The Corner

Two Cheers For Booga-Booga

I will not get baited into another Me Vesus the Libertarians moment (partly because I sincerely doubt this guy speaks for that many libertarians). Basically this guy’s argument boils down to why I’m not a “rational libertarian” as he defines the phrase. And, on that score, he’s obviously correct. Anyway, from a reader:

You say you could never be “convinced” that heinous

criminal x should not be executed.

To a rational libertarian, that’s pretty much like

saying you can never be “convinced” that the round

pegs go in the round holes and the square ones go in

the square holes: it’s a matter of categories and

what is, or is not, a proper role for the State.

Government is not in the retribution business. It

exists to grant and withhold liberties from

individuals. A killer — whether he kills one 99-year

old rapist or 10,000,000 infants — can be dealt with

simply by removing his liberties, i.e., locking him

up. Society has no claim over the killer’s autonomy

and existence except to ensure its own safety.

Anything more is sheer emotionalism, mob rule,

booga-booga tribalism, etc. Which you seem very much

to favor. I don’t. But then, I have no problem with

showing hard-core porn on Saturday morning TV, if

that’s what the market wants.

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