I must say that Tyler got the better of this deal, because one vote ain’t worth much. I know a lot of people who’d sell theirs for a ham sandwich. But then again, Brad didn’t have to give up much – he just had to state the truth.
Lynne Kiesling offered the following commentary, which is what really got me thinking:
After reading all of this, though, I continue to think that an argument for classical liberalism over modern liberalism cannot be premised on pragmatic/utilitarian/consequentialist terms alone. I think the question to pose to Brad is this: do you want a social environment based on the primacy of the individual and on negatively-defined rights? I think that core philosophical question will always separate the mutton from the lamb, so to speak.Here’s why Lynne’s mistaken: Tyler’s proffered deal was accepted, whereas I strongly suspect Lynne’s would have been rejected. Why? Because deontological arguments are simply not as persuasive as consequentialist arguments to the vast majority of people. Given a choice between (a) closing a deal that would result in a somewhat more libertarian society and (b) losing a deal that would have resulted in a very libertarian society if it had just been accepted, I’ll take the first one.