Archive for July 7th, 2013

Suicidal Libertarianism (Part D’oh)

When it comes to the libertarian suicide race, Bryan Caplan leaves Don Boudreaux in the dust. Caplan takes the Non-Aggression Principle and runs with it, all the way into a maximum-velocity self-directed death cult. (Self-directed, solely in the ideological sense, of course.) Given the considerable merits of this book, in particular, it’s a sad thing to see.

American libertarianism has always been vulnerable to neo-puritan spiritual extravagance. Caplan systematically pushes this tendency to its limit, divorcing its arguments from any realistic estimation of consequences, and transforming it into a form of deontological moral fanaticism, in which self-defense, retaliation, and boundaries are strictly prohibited. He envisages a world of games in which only unilateral altruism is permissible to the libertarian player. It would be fun to go a few rounds of prisoner’s dilemma with him.

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July 7, 2013admin 37 Comments »
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