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Editor's Pick

David Boaz: A Life Well Lived

Aaron Steelman

David Boaz was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever met. He was a great conveyor of ideas, a witty conversationalist, and an omnivore of ideas.

And, of course, he was a libertarian. When I asked him how he came to his ideological views, he said, “I think instinctually I always was a libertarian. It just took me a while to fully get it.” Well, once he got it, he really got it.

Some have argued that the key question for libertarians is: “Do you hate the state?” I think David felt something like hatred – “contempt” would be a better word – when, for instance, the state imprisoned people for hurting no one but themselves and when it locked families in cycles of poverty. But I believe David would have framed the question differently: “Do you love humanity?”

He did not claim that liberty should be the highest personal value. But he did think it was the highest political value because it permitted people to pursue their ends as they best saw fit, to be fully human. He was correct about that, as he was so many things.

It was one of the great fortunes of my life to have known David for 30 years. He was a true and steadfast friend with a magnanimous spirit. I will miss him dearly.

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