Neoclassical Liberalism
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Neoclassical Liberalism

Neoclassical liberalism,[1][2] also referred to as Arizona School liberalism[1][3] and bleeding-heart libertarianism,[4] is a libertarian political philosophy[3] that focuses on the compatibility of support for civil liberties and free markets on the one hand and a concern for social justice and the well-being of the worst-off on the other. Adherents of neoclassical liberalism broadly hold that an agenda focused upon individual liberty will be of most benefit to the economically weak and socially disadvantaged.[5]


The first known use of the term "Arizona School" was by Andrew Sabl, introducing David Schmidtz at a UCLA Department Colloquium in 2012. Upon being pressed to define "Arizona School" Sabl said the school is broadly libertarian but that its most distinguishing characteristic is that it produces political philosophy that aims to be observation-based and empirically accountable. The first recorded use of the term bleeding-heart libertarian seems to have been in a 1996 essay by Roderick T. Long.[6] It was subsequently used in a blog post by Stefan Sharkansky[7] and later picked up and elaborated on by Arnold Kling in an article for TCS Daily.[8] Since then, the term has been used sporadically by a number of libertarian writers including Anthony Gregory[9] and Bryan Caplan.[10]

In March 2011, a group of academic philosophers, political theorists and economists created the Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog.[4] Regular contributors to the blog include Fernando Tesón, Gary Chartier, Jason Brennan, Roderick T. Long and Steven Horwitz.


Critics of the bleeding-heart libertarian movement include economist David D. Friedman, for whom bleeding-heart libertarians "insist that social justice ought to be part of libertarianism but are unwilling to tell us what it means."[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b Brennan, Jason (2012). Libertarianism: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0199933914.
  2. ^ Matt Zwolinski and John Tomasi, "A Bleeding Heart History of Libertarianism", April 2, 2012, Cato Unbound.
  3. ^ a b Neoclassical liberal philosophers such as David Schmidtz, Jerry Gaus, John Tomasi, Kevin Vallier, Matt Zwolinski and Jason Brennan all have a connection to the University of Arizona (cf. "On the ethics of voting" Archived 2018-09-07 at the Wayback Machine, 3:AM Magazine, January 14, 2013).
  4. ^ a b Zwolinski, Matt (2011-03-03). "Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism". Bleeding Heart Libertarians blog.
  5. ^ "About Us". Bleeding Heart Libertarians.
  6. ^ Long, Roderick (1996). "Beyond the Boss". Retrieved .
  7. ^ Sharkansky, Stefan (2002-06-01). "My Blog and Welcome to It". Retrieved .
  8. ^ Kling, Arnold (2003-09-29). "Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism". Archived from the original on 2012-05-19. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Gregory, Anthony. "Don't Privatize Plunder". Archived from the original on 2015-06-18. Retrieved .
  10. ^ Caplan, Bryan. "Who's More Irresponsible?". EconLog. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  11. ^ Henderson, David (2012-04-28). "David Friedman on Bleeding-Heart Libertarianism". EconLog. Missing or empty |url= (help)


  • Jeffrey Edward Green (2016), The Shadow of Unfairness: A Plebeian Theory of Liberal Democracy, Oxford University Press.
  • Jason Brennan, Bas van der Vossen, David Schmidtz, eds. (2017), The Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism, Routledge: "Libertarianism and the Welfare State" by Matt Zwolinski.

Further reading

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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