Dynamist Blog


There's clearly something going on in this strange TCS article that I don't understand. If you define "libertarian" narrowly as a philosophy of government, the article is a non sequitur; certainly libertarian philosophy makes room for law enforcement, even if it lets women marry violent men. If you include the classical liberal traditions, running from Smith and Hume through Hayek, which do offer keen insights on culture and society, the piece makes no sense at all. My best guess, and it's only a guess, is that author Douglas Kern is making a veiled argument that a culture of traditional religion, perhaps Catholicism, would prevent domestic violence. I'd like to see the empirical evidence of that--or the empirical evidence that broken noses are more common in liberal societies than in traditional ones. What's Kern's actually existing example of the "enlightened paternalism" that prevents broken noses?

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