• Liberty-Focused Evaluator

Government-Enforced "Social Justice and Equity" is Immoral

The field of Evaluation is intensely focused on promoting new methods and frameworks for promoting "social justice and equity." Various definitions of "social justice and equity" exist, but essentially it is the struggle to ensure that all categories of people have equal economic outcomes. Thousands of academic journal articles, blog posts, and conference talks from evaluation theorists and practitioners are dedicated to exposing the injustices of capitalism and what evaluators can do to promote equality of economic outcomes. While very few evaluation theorists come out and say "we need more government control over private property and individual decision-making," they often do say that capitalism perpetuates inequality and it must be reformed or abolished. Since capitalism is essentially the freedom to own private property and voluntarily exchange goods and services, the only conclusion we can reach is that these evaluation theorists want to use the coercive power of the State to restrict private property rights and voluntary exchange of goods and services. For the liberty-focused evaluator, such expansions of government power are immoral and should be rejected.

The foundation of libertarianism is the "non-aggression axiom" or the "non-aggression principle." Murray Rothbard in his book "For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto" offers this definition of the non-aggression axiom: "that no man or group of men may aggress against the person or property of anyone else...'Aggression' is defined as the initiation of the use or threat of physical violence against the person or property of anyone else" (Rothbard, 1978, p. 27). Libertarian philosophy is not just a list of political policies that libertarians like or don't like; libertarian philosophy is a system of morality. Human beings have the right to own their bodies and own their possessions that have been produced through their labor or obtained through voluntary transactions. Actions that most people today believe are immoral, such as murder, rape, and theft, are immoral because they violate private property rights. Government should have no authority to violate the private property rights of peaceful individuals. Aggression can only be used to prevent one person from violating the private property of another. Rothbard (1978) further explains that "since the libertarian also opposes invasion of the rights of private property, this also means that he just as emphatically opposes government interference with property rights or with the free-market economy through controls, regulations, subsidies, or prohibitions...The libertarian favors the right to unrestricted private property and free exchange; hence, a system of 'laissez-faire' capitalism" (p. 27-28).

Since the theories, policies, and programs supported by many evaluation theorists in the name of promoting "social justice and equity" violate the non-aggression principle through using government coercion for taxation, restricting trade, restricting terms of contracts, etc., the liberty-focused evaluator rejects this method of achieving social justice and equity. If one cares about creating more economic equity, then this must be accomplished through voluntary means, in which people freely give of their time and resources to help those in need.



Rothbard, Murray (1978). For a new liberty: The libertarian manifesto, Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL

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