Den liberalistiske middelvej

Randy Barnett har lagt en 19-siders artikel på SSRN med titlen: “Afterword: The Libertarian Middle Way.”

Den megen snak om social retfærdighed leder naturligt tankerne hen på Bleeding Heart-gruppen; og lad mig i den forbindelse henvise til Matt Zwolinski’s forvirrede indlæg Liberty & Property.

Her er Barnett’s abstract, med mine fremhævninger:

Libertarianism is sometimes portrayed as radical and even extreme. In this Afterword to a symposium on “Libertarianism and the Law” in the Chapman Law Review, I explain why, though it may be radical, libertarianism is far from extreme in comparison with its principal alternatives: the social justice of the Left or legal moralism of the Right.

Social justice posits that everyone should get a certain amount of stuff; legal moralism posits that everyone should act in a certain way. But because there is no consensus about how much stuff each person should have or how exactly everyone should act, both of these comprehensive approaches are recipes for societal conflict. And the legal institutions that are necessary to implement each vision must be highly intrusive and coercive.

In contrast, libertarianism is far more modest: it stipulates only that individuals may do what they please with what is theirs, requiring a legal system merely to define the proper jurisdiction of each person over their rightfully acquired property.

I explain how the basic insight of libertarianism is rooted in the spirit of toleration that was the classical liberal solution to the socially destructive religious wars. Like Westphalian political “sovereigns” who are to leave each other in peace and not to interfere with each other’s domestic affairs, classical liberalism posited the sovereignty of individuals to pursue the good life peacefully within their own jurisdictions, free from outside interference, provided they do not infringe upon the like jurisdictions of other sovereign individuals.

I conclude by explaining how libertarianism contributes to the private law that defines the contours of these individual jurisdictions, and the public law that is supposed to confine government to its proper function of protecting the rights of persons better than they can protect themselves. Although many would prefer their own preferred visions of social justice or legal moralism (or both) to be imposed on everyone else, libertarianism represents an appealing “second best” or “middle way” alternative to having someone else’s “wrong” vision of social justice or of morality imposed upon them.

1 Kommentar

  1. Netop grænsen mellem hvad man tolerer af gerninger hos andre modsat det omkringliggende samfunds opfattelse af moralsk rigtigt er svært, for al lovgivning er pr. definition moralsk – og jeg vil mene, rent praktisk, at i Danmark har vi haft den fordel at være enig om langt det meste, hvorfor vi med fordel kan tillade os at lovgive afvigende adfærd som forkert.

    I et stort, splittet samfund med mange trosretninger, som den amerikanske, er det straks sværere. Men i et etnisk og religiøst homogent samfund giver det mening med mere snævre fortolkninger af friheden. Det behøver ikke være dårligt.

    Problemet opstår når udfrakommende prøver at retfærdiggøre afvigende adfærd som lige så moralsk rigtigt og ad den vej undergraver værtssamfundet. Hvorfor ikke blot respekterer, at I dette samfund, der bryder vi os altså ikke om den slags, flyt gerne et andet sted hvis du har noget i mod det. Hvorfor er det vigtigere at presse dine egne idealer om hvordan et idealtsamfund skal være med ubegrænset frihed ned over hovedet på et i forvejen tilfreds folk?

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