Monday, 29 November 2010

Why be libertarian?

"....It is our view that a flourishing libertarian movement, a lifelong dedication to liberty, can only be grounded on a passion for justice. Here must be the mainspring of our drive, the armor that will sustain us in all the storms ahead: not the search for a quick buck, the playing of intellectual games, or the cool calculation of general economic gains. And to have a passion for justice one must have a theory of what justice and injustice are--in short, a set of ethical principles of justice and injustice which cannot be provided by utilitarian economics. It is because we see the world reeking with injustices piled one on another to the very heavens that we are impelled to do all that we can to seek a world in which these and other injustices will be eradicated. Other traditional radical goals--such as the *abolition of poverty"--are, in contrast to this one, truly Utopian; for man, simply by exerting his will, cannot abolish poverty. Poverty can only be abolished through the operation of certain economic factors--notably the investment of savings in capital--which can only operate by transforming nature over a long period of time. In short, man's will is here severely limited by the workings of--to use an old-fashioned but still valid term--natural law. But injustices are deeds that are inflicted by one set of men on another; they are precisely the actions of men, and hence they and their elimination are subject to man's instantaneous will."

Taken from the Editorial - Left and Right "Why be libertarian" Volume 2, Number 3; Autumn 1966.

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