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Suicidal Anti-Fusionism



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From a reader:

Dear Mr. Goldberg:

Libertarians who reject Meyer’s objective moral order are, in the process, destroying the historical and logical foundations of that which they claim to cherish. Reducing irreducible virtues (liberty and individualism) to means to making “lifestyle choices” leaves libertarians defenseless in the face of the enemies of liberty. Jihadis don’t give a damn about lifestyle choices, any more than Maoists do, and a love of liberty that is based on nothing more than more or less whimsical preference rankings is not the sort of love that endures.

Of course some utilitarian/nihilistic libertarians, as individuals, would defend liberty down to the last bullet, even the last fingernail. I don’t deny that. They just can’t explain why they would defend it, much less why anyone else should.

Update: Another reader responds;

The reader writes: “love of liberty that is based on nothing more than more or less whimsical preference rankings is not the sort of love that endures.”   Could we stop treating libertarianism like the red-headed stepchild of post-modern deconstructionism? While libertarianism is only a thin political (as opposed to a moral) theory, no libertarian denounces the idea that liberty must be valued in some transcendent way for it to be a transcendent political priority.  The ability to shape one’s moral life in a unique, creative way that is non-harmful to others is hardly a “more or less whimsical preference.”  Many (though not all) different lifestyles lead to human flourishing — and without experimentation how can we ever know which are best?  But no life conscripted by the state, even if for all the right reasons, is worth the living.        


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