I love this list of features of libertarianism—which are each “at odds with traditional Catholic moral and social doctrine to varying degree”:
A negative conception of liberty and rights, egoism (often verging on solipsism), association of authority with regression and repression, antinomianism, suspicion of community and common good, absolute conception of private property, valorization of competition, suspicion of custom and tradition, automatic order or “invisible hands,” anti-institutionalism, suspicion of hierarchical morality, and obviously a negative conception of government and distrust of governmental action.
At odds, indeed.
At the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies conference on libertarianism earlier this month, IPR Director Steve Schneck addressed the topic of libertarianism and politics, moving beyond the more narrow focus on economics and economic justice that was the focus of Cardinal Rodriguez’s keynote (watch here) and the first panel, which included Millennial’s Meghan Clark (watch here). Mark Shields then followed with a response to Schneck’s speech.
Schneck provided some historical context to the case against libertarianism, highlighting libertarianism’s roots, including its connection to the Enlightenment:
Libertarianism is best understood as epitomizing the Enlightenment. It shares in the Enlightenment’s anti-clericalism, suspicion of tradition and custom, and humanistic values. Most importantly it shares in the Enlightenment’s confidence that there is a kind of automatic Reason that can be relied upon for order in human life.
He argued that the central features of libertarianism have not…
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