… Quite interestingly, Narveson suggests, and seems to endorse, a sort of grounds thickness in his discussion of voluntary charity, suggesting that valuing others for their own sake would seem to ground both libertarianism and a commitment to (voluntary) charity. I think that’s almost certainly right; but I simply don’t see how that doesn’t commit Narveson, on this point, to a very thick sort of thick libertarianism — if the reasons for libertarianism are also reasons for charity then libertarians can’t reasonably be stingy, even if it would be perfectly consistent with the non-aggression principle to do so. Any number of things — racism, sexism, feminism, labor strikes, strike breaking, monotheism, atheism, homophobia, homosexuality, etc. have all, at one time or another, been alleged to conflict with the sort of generalized respect for persons that Narveson seems to draw on in order to connect libertarianism with voluntary charity; and if any of those cases can be made, then it seems like Narveson has allowed for a very thick set of thick commitments. Is this a problem for Narveson (and thus a reason to reconsider what he says about charity), or an opportunity (and thus a reason to reconsider what he says about thickness), or have I simply failed to grasp a distinction that he wants to draw?
Broadly speaking, I’d be interested to know what Narveson takes to be problematic in versions of libertarianism that urge a pretty robust set of commitments beyond pure and simple non-aggression. Is it a general problem in principle with some of the kinds of thickness discussed, or is it merely a specific problem in fact with the particular programs he’s seen suggested as companion pieces to libertarianism? (After all, he does seem to accept a pretty thick variety of thickness when he discusses the virtue of charity.) If libertarianism needs to slim down, which specific varieties of thickness does it need to avoid—and what’s the health benefit to doing so?