Two Libertarians Debate Foreign Policy

George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan (of the blog Econlog, author of the wonderful book The Myth of the Rational Voter) and his colleague in the Mason Law department Ilya Somin (of the Volokh conspiracy blog) debated pacifism and libertarian foreign policy this week.

Neither of these two professors focus in foreign policy, but it is nonetheless an interesting discussion relevant to readers. My opinion is that the discussion centered too much on hypotheticals and thought experiments instead of the history of U.S. foreign policy, which would have added much weight and illustration to the arguments expressed. Further, Somin is a strange kind of libertarian, one that views the overall record of American imperialism over the last century as “pretty good.” I don’t see that as libertarian at all, so at points it makes for some difficult listening, but worth it nonetheless. The audio of the debate as well as the slides both of them used can be found here. Here is a collection of Caplan’s views on the subject.


5 thoughts on “Two Libertarians Debate Foreign Policy”

  1. It takes all kinds that's for sure. I'll stick with the Lew Rockwell/Mises/Rothbard/Murray bunch. To each their own, but this bunch isn't for me.

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