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Lee’s Libertarianism


Susan Lee defends libertarianism in the WSJ today. It’s a good piece, but she loses me when she claims that “Libertarians are not comfortable with normative questions” and “Libertarians do not concern themselves with questions of “best behavior” in social or cultural matters.” This may be true of Lee and many other libertarians, but there is nothing about a libertarian political philosophy that requires normative agnosticism. I’ve always preferred Bill Niskanen’s formulation that a libertarian is one who recognizes the difference between a virtue and a mandate, as well as the difference between a sin and a crime.


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