Thanks to Carl and Pete for some very thoughtful posts on LIBERTARIANISM.
While I don’t care about Will Wilkinson as such, I will agree with Pete that he is representative of a trend among sophisticated young people: A kind of individualism that might be more evidence still of the victory of GLOBAL CAPITALISM. Anti-religion, anti-patriotism, contemptuous of the values of ordinary people, and South-hating, but pro-entrepreneurial, pro-technology, pro-urbanity, pro-diversity (of lifestyles), and pro-paternalistic and nudging fairly minimalist welfare state.
We can call this the faux-sophisticated/techno/Silicon wing of the Democratic party. There is no RANDIANISM here, for this kind of libertarian is too domesticated to think of himself HEROICALLY. And, let’s face it (and someone tell the KOCH BROTHERS and the BB&T bankers), RANDIANISM is obsolete, because COLLECTIVISM is obsolete. It’s hard to see what’s admirable about this new libertarian, except for the industriousness and techno-inventiveness.
Carl is right that trends in libertarian theory flow from LOCHNER and LAWRENCE–from my view the twin pillars of Lockeanism. It’s hard to call those LIBERTARIANS consistently ANTI-PROGRESSIVE, because LAWRENCE is so insistently PROGRESSIVE. And you’d have to add to Carl’s analysis libertarian CYBER/DIGITAL-TECHNOPHILIA and increasingly unrepressed TRANSHUMANISM. There’s nothing more PROGRESSIVE, if you think about it, than TRANSHUMANISM. I would also add, as I have in the past, the affinities between libertarianism and Marxism in terms of goals–the various withering aways… As John Lennon sang, IMAGINE…
All the above was written quickly and without regard for ordinary prudence. But, you know, I’m on vacation.