Sunday, December 09, 2007

The True Liberal Is Cosmopolitan

Peter Boettke:
So when asked what alternative vision of the political future I hold than that offered by the contemporary landscape it is this --- Misesian liberalism. That we don't seem to be on a path to achieving that is a source of frustration for me. I am not whining as one of our readers suggested, I am stating a fact.

Liberalism in the hands of Mises was the "progressive" form of libertarianism that Horwitz talked about. Read Mises's Liberalism, it is a doctrine of freedom and toleration; of free trade and free thought; of free mobility of capital and labor internationally as well as domestically. A world of private property and freedom of association and contract, is a world of toleration of 'experiments in living' and entrepreneurship. The terminology of "left" and "right" is not appropriate for this, but the terms cosmopolitan and parochial may be.

Mises argued that the true liberal is a cosmopolitan. And, it is that sort of vision of the liberal argument that one can find in contemporary works in political economy and political philosophy such as Rothbard's For a New Liberty, Lavoie's National Economic Planning: What is Left?, Lomasky's Persons, Rights and Community, and Kukathus's The Liberal Archipelago.

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