Before any expression of disbelief or outrage, you owe it to any study of sound argumentation to read through Will Wilkerson’s latest piece over at the Niskanen Center. Engaging and provocative is all I can say. You’ll learn much.
Some of the reaction to my post suggests that the reflexive hostility to socialism as an inherently anti-liberty force is alive and well on the right. But it is an unthinking hostility, full of the sort of atavistic tribal passion that makes it so incredibly hard to talk rationally about politics. Vernon’s gesture toward the role of socialists in the ACLU and the civil rights and anti-war movements suggests why this hostility is mistaken, as does the high level of lived freedom enjoyed by the denizens of egalitarian social democracies, such as Denmark and Sweden, which show the empirical congruence of liberal socialism and liberty. If you’re not ready to consider the possibility that the politics of a liberal socialist like Bernie Sanders might be on the whole more pro-liberty than, say, Ted Cruz’s, then you’re simply not ready to think seriously about the politics of liberty.
For the record: Sanders would be a disaster on economic grounds. He ignores Denmark’s free market streak.
Update: Megan McArdle thinks Will Wilkerson is wrong.