How Many Friedmans Does It Take To Screw In a Lightbulb?

Three: One to set out the proper methodology for lightbulb screwing, another to demonstrate, via reference to medieval Iceland, why government lightbulb installation is almost always less efficient than private lightbulb installation, and yet a third to write a book about how lightbulbs could be powered on a floating platform set to sea...

All of this is a roundabout way of saying that Patri Friedman is now blogging at No Treason.

Consequentialist radical libertarians (all three of us), take note.

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What is a Consequentialist?

What is a Consequentialist? What books or links can you provide on this topic?

I am a newbie libertarian and my english is not so good, sorry if this doesn't make sense.

Man, the Friedmans have got

Man, the Friedmans have got one hell of a gene pool going. Their average degrees per family member must be on the order of 2 or 3...

Mark (or should I call you

Mark (or should I call you "?"),

A consequentialist judges actions or policies by their good or bad consequences. Consequentialism is usually contrasted with deontology, which judges actions or policies as right or wrong based on some moral theory, regardless of the consequences. Most libertarians claim to base their beliefs on some notion of natural rights, which is a form of deontology.

Micha, By what standard do

By what standard do you judge consequences "good" or "bad"? Doesn't this judging imply some sort of "moral theory"?

John, That depends on what


That depends on what flavor of consequentialism one subscribes to. One can be a pure utilitarian, a rule utilitarian, a neoclassical economist who mixes a bit of utilitarianism with arguments of efficiency, or something else entirely.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that consequentialism is not a moral theory. But my preference for consequentialism over other moral theories is based precisely on consequentialist grounds: There is far more agreement on what constitutes desirable consequences (wealth, happiness, peace, etc.) than on what constitutes a just conception of rights.

Thanks for the shout out,

Thanks for the shout out, Micha. Perhaps we can proselytize successfully in the blogosphere.

Mark - I'm writing up my political viewpoints for a No Treason post right now.

Andrew - getting degrees is easy. Matching the quality and quantity of their books is going to be a lot tougher...