Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Harvard newspaper urges libertarians to support Democratic Socialists in the short term, out of "consequentialism"



Trevor Levin has an odd article in the Harvard Crimson urging libertarians to ally themselves at least temporarily with the Democratic Socialists of America, article here

The reasoning has to do with a belief that the economic agenda will not be perceived as that extreme but pragmatic (Charles Murray has proposed universal basic income, for example, which Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have not yet); more pertinent, the DSA platform seems to embrace a libertarian principle: that every individual has a right to migrate to where he/she can earn a living.

The article mentions some disturbing facts. It claims that the Trump administration has tried to deport legal residents and especially naturalized citizens by “denaturalization”.  It refers to deportation of foreign journalists but it isn’t clear if these journalists were actually here legally.

  
But the most interesting reference is to an essay connecting libertarianism to consequentialism, especially “utilitarian consequentialism”, laying out the circumstances when government coercion is permissible. I had taken up a little of this in my DADT-1 book (Chapter 5) and will cover it on another post soon (Wordpress).  I remember that concept had some attention in 1997 right after I arrived in Minnesota.

I think it's pretty silly to demand "abolishing ICE", when the function it performs is necessary, however questionable some of its actions may have been.  And the border problems really aren't about ICE per se. 

Update: Aug. 2

The Cato Institute reminds us that open legal immigration was part of the 1980 Libertarian Party platform, tweet

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