLodge; that’s certainly an improvement.

The latest Cato Unbound symposium, on the topic “Where Next? The Past, Present, and Future of Classical Liberalism,” features a lead essay by Matt Zwolinski and John Tomasi titled “A Bleeding-Heart History of Libertarianism.” Replies by David Friedman, Alexander McCobin, and your humble correspondent will follow later in the week.

Here’s the executive summary of Matt’s and John’s thesis and my reply:

  • They say that earlier classical liberals were friendlier to social justice, more concerned with consequences, and less attached to absolutist property rights than contemporary libertarians, and that we need to go back to the gude auld way.

  • I say that this difference is overstated, and that in any case we can embrace social justice, concern for consequences, and absolutist property rights simultaneously, so yay.

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