“What are the philosophical underpinnings of libertarianism?”
Interesting debate about consequentialism vs. deontology as far as justifying libertarianism as a political and economic philosophy.
“Don’t get me wrong—rights are important. But they’re important because they’re beneficial. Private property, free trade, and civil liberties are valuable as means to a prosperous, peaceful, and happy world.”
“The trouble is, deontologists have a hard time explaining why enriching the poor and healing the sick matter at all. At most, these are fringe benefits of liberty. To deontologists, a political system that feeds the hungry is like a polio vaccine that freshens your breath—the bonus is nice, but it’s not the point. This view gets things wrong, however. That freedom makes us happier, healthier, and wealthier is the point.”
“Morally good things can make people happier. But I have often noticed that morally bad things can make people happier too: A petty thief steals a tomato from a neighbor’s garden. The neighbor thinks an animal ate it. The thief loves to steal, and the neighbor is only mildly disappointed. Aggregate happiness has increased, yet we find the thief’s action despicable.”