This essay from Dr. Higgs is fantastic. Do we prefer liberty because the outcomes are superior? Or because of the moral imperative for individual liberty? Well, both. But I originally leaned toward the former. Over the years I have come to embrace the latter. At this point, I would embrace liberty and libertarianism even if the outcomes turned out to be inferior.
I once read (can’t recall where) a quote that said something to the effect of: “The case for free markets is ultimately a moral one.”
Do read the essay, it’s wonderful.
Freedom: Because It Works or Because It’s Right? – The Beacon: If we are ever to attain a free society, we must persuade a great many of our fellows that it is simply wrong for any individuals or groups, by violence or the threat thereof, to impose their demands on others who have committed no crime and violated no one’s just rights, and that it is just as wrong for the persons who compose the state to do so as it is for you and me. In the past, the great victories for liberty flowed from precisely such an approach—for example, in the anti-slavery campaign, in the fight against the Corn Laws (which restricted Great Britain’s free trade in grains), and in the struggle to abolish legal restrictions on women’s rights to work, own property, and otherwise conduct themselves as freely as men. At the very least, libertarians should never concede the moral high ground to those who insist on coercively interfering with freedom: the burden of proof should always rest on those who seek to bring violence to bear against innocent people, not on those of us who want simply to be left alone to live our lives as we think best, always respecting the same right for others.
Related links re: Dr. Higgs:
Dr. Higgs Nails Right-Wing Hypocrisy
Dr. Robert Higgs On Liberty
Is War The Litmus Test For Libertarians?
‘These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear’ …