Mere Libertarianism: Blending Hayek and Rothbard
Daniel Klein ()
No 29, Ratio Working Papers from The Ratio Institute
As many have argued, libertarianism as idea and movement contains strands that often conflict, beg questions, or try our sensibilities. There are multiple libertarianisms. Two leading theorists of modern libertarianism are Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard. Both pupils of Ludwig von Mises, Hayek and Rothbard provide dual libertarianisms that share a common precept but sustain that precept in inverse ways. Both Hayek and Rothbard maintain that, in societies like theirs, the desirable always concords with liberty (or maximal liberty). Rothbard achieved this concordance by molding his sensibilities about the desirable to fit his definition of liberty. Hayek achieved this concordance by molding his definition of liberty to fit his sensibilities about the desirable. These two libertarianisms represent a duality of worthy rhetorical tasks, namely, those of the “bargainer” (exemplified by Hayek) and the “challenger” (exemplified by Rothbard). But libertarians ought to reject the precept of concordance: the desirable does not always concord with liberty. I attempt a blending of Hayek and Rothbard that recognizes the several limitations of libertarianism, sustains Hayek’s sensibilities, yet maintains Rothbard’s cogent definition of liberty. The paper explores various ways in which the proposed blending makes for a reasonable and versatile “mere” libertarianism that successfully participates in mainstream discourse.
Keywords: liberty; libertarianism; property; liberty maxim; ambiguity; incompleteness; undesirability; bargainer; challenger (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Z00 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-his and nep-hpe
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed
Forthcoming in Reason Papers, 2004.
Downloads: (external link)
Our link check indicates that this URL is bad, the error code is: 404 Not Found (http://www.ratio.se/pdf/wp/wp_dk_mere.pdf [301 Moved Permanently]--> http://ratio.se/pdf/wp/wp_dk_mere.pdf)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: http://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0029
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Ratio Working Papers from The Ratio Institute
Address: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by Martin Korpi ().