I found Paul Treanor while trying to find critiques of Libertarianism. This was at the time when Ron Paul's face was plastering the internet on both sides of the issue. That makes sense since Libertarians aren't sure either!
I liked it when one Ron Paul supporter decried his opponents as Libertarians!
Which leads to the fact that I have always had a dislike for Libertarianism which has been made stronger since there is no real definition of the ideology: it can range from minarchist to openly anarchist. Of course, this is a right wing anarchy where large corporations can dump toxins into the drinking water in order to sell bottled water. These are the folks who will keep you perpetually in debt in the name of a free market.
This diversity of libertarian viewpoints can make it quite difficult to have a coherent discussion about it, because an argument that is valid for or against one type of libertarianism may not apply to other types.
It is very hard to find any literature about libertarianism that was NOT written by its advocates. This isolation from normal political discourse makes it difficult to evaluate libertarian claims without much more research or analysis than most of us have time.
Many libertarian arguments are like fundamentalist arguments: they depend upon restricting your attention to a very narrow field so that you will not notice that they fail outside of that field. For example, fundamentalists like to restrict the argument to the bible. Libertarians like to restrict the argument to their notions of economics, justice, history, and rights and their misrepresentations of government and contracts.
Widen the scope, and their questionable assumptions leap into view. Why should I accept that "right" as a given? Is that a fact around the world, not just in the US? Are there counter examples for that idea? Are libertarians serving their own class interest only? Is that economic argument complete, or are there other critical factors or strategies which have been omitted? When they make a historical argument, can we find current real-world counterexamples? If we adopt this libertarian policy, there will be benefits: but what will the disadvantages be? Are libertarians reinventing what we already have, only without safeguards?
Interesting that this subject is now turning toward rights, especially since Paul Treanor's comments on rights form a basis for my comments in my Rights post. Indeed, most of the libertarian concepts are bastard progeny of the arguments that led to the American War for Independence: in particular the concept of government by consent. Despite propaganda to the contrary, that is not a conservative idea, but a liberal one. Conservativism, by its nature believes in slow and calculated change rather than a radical shakeup of the system.
Anyway, I find Paul Treanor to be interesting from a myriad of reasons especially since we share an interest in Urban, environment, planning. Besides, I like the way the man thinks.
To bad he is next to impossible to locate!