Friday, May 01, 2015
Baltimore situation proves a challenge to libertarians
Danielle Allen has a disturbing op-ed on p. A19 of the Washington Post today, “Land of the free? Don’t be so sure”, are online, titled more bluntly “Why the dispossessed riot”, link here.
The article takes exception to the “libertarian” conception of liberty, as emphasizing spontaneous order and freedom to contract, the way the Cato Institute puts it. Her characterization of natural liberty is a lot wordier, before she comes to discuss “civic liberty”, which she connects to equality and group-influenced democratic decisions. Her reasoning is driven by rapidly increasing wealth and income inequality, driven by regulation but also a lingering but inherited effect of legacy history (segregation), and which she thinks has re-ignited racial and class tensions, which should be diminishing now decades after the Civil Rights movement.
Libertarians, especially Charles Murray and to a lesser extent David Boaz, have been noting that people really do need intact social structures, and as individualism increases, don’t always offer “hands up” to others (through civic association as people like Murray and even Santorum have described it) in a manner now necessary.
Media has covered the rapid charging of six police officers, and then of curfew violations Friday night in Baltimore. Let’s end this curfew as soon as possible.