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Libertarianism is just as much a patch-work of different beliefs as any of the party ideologies. There is a huge internal inconsistency, for example, between it's reliance on economic theories with its embrace of "natural rights" approaches to freedom of action.

Libertarians deeply want to believe that we live in a world where you can leave people free to transact freely in a free market, and that will maximize total value. And economic theory tells us that isn't true.

Once that ideological purity is lost to brutal reality, libertarians are stuck fighting in the mud like the rest of us: arguing over which particular bits of government intervention maximize value without much in the way of theoretical projections or empirical proof.




> Libertarians deeply want to believe that we live in a world where you can leave people free to transact freely in a free market, and that will maximize total value. And economic theory tells us that isn't true.

Libertarianism isn't about maximizing total value; not if you're intellectually consistent about it. Most libertarians see libertarianism as a moral imperative and respond to arguments about "maximizing total value" with "the ends don't justify the means".


There is a self-consistent version of libertarianism based on a moral belief in freedom tempered by property rights (which is of course a totally arbitrary premise). I disagree, however, that most libertarians feel that way, largely because of the huge emphasis on free markets. I think most are just utilitarians who are mistaken.


Lots of libertarians aren't intellectually consistent; I was just talking about the intellectually consistent ones who actually have a "libertarian framework" to apply rather than simply a generalized skepticism about government ;) I think we agree.




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