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Friday, September 7, 2018

Up from Niche Libertarianism

I've formulated some of my common criticisms of libertarians.

I’ve long been a libertarian and associated with libertarians. I see groupthink among us. Even if I agree with other libertarians on policy in general, I sometimes object to the way they justify their views, the way they argue for them, and so on. We need internal criticism to stay sharp and continue upward in the ever-winding spiral of wisdom and virtue.

To that end, I’ve formulated some of my common criticisms of libertarians. I invite you to watch the video of my lecture given at the Institute for Humane Studies, “Niche Libertarianism: A Critique.” I list 16 features of what I call “niche libertarianism.”

The lecture might have been titled: Up from Niche Libertarianism. “Up to what?” you may ask. Up to mere libertarianism, or classical liberalism, which gathers its definition from contrast with niche libertarianism on each of the 16 features.

I don’t name names.


(Well, try to enjoy, self-criticism is always a challenge and somewhat unpleasant.)

  • Daniel Klein is professor of economics and JIN Chair at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and associate fellow at the Ratio Institute (Stockholm). At GMU he leads a program in Adam Smith. He is the author of Knowledge and Coordination: A Liberal Interpretation and editor of Econ Journal Watch.