libertarians are made, not born

Of the very limited sample size of libertarians that I know, it seems all held some other form of ideology in the past and came to a libertarian position by way of reason.

If reason is the primary path to libertarianism, that might explain its relative obscurity (not meant to be funny).

For example, other ideologies seem to be passed down from generation to generation as effectively as religion and are intimately linked with other human associations and affinities like religion, movie stardom, status signaling (“I’m for the poor” as if others aren’t), unions and such.

I think other political ideologies are similar to religions because many that hold those ideologies seem to accept whatever it is their ideology stands for without questioning whether it actually works or not.

Libertarians have none of that going for them.

Perhaps this is what Bryan Caplan meant in this blog post on EconLog, where he ranks libertarian economists as the most productive folks to have conversations with.  Libertarian non-economists ranked third.

I think there’s a reason for this.  Of all the folks I have discussions with, libertarians are the most likely to consider that they might be wrong and are open exploring the rationale of the opposing argument for its merits or demerits.  Discussions with these types of folks can be extremely productive.

I’ve also noticed libertarians aren’t as married to their biases.  They don’t always stop when they find the answer they’re looking for.  They seem to be good at continuing to pick at something until they uncover the root-cause.

Of course, I could be wrong.


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