Saturday, March 06, 2004

Libertarian Principles

From Page 3-4 of "What it means to be a libertarian," by Charles Murray
"As socialism gained influence in the twentieth century, it became intellectually fashionable to mock freedom, first in Europe and eventually in the United States. What does freedom amount to, the left asked, in a world of poverty? The equal freedom of rich and poor to sleep under bridges? As the century progressed, the same dismissiveness toward freedom, especially economic freedom, spread from intellectualls into mainstream politics. This thing called freedom, we were told, is what the rich talk about when they don't want to face their responsibilities to the poor."
Page 101-102
"[To] the question of whether people should be allowed to harm themselves. They must. Some people sincerely think their friends who drink martinis and eat rare steaks are doing themselves harm. They may be right by certain medical criteria. But they are in no position to strike the larger balance that the martini-drinking steak eater must strike for himself. What are the pleasures worth relative to the costs? I think the other fellow is harming himself. He sees it as paying a cost he is willing to pay.