Social Philosophy and Policy

Research Article

Libertarianism as if (The Other 99 Percent of) People Mattered*

Loren E. Lomaskya1

a1 Philosophy, Bowling Green State University

In this essay I wish to consider the implications for theory and practice of the following two propositions, either or both of which may be controversial, but which will here be assumed for the sake of argument:

(L) Libertarianism is the correct framework for political morality.

(M) The vast majority of our fellow citizens disbelieve (L).1


* This essay originated in an informal talk presented at Liberty magazine's August 1996 conference for editors and readers. Although subsequent discussion revealed considerable disagreement among those assembled with the thesis being advanced, it also suggested that these issues are central to the practical concerns of libertarians both inside and outside the academy. I am grateful to Bill Bradford for affording me the opportunity to launch these ideas in that forum. I am also grateful to my friend, tennis bête noire, and sometimes editor, Ellen Frankel Paul, for freeing this essay from numerous syntactic infelicities and for conceding, albeit grudgingly, that the argument of this essay does not entirely disqualify its author from the title libertarian.