— If you are so inclined, please send a donation to Wikipedia to help them raise money for new hardware. In my opinion, Wikipedia is among the most impressive open source efforts on the web. Because it's a Wiki encyclopedia, anyone at any time can modify an entry. You'd think some of it would turn out to be trash, but quite the opposite. Wikipedia has developed a solid community of volunteers who write, edit and police entries, and the trend so far has been one of improving quality, drawing on the distributed expertise of folks all over the net.
Wikipedia was founded by some old friends of mine, and I participated early on several years ago. It's fun to go back and look at entries you wrote, and see how they have and haven't changed. Once they get the server problems taken care of, I think I might get back in there. Nozick needs a lot of work, as does Gauthier. And Rawls, although much better, could use some help. And contractarianism is just some of Larry Sanger's old lecture notes. I encourage you to look at things you consider yourself in expert in, and see if you can improve on what's there.

Author: Will Wilkinson

Vice President for Research at the Niskanen Center

19 thoughts

  1. dg lesvic: In allowing that your own self-interest necessitates liberty you haven’t given liberty itself any specific regard. Neither have you given liberty itself any specific regard in supporting man’s inhumanity to man (even in response to a prior inhumanity).

    1. I thought Richard was being pretty clear, but it might be difficult to interpret if you don’t know what the word “liberty” means.

  2. mirabeau,
    I’m not going to ask you what you think liberty means, nor what you think Richard meant, for we both know that you’re as full of hot air as he is.

  3. Thanks mirabeau. Best to leave him to reflexively gainsay somebody else’s comments, I think. I think he genuinely is unable to follow; whether from self-denial or stupidity I’m not sure

  4. Repulsive as government sponsored torture is, it is trivial in scale compared to the torture and death due to preventable and curable disease among the uninsured. There libertarians tend to ally just as vilely with conservatives in opposing universal health insurance.
    If you want to oppose both, progressivism is the best route.

  5. Mike,
    How about the “torture and death due to the preventable” Road to Serfdom that “progressives” like Obama and yourself are whipping us along.

  6. Will, do you know what the US government is doing this very day? Blowing men, women, and children to bits and not just causing them pain, but ending their consciousness.
    Why not complain about that? Sorry, but I’m less concerned about a few hundred detainees than the other tragedies that happen in war.

  7. Well, whaddyaknow, it looks like the one man here who doesn’t understand Liberty is the only one willing or able to defend it, and that you greater minds and truer believers here are as as immobilized by the one attack upon it as the other.

  8. Sometimes you have to do things to survive.
    Our system works when enough of the people running government have enough of the Judeo-Christian morals that are part of our founding philosophy so as to make sure we are making progress and that we are safe.
    Life is filled with gray areas. The trick is to be able to decide what is right or wrong in any situation based on ones morals. Again, our system has worked so well precisely because the the country has had enough people with similar morals.
    Consistent morals have been a key part of our success.
    (BTW, while I am no expert on Greenwald, I haven’t agreed with much of what I have read.)

  9. >”The trick is to be able to decide what is right or wrong in any situation based on ones morals””Consistent morals have been a key part of our success.
    Obviously our views on morality change as we progress toward a more just society. A “more perfect union”. There was at one time a moral justification for slavery in this country. The majority of the population accepted that as justifiable. Even when it was abolished it took an act of congress to end segregaton and discrimination on racial grounds. You speak of morals as if they are objectively seen by all. I hear so much from the right about their “principles” which they would never compromise. Torture is distinctly anti-American. Washington would not permit it in the revolution. If the right wing claims to be consistant with their principles, and their principles are all about America and apple pie and the 4th of July…then how do they accept and promote torture which is completely anti-American and immoral? When they do, they compromise those very principles that they claim are never compromised. That makes them hypocrites of the first magnitude.
    Just exactly how do you demonstrate your principles and your morality as being true? What methodology are you using and can you demonstrate the accuracy of that methodology?

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