Is Black Swan Law Theory Inherently Libertarian?

January 31st, 2012

I previously addressed whether opposition to black swan laws is inherently libertarian, or can it be considered Burkean. Let me take this from a slightly different angle.

Opposition to black swan laws will generally be libertarian and Burkean at the same time. It is Burkean in the sense that you oppose radical change without due deliberations. It is libertarian is the sense that you oppose new (and really more) laws. It has been the tendency of our society to over-legislate following disasters, not under-legislate/repeal existing laws/make us freer.

But, I could imagine a scenario where some crisis strikes, and in the immediate reaction, society senses that the cause–and not the solution–to the problem was government regulation. So, in the heat of the moment, black swan laws are rushed through which roll back the laws which purportedly caused the problem. (Bear with me, I imagine this is not too probably, as governments tend to aggrandize, rather than abdicate their power). In such a case, opposition to the law would indeed be Burkean, but it would not be libertarian, for you are against what is generally a libertarian ideal–rolling back regulation.

So I suppose the principled Burkean adverse to black swan laws would oppose them regardless of whether they are libertarian (rolling back laws) or statist (adding laws).

So, opposing black swans need not be inherently libertarian so long as  the possibility exists that after emergencies, the rash reaction is to reduce the power of the law.