Libertarianism What Everyone Needs To Know Analysis

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Title: Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know Author(s): Gary Chartier Source: Independent Review. 17.4 (Spring 2013): p607. Document Type: Book review Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2013 Independent Institute Full Text: * Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know By Jason Brennan New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. xviii, 214. $74.00 cloth, $16.95 paperback. Jason Brennan's Libertarianism is an excellent book. It offers an accessible overview of libertarian positions in philosophy, economics, and politics. It is ecumenical, treating diverse libertarian options fairly. Moreover, the attractiveness of Brennan's exposition of libertarian ideas makes his book an outstanding one to offer to someone who wonders who libertarians…show more content…
He notes, for example, that hard libertarians are not insensitive to the importance of consequences. And he explains libertarian anarchist views clearly and sympathetically, noting anarchism's moral and political attractions and responding helpfully to common objections to anarchism. (His own view seems to be that whether anarchism is finally defensible is an open question, with the answer depending mostly on the likely consequences, but with statists bearing the burden of proof, so that if anarchism is viable, support for the state is…show more content…
Brennan's response is outstanding. He underscores the reality that "corporations and the financial elite have captured ... [the power over the economy that the moderate statist left has claimed for the federal government] for their own advantage" (p. 117), emphasizing that "when we increase government power over corporations, corporations in turn capture that power to benefit themselves. To increase government power over corporations is to increase corporate power" (p. 118). He notes the revolving door between the corridors of state and corporation, insists that "It]he United States does not have, and has never had, a free market" (p. 119), and makes the especially radical point that corporate size is a function of state intervention in the economy--making clear, in effect, that corporate behemoths depend for their existence on the exercise of state power (pp.

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