After libertarianism: Rejoinder to Narveson, McCloskey, Flew, and Machan

Critical Review 6 (1):113-152 (1992)
Abstract
Postlibertarianism means abandoning defenses of the intrinsic justice of laissez?faire capitalism, the better to investigate whether the systemic consequences of interfering with capitalism are severe enough to justify laissez?faire. Any sound case for laissez?faire is likely to build on postlibertarian research, for the conviction that laissez?faire is intrinsically just rests upon unsound philosophical assumptions. Conversely, these assumptions, if sound, would make empirical studies of capitalism by libertarian scholars superfluous. Moreover, postmodern approaches to ?libertarianism? perpetuate the same assumptions, in the guise of a critique of the rationalist hubris that has supposedly led to the tragedies of the twentieth century. The ?libertarian? and postmodernist critics of postlibertarianism either ignore the assumptions undergirding their views, or they contend that these assumptions are not necessary when ?freedom? and ?morality? are properly defined. The latter contention amounts to an attempt to define the challenge to ?libertarianism? out of existence.
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