Support for the Common Good

On  8/6/2018 Stephanie Slade as Reason Magazine editor published in a Jesuit magazine

“A Libertarian Case for the Common Good”


One of the widespread misconceptions about libertarianism is that it denies the importance of community—assuming, in the words of the Notre Dame political scientist Patrick Deneen, that “the individual lives, or could live, in splendid isolation” from others. Another is that it preaches a selfish unconcern for the plight of one’s fellow humans, especially the least among us. If these portrayals were correct, the libertarian philosophy would indisputably not be compatible with the Catholic Church’s social doctrine—in particular with its teaching on the common good. But sneaking a peek into that Students for Liberty conference (or, for that matter, reading Reason, the magazine of “free minds and free markets” that I help edit) should make clear that, in fact, neither of those positions is integral to the libertarian worldview.

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