In Defense of Mises's Utilitarianism

The sound utilitarian does not say the purpose of a moral code should be social utility. But rather the purpose of moral codes are and always have been ultimately social utility. In this way, utilitarianism, strictly speaking, is more about "meta-ethics" than "ethics."

If thought leaders realize that, for example, a liberal moral code (both as a whole, and in its constituent parts) is more socially expedient than alternative codes, and they convince the general populace of that fact, this revolution in public opinion would engender a revolution in the prevailing moralit

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The Utilitarian Foundation of Morality

The libertarian who uses both approaches will argue from two different sets of grounds to arrive at the same conclusion. Many libertarians simply welcome the thought that their rhetorical armory has two expansive wings, and pay little regard to if and how the two wings are connected. But when two different approaches to a question happen to arrive at the same answer, the hand tends to drift toward Ockham's razor. The suspicion arises that one approach can ultimately be resolved into the other.

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Why Liberalism?

The liberal order of society involves private property, first-user appropriation (homesteading), contracting, producing, and the continuous legal ownership of that which one has homesteaded, contracted for, or produced, even if the owner is not the one physically manipulating it.

This kind of order, even in early, primitive stages, results in capital accumulation and material enrichment. If maintained and adhered to strictly enough, the liberal order ultimately results incapitalism: a social system of production characterized by economic calculation, effective coordination among billions of strangers, mass production for the masses, and seemingly miraculous strides in the improvement of human welfare.

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False Choices and the True Dilemma

On that day, on the eve of the French Revolution, not only was the modern political world born, but so was its terminology. To this day, politics is bisected into a "left wing" and "right wing." Much digital ink is daily spilled in vain on the web over the "best" distinction between "right" and "left." Now, with regard to specific, fleeting political agendas, vague distinctions like this make sense. Movable umbrella terms are necessary, because legislation involves shifting coalitions of people who do not agree on every single point. The trouble starts when the terminology of the political moment is imported wholesale into the language of science, in which precise, fixed distinctions are called for. The left/right divide is downright confusing for social science.

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