A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians

By |2018-10-16T20:24:40-05:00February 21st, 2015|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, Featured, Libertarians, Moral Imagination, RAK, Russell Kirk|

The term “libertarianism” is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics. Both Dr. F.A. Hayek and your servant have gone out of their way, from time to time, to declare that they refuse to be tagged with this label. Anyone much influenced by the thought of Edmund Burke and of Alexis de Tocqueville—as [...]

Why Libertarians Need God

By |2019-04-18T13:22:36-05:00March 9th, 2014|Categories: Atheism, Ayn Rand, Christianity, Libertarians, Ludwig von Mises|

Does God underwrite our freedom, or undermine it? There are thousands of self-styled “libertarians” who would argue the latter. They actively oppose the religious commitments of most social conservatives, many of them convinced that materialism is the best metaphysical home for what we might call “libertarian values”—individual rights, freedom and personal responsibility, reason, and [...]

The Libertarians, Human but Hardly Humane

By |2013-12-26T11:55:01-05:00December 22nd, 2013|Categories: Ayn Rand, Libertarians, Politics, Stephen Masty|

We all know the arguments against the notion, but somewhat reluctantly I conclude that libertarians are indeed human. After all, our species contains the incontinent, the mentally disabled, the incurably giddy, and Mr. Walter Block. Mr. Block is an elderly academician inspired by Ayn Rand, Nathanial Branden and Murray Rothbard. Libertarians find him pleasant [...]

The Abuse of the Fourteenth Amendment

By |2019-04-04T11:23:46-05:00July 31st, 2013|Categories: Federalism, Libertarians, Rights|Tags: |

Libertarians and conservatives have never achieved widespread consensus regarding issues of federalism in American jurisprudence. The gridlock has to do with competing ideas about the proper role of the federal judiciary in protecting and preserving individual rights. On the one side are those who would empower federal judges allegedly to protect individual rights against [...]

True Conservative or Aspiring Ubermensch?

By |2016-07-26T15:50:50-05:00July 24th, 2013|Categories: Conservatism, Libertarianism, Libertarians, Stephen Masty|

Have you the makings of a Great Libertarian? Might you become a Titan of Liberty like Ayn Rand, a Hercules of Revolutionary Thought like Murray Rothbard or a Paragon of Pure Reason like Walter Block? Or are you doomed to be merely a well-meaning but hopelessly inconsistent conservative muddler like Russell Kirk, Ronald Reagan, [...]

The Gold Democrats

By |2019-04-11T10:34:53-05:00August 23rd, 2012|Categories: Christendom, Classical Liberalism, Conservatism, Democracy, Economics, Libertarians, Natural Rights Tradition, Political Economy, Politics, Traditional Conservatives and Libertarians|Tags: |

N.B.  This is a piece I wrote in the early 1990s. I had forgotten completely about it until I came across it by accident today (Wednesday, August 22). It was my first attempt at a dissertation proposal, and I wrote it for one of my favorite graduate school professors, Dr. Russell Hanson. He probably doesn’t remember [...]

Conservatives and Libertarians: Uneasy Cousins

By |2018-11-09T13:02:13-05:00July 15th, 2012|Categories: Conservatism, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Libertarians, Robert Nisbet|Tags: |

By common assent modern conservatism, as political philosophy, springs from Edmund Burke: chiefly from his Reflections on the Revolution in France, published in 1790. That book is of course more than a brilliantly prescient analysis of the Revolution and its new and fateful modes of power over individual lives; the Reflections is also, through its [...]

Conservatives vs. Libertarians on What Ails Higher Education: The Case of the University of Virginia

By |2014-01-27T08:54:56-05:00July 12th, 2012|Categories: Education, Liberal, Liberal Learning, Libertarians, Peter A. Lawler|

So this astute and classy article by James Patterson explains why so many conservatives wrongly took the side of the Board of Visitors against University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan on the matter of her removal and reinstatement. Someone might say, though, that the conservatives who support the Board aren’t really conservatives. They’re more properly [...]