Saturday, April 17, 2010

Libertarianism and Feudalism

There's a rather interesting post over at Crooked Timber about libertarianism and feudalism. It's a well known problem that there's a tension between two standard libertarian principles, viz. that you own yourself and that you own the products of your labour - why then don't parents own their children? John Holbo argues that this system would amount to a form of feudalism. Libertarians need not accept this but, if they argue that they subscribe to their principles in order to promote freedom, they need to explain why their particular principles better promote or respect freedom than any other alternatives, such as redistribution to give the poor more freedom. There's more to it than that, but I don't have time to read the literally hundreds of comments...

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