Bleeding Heart Libertarians

There’s an interesting new philosophy blog called “Bleeding Heart Libertarians,” featuring an all-star cast of Andrew J. Cohen, Daniel Shapiro, Jacob T. Levy, James Stacey Taylor, Jason F. Brennan, and Matt Zwolinski. Actually, some of the participants reject the term “libertarian”; one of the first posts, by Jason Brennan, is entitled, “Neoclassical Liberalism: How I’m Not a Libertarian.” Provocative stuff – check it out.

3 thoughts on “Bleeding Heart Libertarians

  1. Almost lost my breakfast hearing classical liberalism and “social justice” combined. The above quoted neoclassical liberal post lays out the position of a modern leftist who is not yet comfortable with total government control over all individual action, yet concedes that one person may exert a legally binding claim over the assets of another ok the bass of not having or deserving said assets himself. That is not a new position. Further, the writer jumps to the conclusion that in a libertarian society, people will starve by necessity- ignoring the evidence to the contrary- and further assuming that individuals are incapable of charitable acts absent government coercion.

    1. I have to largely agree with you here. As probably the “least pure” of the Pileus bloggers, I have quite a bit of sympathy for various types of hybrids and fusionists, and I like to think of myself as a bleeding heart libertarian. But this was a bit hard to stomach. Trying to steal the classical liberal label and attach it to Rawlsian social justice notions is quite noxious, indeed.

      Of course this isn’t new. Lefties have been trying to hold on to the “liberal” label for a long time, even as they move further and further away from its original, classical meaning.

      This speaks to the universal appeal of freedom and how almost everyone wants to co-opt the language of liberty. Everyone wants to bear aloft the banner of freedom whether they are worthy to or not. Perhaps I’m not worthy, either, but these guys don’t strike me as eligible candidates at all.

      Hopefully we’ll have some good interactions with them.

  2. pardon the typos: I typed that on my phone. Should read “on the basis”, not “ok the bass”…

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