Category Archives: Stephen Holmes

Stephen Holmes and Cass Sunstein

The most ardent antigovernment libertarian tacitly accepts his own dependency on government, even while rhetorically denouncing signs of dependency in others. This double-think is the core of the American libertarian stance. Those who propagate a libertarian philosophy–such as Robert Nozick, Charles Murray, and Richard Epstein–speak fondly of the “minimal state.” But describing a political system that is genuinely capable of representing force and fraud as “minimal” is to suggest, against all historical evidence, that such a system is easy to achieve and maintain.

Stephen Holmes and Cass Sunstein, The Cost of Rights: Why Liberty Depends on Taxes, New York, 1999, p. 64