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.