What Should Laws Punish?

Re: the controversy over libertarian politics and Christianity, it seems like nothing but confusion. St Thomas summed up the core claim of the liberal tradition: laws should punish “murder, theft, and such like” but not attempt more, lest the the law create “greater evils.” MNR’s political writings–and that of the whole libertarian library–is nothing but an elaboration on that theme. As Rothbard wrote in Ethics, libertarianism does not deal with ethics per se but “only in that subset of ethics devoted to political philosophy.” It becomes tedious having to explain this again and again to people who can’t be bothered to read in the area in which they are writing.


9:28 am on June 28, 2004