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Matt Zwolinski
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I'm late to the party, but I thought I'd mention that I blogged about some related issues a while ago, here: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2012/06/libertarianism-and-good-manners/ I think there's something to be said for appearing to respect others when one really does not, and that that something has to do with the facilitation of social interaction. But Stohr's book does a much better job of exploring this issue than I'm capable of doing...
Rick: Yes. I can sympathize with the frustration of reading comments like that. But that's pretty much what we're going for. We're trying to talk with people who aren't already committed libertarians. The price of that is that you have to put up with some rather ill-informed comments. But the upside is that you have the opportunity to spread libertarian ideas to a new audience, and maybe change some minds. That's difficult to do, but it's a challenge we're trying to meet. Mario: Sorry you don't like the name. I know it's no "Think Markets," but that was already taken. At any rate, I don't understand why you find it insulting. Or what or why you think it's part of the slippery slope to socialism, or whatever. We think a commitment to libertarianism is compatible with caring about the poor and vulnerable, and thinking that their status has a special moral claim in the justification of political and economic institutions. Not all libertarians agree with that, and not all libertarians share the latter intuitions. But a lot do. And we're certainly not trying to be "insulting" to those who don't.
I'm puzzled that so few have commented on this thread. My perception - and perhaps it was an inaccurate one - was that a lot of APA members felt fairly strongly that they had a kind of moral obligation not to support the Westin St. Francis in light of the union's boycott. I guess my post assumed that most of these individuals - like I - lacked much specific information regarding the particular details of the dispute, and so that their judgment was based on a kind of presumptive reasoning. I'm curious to know what the nature of that reasoning is - or if I was wrong about my assumption that people do judge themselves to have a moral obligation to support the union (or to not support the hotel) in this particular case.
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Feb 2, 2010