Libertarian Judgmentalism a contradiction?

You’d think so the way Libertarians seem to think they can’t possibly pass judgment on anything lest it contradict their libertarian ideology.  David Harsanyi thinks otherwise.  In Praise of Libertarian Judgmentalism is the title of a recent article at The Federalist which salutes Colorado’s new law legalizing “recreational” use of small amounts of marijuana and also calls for stigmatizing it.  Ditto with prostitution — make it legal but not socially acceptable.  One of the best sentences I read lately goes like this: “Hey Libertarians, you can celebrate the fact people are free without celebrating the stupid things they do with their freedom.

Sums it up nicely.

Another sentence I liked the first time I read it several decades ago is this from John Milton’s Aeropagitica: “Impunity and remissness, for certain, are the bane of a commonwealth; but here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.”

“Libertarian judgmentalism” is not at all similar to “libertarian paternalism,” which has more affinity with “medical marijuana.”  The proponents of both libertarian paternalism and medical marijuana are frauds, the former being a euphemism for government control over every nook and cranny of private life, and the latter a euphemism for getting what you need to get stoned, not cured. But libertarian judgmentalism is not a euphemism for anything and is not meant to deceive anyone in by masking more government in people’s live.  The judgmental part is wholly voluntary on the individual to decide whether they want to be tolerant without being amoral at the same time.

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