Blogs > Liberty and Power > Say What!?

Jan 29, 2008 12:07 pm

Say What!?

Gus, here's something else for the Daily Kos to ask libertarians about. Under its usual boilerplate heading of"Individual Liberty, Free Markets, and Peace," the Cato Institute features Roger Pilon's article for the Wall Street Journal defending the anti-liberty Protect America Act.

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Gus diZerega - 1/29/2008

Hard to imagine libertarians NOT being of one mind on this issue if they are genuinely libertarians. But then I once thought the same about libertarians and aggressive war.

What is a libertarian any nmore? I know what an anarcho-capitalist is. It's a consistent position with intellectual coherence, even if I now disagree.

But I'm not so sure the same holds for libertarians. Reason identified Instapundit as a libertarian (or at least as a self-identified one without challenging him) in an article a year or so ago.

In my naivete I thought that if libertarians had much to add they - some at least - would engage in debate with the Kossacks since on some issues they are a hell of a lot more libertarian than any conservative you are likely to know.

Back when I called myself a libertarian I consistently heard libertarians - quite justifiably - complain they were ignored.

Now they don't want to dirty themselves with contact with those who agree with them only some of the time.

I think libertarians lost their soul when they so identified with the right that they thought defending liberty was a right wing trait. It never has been. Not often enough on the left to be sure - but far more than on the right.

Roderick T. Long - 1/29/2008

The Cato Institute is seldom of just one mind on these issues -- something its critics tend to forget. (Ditto of course for the Mises Institute, the Objectivist Center, etc.) Always worth remembering.

Steven Horwitz - 1/29/2008

Mr. Pilon is getting piled-on.

Steven Horwitz - 1/29/2008

Timothy Lee responds to Pilon:

Cato is not of one mind here it would appear, and that's probably good.