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.