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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Michael Lind Is Right: Libertarianism Doesn't Work

What? Has the International Libertarian gone crazy? No, here's the story. Michael Lind published a couple of articles trying desperately to discredit libertarianism. (See The Question Libertarians Just Can’t Answer and Grow Up, Libertarians) He thinks that his question addressed to libertarians, “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country anywhere in the world ever tried it?” is just devastating. Jacob Hornberger compiled a list of libertarian responses and wrote a good answer of his own in his blog entry A Response to Michael Lind.

Here is the devastating response. When Mr. Lind asks about a country he is talking about a nation-state with a government. That means all the corruption and violence that governments bring with them. That is what is at the heart of the matter.
A shirt worn by a protester illegally selling raw milk and lemonade. Is this what makes libertarianism so bad to Mr. Lind?
Could the financial institutions enjoy their cartel status without the government created Federal Reserve System? No, of course not.

Could the defense contractors enjoy their gravy train without all that government spending and warmongering? No, so libertarianism isn't for them.

Could the law enforcement and legal establishments continue to prosper without the government's war on drugs. No, true liberty would be very bad for them.

Could the people that want to live off of the welfare state continue to do so without the government's largess? No, libertarianism would mean real work instead.

Could the education establishment continue to live high on the hog without the government pouring money into its coffers? No, obviously not.

There you have it, libertarianism really doesn't work for the special interests that want to use government force to enrich themselves at others expense. It also doesn't work for the politicians who want to cater to these special interests. They can't do any of this in a free market. That's why Mr. Lind is right, since libertarianism doesn't work for all of these entrenched interests they make sure there isn't a libertarian country around. Thomas Paine summed it up in his book The Rights of Man:
the portion of liberty enjoyed in England is just enough to enslave a country more productively than by despotism, and that as the real object of all despotism is revenue, a government so formed obtains more than it could do either by direct despotism, or in a full state of freedom, and is, therefore on the ground of interest, opposed to both.
Instead of getting upset libertarians should thank Mr. Lind for his articles. No longer can statists claim that our present (and many) problems are due to some libertarian free market. Mr. Lind establishes very clearly that there is none anywhere in the world. The blame must lie elsewhere. Perhaps in the mixed economy he so loves? It looks like that is what has failed those of us not living off of the government's profligacy. Hmm...that libertarian society just keeps looking better all the time! Thank you, Mr. Lind.


  1. The problem with the libertarian concept is that it does not have an accurate view of humans. It assumes that they are rational, and that they prefer to be autonomous responsible individuals. Writers are, if not always rational, generally autonomous, responsible individuals, and they fall victim to an all to general human malady of assuming that others are like themselves or bad.

    Unfortunately, given a choice, almost all humans would rather be a member of a community, and obey its leaders. I take 6000 words to lay this out in detail. Enter the two words orwells boot into any search engine. My article will be number 1 (after paid links) usually under the name factotum666

    feel free to tell me where my conclusion, that humans are almost all, by nature, stupid authoritarians is not accurate. Please say specificially where my information or logic is in error.

    Calling me names (the above are not names, but are well defined in my essay) is not useful.

    contact me directly at dpaladin at ix dot netcom dot com

    If I am correct about the core nature of humans, then libertarianism as a culture of autonomous responsible individuals is doomed to failure. Fear not, as all is not lost. at I lay out some ideas how we may get a quasi libertarian culture. But that is closer to 40K words.

    1. The core of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle. It is the idea that the initiation of force is immoral. Any attempt to discuss libertarianism that doesn't start from there is of base. Do you think the non-aggression principle is wrong?

  2. Libertarians have transformed every country on the globe. The problem is most of the responders are libertarian fans or -oriented.

    Libertarians define three interlocking states for a Libertarian country:
    >Secular Liberal and federal democracy
    >In those Local zones and waivers
    >In those fully legalized libertarian eco-communities

    They're clearly winning--democracy is spreading, privatization and localism are also, and the legal agenda that would legalize Lib communities is well advanced in many countries.

    What you don't realize is Lind is likely reacting to the fact George McGovern joined the initial Lib local community project. The progressives are becoming Libertarians of 40 years ago and Lind hates that. So Lind is resureccting an old right-wing attack.

    For what Libertarians are doing in every country see .