TAG | liberaltarianism
I really enjoyed this discussion between Cato’s Brink Lindsey and David Frum. It illustrates my point about the necessity of common referents to have fruitful discussions. Brink is a libertarian who has rejected fusionism and now wishes to co-opt a strand of liberalism. Despite being read out of the conservative movement David Frum is still obviously a partisan of the Right and the Republican Party. Frum & Lindsey started from the same libertarian conservative stance and apparently knew each other from law school, so though they diverge right now in their conclusions they find it easy to follow the other’s reasoning. Contrast this with Lindsey’s discussions with Stanford philosophy professor Joshua Cohen, a conventional liberal. Though Lindsey and Cohen are to some extent fellow travelers and exchange ideas with minimal rancor or discord, often it seems clear that Cohen simply has no idea where Lindsey is coming from. Because Lindsey is attempting to forge an alliance with liberals, as opposed to the inverse, operationally the onus is on him to make himself clear and understood, but without common background history in the same intellectual milieu it seems that liberals have a difficult time grasping much of his reasoning. This is ironic because Lindsey and libertarians of his ilk justify their switch from the conservative to liberal camp on common philosophical first principles with liberals!