Limited Government Liberalism

Will Wilkinson argues that liberals have their hearts in the right place, but need Libertarian-style policies to see their dreams actualized.

One way to think of it is to consider where you’re starting from. I am, more or less, starting from a fairly typical liberal account of the state and it’s aims. I’m then arguing that those aims are best achieved through appropriately limited government. I believe this is a principled and coherent stance that stands or falls with the background arguments about the legitimacy and desirablity of liberal democracy. If you reject the basic argument for the liberal democratic state, then you’re not going to be impressed. But if you accept the desirability of liberal democracy, you have every reason to listen.

So, “limited-goverment liberalism” starts with liberalism and then argues that libertarianish policies and institutions will best secure liberal aims. “Big government libertarianism” starts will traditional minimal state libertarianism, but moderates it to make marginally more libertarian policy politically feasible.

I would place myself in the first camp.  But, I’m not sure we should call ourselves “LG” Liberals (wink).

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s