Thursday, 14 March 2013

"Absence Of Imposed Costs": J.C. Lester's Pre-Propertarian Theory Of Liberty

"A crucial feature of libertarian political theorizing is the insistence that not just the precise nature, but the very existence, of political authority requires justification and cannot simply be assumed."
- Roderick T. Long, in a draft essay entitled “Why Libertarians Believe There Is Only One Right”.
"Not if one is a critical-rationalist libertarian."
- J.C. Lester's reply, published online in the Libertarian Alliance's journal "Philosophical Notes" earlier this year. It neatly encapsulates the Popperian "school" of libertarian thought. More explanation here.

The point is to focus a critique of political authority not upon a weakness or lack of justification (e.g. contrary to the democracy activists), but upon the suggestion that alternative arrangements would be less bad in both a prioristic (rights) and a posteriori (consequences) terms and that with a rejection of justifications, there is no need to choose between a prioristic (e.g. Roderick Long) and a posteriori (e.g. David Friedman) versions of libertarianism.

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