Friday, October 3, 2008
Conservatism and libertarianism
I used to be a "fusionist," someone who held that conservatism could be harmonized with libertarianism. I no longer believe that. You can be a conservative who sympathizes with certain ideas associated with libertarianism -- the market economy, limited government, and so forth -- but (as I now think) you cannot be both a conservative and a libertarian, in any interesting sense of the word "libertarian." So much the worse for libertarianism. Some of the reasons for this change in view are summarized in my article "The Conservative Critique of Libertarianism," which I wrote for the new Encyclopedia of Libertarianism, edited by Ronald Hamowy. A preview of the Encyclopedia can be found here on Google Book Search, and includes my article. It can be found at pp. 95-97.