Policy Forum

Debate: Libertarianism vs. Conservatism

July 18, 2012 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM EDT

Hayek Auditorium

Featuring Cato Institute Interns, and Heritage Foundation Interns; with an introduction by Chip Bishop, Director of Student Programs, Cato Institute; moderated by Tim Carney, Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner.

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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 back seat 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.

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 back seat 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.

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?