Relentless Pursuit of Wisdom and Liberty

The weblog companion of, dedicated to pondering, "If Patrick Henry could see us now..."

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Follow-up on libertarian/conservative roundtable

Regular readers might remember a reference I made about a roundtable discussion being hosted by America's Future Foundation focusing on whether or not libertarians and conservatives have any common ground, and whether or not they should stick together or go their separate ways. I promised to follow up on any coverage of the event, so here you go.

Reason's Julian Sanchez gave his take, and I feel like this is the way my mind works too:
The real options aren't "marriage" and "going our separate ways"—as Nick pointed out, it's not clear how much of a real "marriage" there is now. Let's instead say that libertarians and conservatives are Friends with Benefits. We'll happily collaborate on particular issues or for particular candidates in an ad hoc way, but the same can be true of libertarians and liberals. The ACLU, after all, had a booth at CPAC where they were handing out op-eds by Bob Barr. Nobody supposes they are (or should be) "married" to conservatives just because they can find common ground on particular issues. And as Albert Hirschman observed in Exit, Voice and Loyalty, while sometimes the absence of an exit option can prompt useful deliberation, it's precisely the option (and threat) of exit from an organization that magnifies voice within an organization.
If people thought, wrote, advocated, and acted more according to principles than to group identity, the world would be a much better place.

National Review's Eric Pfeiffer also touched very briefly on it, mostly to comment that it was very hard for the four panelists to define conservatism.

Apart from specific coverage of the panel, there's more on the overall discussion at Instapundit and the Volokh Conspiracy.


Post a Comment

<< Home