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Sunday, June 25, 2006 | 2:08 PM

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Since Samizdata has an arrangement similar to the one on this blog, where people can submit their own posts, I sent one to them along the lines of my last post. I ended up getting into an email conversation with "Perry de Havilland" about how democracy equates with libertarianism. Our debate started on the meaning of 'coercion' (often a tricky issue in libertarian debates), and moved to the roles of money and power in society. What finally seemed to get him though was my admission that "democracy doesn't increase everyone's rights all the time, but it increases most people's rights most of the time."

Libertarianism, to me, is about liberty. You could equate morality with liberty, but it seems to me that the whole notion of libertarianism is decidedly anti-moralistic. We can all agree that personal freedom is a good thing, but I don't see what makes this quasi-religious, take-no-prisoners approach to it any more valid than a more practical one that's willing to compromise to attain its goals.

The bigger question, in my mind, is whether libertarianism wants itself to be a philosophy that gets debated on internet BBs like this, or whether it's actually a practical way to run society. If it's something that will never get used, then I don't really see the point. But if libertarians really do want to see some of their ideas put into practice, then they will need the Democrats' help.


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