Liberty and virtue are values that both conservatives and libertarians tout as components of their philosophies. Historically, disagreements about the definitions of and balance between liberty and virtue have taken a backseat to other, more pressing conflicts, causing the distinct philosophies to often be lumped together. As times have changed, elements of the old “fusionism” alliance have dissolved, and new conflicts have emerged that impose a strain on the formerly functioning, though imperfect, ideological partnership.
Recent policy issues have highlighted disagreements in areas such as the War on Drugs, national defense, welfare, immigration, marriage, foreign policy, and many others. Because of this—and especially during a heated election year—it is important to discuss the similarities and the differences between the two worldviews.
We invite you to a timely debate about the two philosophies and their associated policy applications, as interns from the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute go head-to-head to answer the perennial question: Is libertarianism or conservatism the better political philosophy?