Political Theory

Governance as a Role vs. the State as an Entity

The following essay seeks to address the foundations of civil order and the mechanisms by which the civil order is enforced.  It is highly influenced by an essay from Hans-Hermann Hoppe entitled “State or Private-Law Society.” The Problem The necessity of an institution which enforces legal property boundaries and punishes criminals that act outside of the parameters …

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Anarchism, Minarchism, and the Libertarian Label

This article comes directly from a certain line of reasoning that I see all throughout the libertarian world. I hope that the following article will prove to be a one stop solution and will encourage more nuance in the anarchist/minarchist dichotomy. Let me start here with an overview of the dichotomy as I conceive it. I find that …

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Thomas Sowell on “Atomistic” Libertarians

By Ben Lewis In a recent appearance on The Rubin Report, economist, social theorist and all around hero Thomas Sowell told host Dave Rubin that one of his only criticisms of the libertarian label is that “Libertarians seem to have this atomistic view of the world, which I think is completely unrealistic, because not only …

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Liberalism and Loneliness?

The weekend opinion section of the Washington Post published a short piece reflecting on Patrick Deneen’s book “Why Liberalism Failed.” Titled “Liberalism is Loneliness,” the article offers an opportunity to interact with the same complaints against classical liberalism that have arisen since the early days of its existence. Authored by Christine Emba, the article suggests …

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Thick Libertarianism Eviscerated: A Response to Charles Johnson

In reading Charles Johnson’s oddly impactful 2008 essay Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin, I was perplexed by the sheer weight of unnecessary confusion and blurring of the language.  It is a peculiar thing to see a political theory as clear and simple as libertarianism become suddenly and unnecessarily wrapped up in obscure and ambiguous language.  …

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Thin Libertarianism and Tory Anarchism

Often, the libertarian creed must be restated to self-described libertarians who do not understand the relationship between libertarianism qua political theory and extra-libertarian commitments related to social and cultural concerns. That is to say, as the libertarian movement moves further into a more popular position, there are many libertarians who popularize libertarianism without being precise …

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Ancapism and Minarchy: Technicalities and Clarification

What follows is an overview discussing the problem of definitions and historical development of the so-called anarcho-capitalism and minarchism split. Murray Rothbard, who coined the term “anarcho-capitalist,” was convinced that government could be funded and provided for in a way that was consistent with the summation of his political thought; namely, the non-aggression principle. That …

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Democratic Socialism and the End of Interventionism

A second group seems to be less radical. They reject socialism no less than capitalism. They recommend a third system, which, as they say, is as far from capitalism as it is from socialism, which as a third system of society’s economic organization, stands midway between the two other systems, and while retaining the advantages …

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Walter Block’s Misunderstanding of Hans Hoppe: In Defense of Hoppe

Libertarianism is a “thin” political theory. It specifically deals with the issue of the proper role of aggression in inter-personal relations. It often helpfully summarized by the so-called Non-Agression Principle (NAP). The implications of this doctrine can be deduced from the Principle. As has been discussed here before, there are some who consider libertarianism to …

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Progressive Libertarians Against the Old Guard

In this post, I’ll go back to something from my blogging roots: commenting on libertarian movement politics. It’s been too long.  By libertarian movement politics, I do not mean how the Libertarian Party (which is arguably worthless, in my opinion; and has been since the Rothbardian purge) relates to electoral politics in general, nor do I …

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The Works of Murray N. Rothbard

What did Murray Newton Rothbard write about? Wrong question. Right question: what didn’t Murray Rothbard write about? Lew Rockwell, writing the introduction to a collection of Rothbard’s essays written at the end of his life stated: “Summing up the work of Murray N. Rothbard (1926–1995) and noting its stunning range, philosopher David Gordon once wondered …

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