Saturday, July 7, 2018

Is Libertarianism Utopian?

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Moreover, the leftist/statist frenzy has now descended into being such a farce that political satirists are finding it too difficult to make things up – and that what they previously considered as far fetched jokes based on just a kernel of truth are inflating into full blown reality.

Libertarianism – and any political position that leans towards a greater degree of freedom from the state – is opposed both ethically and economically on a number of substantive grounds. The proposition that without the state we would have inequality, destitution for the masses, rampant greed, and so on is a familiar charge which attempts to point out that libertarianism is undesirableand/or unjustifiable.

A further point of opposition is that libertarianism and the drive towards it is simply utopian or idealistic, and that libertarians are hopeless day dreamers, lacking any awareness of how the world “really” works. In other words, that, regardless of whether it may be desirable, some combination of one or more of impossibility, improbability or the simple unwillingness of anyone to embrace the libertarian ideal renders libertarianism either wholly or primarily unachievable. It is this specific objection that we will address in this essay.

More @ Mises

7 comments:

  1. Blanhard Rational Will http://www.anthonyflood.com/blanshardrationalwill.htm

    Discusses this. The thing is without a state we would all be at the mercy of the least merciful.

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  2. No one can even agree on what a fully libertarian society would be like, but I will agree that markets have some obvious positives.

    And the Bill of Rights is invaluable to Americans.

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    Charity works well within a decentralised, rooted society. A centralised, transient society will be more atomised and will thus tend to rely on the welfare state to care for the weak.

    Similarly, a people can do without even a police force if in a low density area. But a larger concentration requires police to keep order. And likewise, a fairly homogeneous, religious, traditional society will require less police protection.

    But it's more complicated than that also.

    You could "achieve" most any type of society, even a functioning communist society, under the right conditions. "Communism", I imagine, would need to be very small.

    Pitcairn Island is tiny, in the middle of nowhere. Perfect place for some crazy ideology to be attempted. It needs trade with the outside world though, no matter what system is implemented.

    Even though I tend to say libertarians are quasi-religious ideologues, I certainly agree with them on many political issues today.

    A libertarian tends to believe the market is magically best. A socialist tends to believe the government is magically best. I'm inclined more to look at results and to be wary of change.

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    1. Charity works well within a decentralised, rooted society. A centralised, transient society will be more atomised and will thus tend to rely on the welfare state to care for the weak.

      A libertarian tends to believe the market is magically best. A socialist tends to believe the government is magically best. I'm inclined more to look at results and to be wary of change.

      Some goodies.

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  3. indyjonesouthereJuly 8, 2018 at 11:05 AM

    A libertarian society is impossible with a welfare state...it works fine in a state with voluntary charity.

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    1. works fine in a state with voluntary charity.

      As it did before . Thanks.

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    2. indyjonesouthere,

      I don't know if you'll see my comment, but a libertarian society, at least if similar to what we see today, tends to atomise people. It tends to encourage individuals to become "interchangeable cogs" who can be relocated to wherever is most beneficial.

      Charity, however, works better in rooted communities.

      I believe this is a valuable criticism, nothing "new" though. I see Catholic "paleoconservatives" / Catholic "Trads" make somewhat similar statements all the time.

      And Robert Nisbet's book "Quest for Community" is probably worth mentioning, just because he valued communities.

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