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IPFS News Link • Philosophy: Libertarianism

Anti-Mask Isn't Libertarian

•, by Jacob G. Hornberger

Some people, including virtually everyone in the government, have argued that masks inhibit the spread of the coronavirus. Others have maintained the contrary, or have maintained that it's their own business as to whether they wear a mask or not.

Throughout the controversy, there have been a number of libertarians who have taken the anti-mask position. Some of them say that that's the position that is consistent with the freedom principles of the libertarian philosophy.

Such libertarians are in error, however. The libertarian philosophy is neither anti-mask nor pro-mask. Libertarianism does not dictate how people should exercise their freedom. The philosophy simply holds that people should be free to decide this issue for themselves.

What about government edicts, orders, laws, and regulations requiring people to wear masks under various circumstances? That's an entirely different matter, and it depends what those circumstances are.

If the federal government, for example, issues a regulation that requires people who enter federal buildings to wear a mask, there is no violation of libertarian principles. As the owner of its buildings, the federal government has the authority to run them in any reasonable way it deems fit.

What if a President Biden issues an edict requiring every private business in t