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1 alinuxguru  Mon, Jun 10, 2013 9:54:54am
In other words, “Why are there no libertarian countries?”

I guess the author never heard of Somalia, an anarcho-capitalist utopia. So, a better question is “Why are there no libertarian GOVERNMENTS?” And, that is an easier question to answer. Because a successful society rejects libertarians, just as the article notes, and an unsuccessful government may collapse to libertarianism.

2 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Jun 10, 2013 10:52:42am

As I’ve pointed out before, libertarianism is simply a marketing ploy. It’s a new name for an old political philosophy known as anarchism. Anarchists believe in a minimalist or non-existent government as well.

The name change frees anarchy from its historical baggage, and it sets the debate. The new label makes it appear that arguing against libertarianism is arguing against liberty itself.

Which is bullshit.

So it’s a bullshit label on a bullshit product. Unfortunately many people are eager to buy bullshit.

3 The Ghost of a Flea  Mon, Jun 10, 2013 12:04:06pm

Libertarians are as much Social Darwinists as they are anarchists.

At least in the US context I’m familiar with, libertarianism views government as some kind of especial social organization grouping, that stands apart—and is worse than—other social structures. But they have no coping mechanisms for redressing the manner in which other social structures—both formal and informal—act in the same fashion as an according-to-Hoyle government.

Hence their level of -fail- on stuff like the Civil Rights Act. They either don’t understand or don’t care that implicit systems—such as Jim Crow, which involved not only acts by state officials, but nudge-and-a-wink conspiracy to circumvent the law by creating a bloc of white tradesman and officials that maintained a divided, unequal white/black social order extralegally—are just as powerful as explicit ones…and most importantly, that the latter is the only tool with which to fight the former.

Same problem with corporations under libertarianism: a “privatized” government function doesn’t actually cease to be governance, its just that authority has been transplanted to an organization with less accountability. Look at private security versus police, or “security contractors” (mercenaries) versus soldiers. In the theoretically “nightwatchman state,” the slack will be picked up by quasi-governmental institutions that service not the general population, but the specific needs of paying clients.

The final flaw is that libertarianism in its modern form is generally the voice of privilege and ahistoricity. The “freedom” they propose is a void into which those with power…money, force, influence…can further extend themselves, while those without power are forced into dependence upon affiliation…often at great cost. In a political void such as a frontier or a colony, what arises isn’t an egalitarian system, it’s feudalism in all-but-name.

4 SidewaysQuark  Mon, Jun 10, 2013 12:19:00pm

I have no issue with the credo that the government shouldn’t directly compete with responsible private business interests and investments. However, one is blind to history if they can’t see that most of the development of natural preservation, infrastructure, research and development, space exploration, etc. was developed by government BECAUSE there was no competing investment from private industry, and that these programs have benefited us immensely.

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