Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Purer than thou art

Mike Munger took the purity test that I took exactly a year ago and got a 54 out of 160 (my score was a 50 at the time, and has subsequently declined to 41). He makes a pretty good point too:

I agree that government is evil, but like most social scientists (even economists) I think it is a necessary evil.

Indeed, I don’t even think most classical liberals argued there should be no government. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t even think institutions are inherently evil, although I’ll grant that governments that only do non-evil things are rare and even governments we retrospectively idealize for some things (for example, libertarians who look fondly on the substantive due process era) had major faults in other areas (because substantive due process was generally only applied to economic rights; if you were a black in the South, substantive due process did bupkiss for you). The Great Libertarian Paradise, like the Great Socialist Workers’ Paradise, has never come to fruition and probably never will.

Apropos of this point, the folks over at Questions and Observations are setting up a Neolibertarian Network of likeminded weblogs; go take a peek if you’re interested.