Ron Paul's Libertarianism Revisited

By:  Jack Kerwick, Ph.D.
08/26/2011
       
Ron Paul's Libertarianism Revisited

For as frequently as I have defended Ron Paul against his detractors, it may surprise some readers to discover that while I consider myself to be something of a libertarian, philosophically speaking, I am poles apart from the libertarianism of which Paul is such an impassioned supporter.

In contemporary politics, and, indeed, contemporary life, it is not at all uncommon to hear partisans speak of the “philosophical” differences between themselves and their opponents. Few people, though, really understand what philosophy is. This is no criticism; even those of us who make our living as philosophers have not infrequently found ourselves divided as to the character of our craft.

For as frequently as I have defended Ron Paul against his detractors, it may surprise some readers to discover that while I consider myself to be something of a libertarian, philosophically speaking, I am poles apart from the libertarianism of which Paul is such an impassioned supporter.

In contemporary politics, and, indeed, contemporary life, it is not at all uncommon to hear partisans speak of the “philosophical” differences between themselves and their opponents. Few people, though, really understand what philosophy is. This is no criticism; even those of us who make our living as philosophers have not infrequently found ourselves divided as to the character of our craft.

However, whatever our differences, one thing seems certain: that two (or more) people disagree over any given policy or set of policies might indicate that they are philosophically at odds with one another; it does not entail this. Just the slightest reflection upon a couple of examples readily bears this out.

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Jack Kerwick (photo)

 

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