The Case for Voluntary Private Cooperation

Editor’s Pick. Written by Michael Munger.

When I tell Duke freshmen my version of the argument for liberty, they often scoff, “If this is right, how come I’ve never heard it before?” I try to be conciliatory. I offer the kids time to go text their parents. They need to sue those elite private high schools for failing to educate them in even the basics of how societies work, and why so many societies fail to work.

Okay, so that’s not all that conciliatory. And my answer plays to mixed reviews, at best.

But it’s the truth. How can it be that some of the world’s most educated young people have never heard the concise version of the argument for voluntary private cooperation? I want to present here the version I have found most useful. And by “useful” I mean profoundly unsettling to people who hear it for the first time.

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