Sheldon Richman on the Inherently Humble Libertarian


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You would think that the advocates of a philosophy of political economy that embraces spontaneous social order, bottom-up rule-making based on peaceful voluntary exchange, and even competing polycentric law at least at some level would be safe from the charge of conceit. How conceited can someone be who forswears compelling other people to live in certain ways, expressing a willingness — no, an eagerness — to leave that to peaceful cooperation among free individuals? Making the "knowledge problem" a centerpiece of one's worldview is hardly the mark of arrogance. Quite the contrary, writes Sheldon Richman. Yet critics of the libertarian philosophy throw the charge of know-it-allness at its exponents all the time.