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Libertarian Limitations


The Review of The House that Burned Down: How Greed, Delusion and Delusion Corrupted Libertarian Philosophy Andrew Koppelman (320 pages), Macmillan (October 2022).

Andrew Koppelman “was not reading libertarian writers in a generous spirit” when he undertook to investigate libertarian thought, he writes in the Introduction This is his eighth book. Burning Down The House: How Libertarian Philosophy Was Corrupted By Greed and Delusion. “I was predisposed for a fight. So I was surprised to discover that, while some of them were as callous as I had expected, others were animated by a deep humanitarian impulse, tied to powerful and persuasive arguments about how economies work.”

Friedrich Hayek, whom Koppelman considers to be the founder of the libertarian movement, “clearly reflected that impulse” and “made the case for tolerating substantial inequalities of wealth better than anyone I’d read before.” Koppelman is a Professor of Law and of Political Science at Northwestern University, a civil libertarian, and the author of books on antidiscrimination law, gay rights, same-sex marriage, healthcare reform, and religious liberty. He declares himself to be “a pro-capitalist leftist” and acknowledges that his…

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