Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 421, June 10, 2007

"Truth gets slaughtered, over and over again, every day."


Why libertarianism fails (so far)
by Jim Davidson

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

Adam Knott has written a very interesting essay on the subject of libertarianism. My friends at the International Society for Individual Liberty have posted a copy here: The Present State of Liberty

Among other things, Mr. Knott details:

He writes, "Contemporary libertarianism cannot succeed in its present form for three primary reasons:

"1. Much of contemporary libertarianism accepts the principle of political monopolism, a principle opposed to individual liberty."

Political monopolism covers a lot of ground. Among other things, one of the problems with the current political order is that if someone is elected, say, president, of the country in which you live, even if you didn't vote, that person claims to represent you. He doesn't actually represent you, because you have no agency contract with him. He lies about representing you. And, instead, what he does is he rules you. He does what he thinks best, and if you don't happen to agree, he ignores your wishes and does it anyway. In some instances, to the point of killing those who disagree with his policies.

Obviously, seizing control of the reigns of the state, as the Libertarian Party proposes, or as Ron Paul proposes, is "better than nothing" in the sense that having someone sensible holding the reigns of the state would be a good thing. But, it would not be the best thing. The best thing would be to give up this idiotic idea that a politician gets elected and actually has any contractual obligation to do the things he promised when he was campaigning. It would be best to stop demanding a system that imposes government on those who don't wish to vote. It would be best to stop accepting the idea that someone elected to represent you is doing so if you didn't vote for him.

Knott writes, "2. Contemporary libertarianism still thinks in terms of geographic government, while a geographic conception of government is incompatible with the principles of liberty."

It is stupid to demand that everyone in a given area be governed, will they or won't they, by the same gang. Geographic government is coercive. Fools who speak of secure borders and loss of national sovereignty should take a long hard look at their assumptions. You are wrong to demand that everyone in the same area speak the same language, follow the same religion, or pray to the same concept of government. It is you. You are at fault. You are in the wrong. Deny it if you must, but your denial does not resolve the problem.

You have no just power over others. You have no right to impose your will on others. You have many reasons not to do so. You are better off if you leave others more alone, and you are more likely to be left alone if you do so. You are better off with less government, and only such government as obtains the mutual consent of all those who are governed.

So, cut it out. The religious wars in Europe ought to have taught you stupid people a lesson. You ought to have realized that demanding an established church and listening to evil men demand that others obey their religious tenets is wrong. You ought to have learned not to kill other people for praying in a different manner. If you haven't learned these things, shame on you. Tens of millions of dead men and women's souls look upon your ignorance with sadness.

And, for exactly the same reason that it made no sense to kill people for engaging in acts of worship that were different from the demands of the established church, it makes no sense to demand that everyone obey the same government. It is time to let go of these idiotic ideas about compulsion. It doesn't work. It didn't make you a better child to be beaten with your father's belt. It only made you more careful not to attract his attention. If coercion failed to improve you, why is it good for everyone else? Why do you want a motherland that betrays you and beats you, or a fatherland that beats you and yells at you? Why not be an adult and lead your own life? Free yourself and take your own choices.

Finally, Knott notes, "3. Contemporary libertarianism does not know how to conceive of political change without voting, yet the principles underlying the act of voting are hostile to individual liberty."

Voting is madness. I've written extensively about that fact. If you think you are changing anything by voting, you are mistaken. If you think voting is the best way to choose anything, you are crazy. Voting is nuts.

Jim Davidson is an author, newsletter editor, gold enthusiast, entrepreneur, and computer whiz. He's involved in business enterprises in several different countries. His favorite today is

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