Sunday, July 15, 2007

NBC: McLaughlin Group presents libertarian writers

Today, Sunday, July 15, 2007, the NBC McLaughin Group presented the topic of libertarianism, with guests David Boaz, from the Cato Institute, and Nick Gillespie, from Reason Magazine. Boaz authored two major books in the 90s from the Free Press: Libertarianism, A Primer, and The Libertarian Reader, an anthology of essays over history, a collection which he edited. The central point of the discussion was that moral (and even altruistic or benevolent) behavior belongs to people, not to government. Morality seems to come from spontaneous order. Both guests were critical of President Bush for wanting to federalize so much (ranging from airport security, which they think should go back to private hands, to standards in education – “No Child Left Behind”). They did approve of the president's touching the "third rail" (social security) with the idea of privatizing it and converting it to a personal ownership paradigm, but too much of the rest of Bush's presidency invited more big government. They also indicated that the past three or four decades have seen a spontaneous increase in personal freedom, more driven by culture than law. There was discussion of whether libertarianism is still a valid political movement or more of a personal philosophy, rooted partly in classical liberalism. Brief biographies of both men were presented.

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