One of the things that has kept me from totally embracing the libertarian label at times is the supposed indifference of libertarians when it comes to the poor and disenfranchised. There seemed to be talk about freedom, but no talk about how the concept of liberty can empower the poor.
Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one thinking about this because a new group blog has come to the fore called, “Bleeding Heart Libertarians.” Matt Zwolinski describes this strain of libertarianism:
I’ve created this blog as a forum for academic philosophers who are attracted both to libertarianism and to ideals of social or distributive justice. Labels are often a greater source of confusion than insight in academic discourse, and no doubt most of the contributors to this blog will wish to qualify the sense in which they fit this description. Some, for instance, will qualify their libertarianism with a label – “left-libertarian,”or perhaps “liberaltarian.” Others might prefer to think of themselves as “classical liberals” or even “market anarchists.”
But libertarianism, as I’ve argued elsewhere, is a broad intellectual tradition bound together more by rough agreement than by meeting a set of necessary and sufficient conditions. What we have in common on this blog is an appreciati0n for market mechanisms, for voluntary social cooperation, for property rights, and for individual liberty. But we appreciate those things, in large part, because of the way they contribute to important human goods – and especially the way in which they allow some of society’s most vulnerable members to realize those goods.
It’s been a good read so far and has been getting boatloads of attention. This is the type of conservation that needs to take place within libertarianism and I’m glad to see it taking place.