Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Dinesh D'Souza attacks Ron Paul for not being a true libertarian because he does not support the Iraq War:

So here is question for Ron Paul: shouldn't the United States do what it can to promote liberty worldwide? I posed this question and Paul answered that America should be an example of liberty and not try to impose freedom by force. Alas, where freedom has come to countries it has usually come by force.

This reminds me of a post a long time ago that I read (I forget where) where someone angry at the libertarian dissent on the Iraq War, asserted that the goal of libertarianism ought not to be the avoidance of initiating force, but the promotion of liberty.

Assuming that the absence of the initiation of force defines liberty, I think that this position could be best described as "libertilitarianism" (a portmanteua of libertarianism and utilitarianism). As opposed to the libertarian principle that one should not initiate force, the libertilitarian believes that the goal should be to reduce the initiation of force as much as possible with the belief that it is a fair tradeoff to initiate force if in doing so there is a corresponding decrease in the initiation of force.

Of course, like all utilitarian philosophies, there is not only the assumption that the ends justify the means, but the assumption that the desried ends equal the actually achieved ends. That is, that one can easily quantify liberty so as to make tradeoffs calculable ahead of time.

That is all.

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