Let us now attack, ridicule, and point out the weaknesses of a
philosophy that has gotten a free ride for too long: the utopian
zit known as "libetarianism".
People who believe in libetarianism believe in an ideal world
where all decisions are made by pure economic self-interest. They
believe that if there were no government, that anarchy would
naturally lead to a peaceful state of universal harmony. If only we
couild get rid of the fire department, police department, and all
deliberative bodies, then humanitys naturally angelic side would
come out and show itself.
Libetarianism starts with an ideal state. It says that one day, long
ago, everyone was a rugged individual living in a cabin with a gun,
a dog, and intense solitude. These individuals needed nothing from
others. They were totally self-sufficient. How they got there, no
one knows. However it was, it sure wasn't with the help of anyone
else. It was a rather autistic world in those days.
So, there I am, in my cabin, with no social skills. Then it occurs to
me that I'd like to have your cabin, too. What's to stop me,
besides you? If I defeat you, it's mine, right? There is no law, after
all. There is no society. Only isolated individuals.
So I go over and shoot you, and your land is mine. Well that was
easy. I start accumulating lots of land this way, because I am more
of a ruthless psycho than my neighbors, and this gives me an
advantage. Eventually it occurs to me that I could keep some of
these others alive as long as they'd give all their labor to me. Voila!
I have slaves. A libetarian paradise is born.
There is no law but the gun and the shock of ruthless self-interest.
In the real world, this would be most like Somalia, or rural Pakistan
- currently stateless areas as of this writing (2007). These are the
places that best exemplify what happens when libetarianism is put
into practice. Stateless, they are therefore ideal for the more
powerful warlords to rule over the less powerful local terrorists.
Meanwhile, the common people cower or go along to survive.
Let's start with another scenario. Let's start with todays world, as
it is, and slowly turn it into a libetarian paradise. Let's defund
roads, schools, police, fire departments, all law-making bodies and
courts, no public health care or social security of any kind. Of course,
you can see how this will lead to an ideal world.
Libetarianism is an idealist fantasy, founded on a fallacy, and
supported by ignorance. Like the Easter Bunny, it is pleasant enough
to believe in, but not practical to count on when taken seriously. It's
kind of a geek thing - like believing in Star Wars. Serious people are
not libetarians, not really.
Serious people may toy with the idea as an amusement, but soon
realize its limitations in reality, and set it aside. Never trust an old
libetarian - they have a screw loose, or a disengenuous axe to grind.
In other words - they're liars or they're nuts. Avoid them. If they're
not taken seriously, they're harmless. If taken seriously, they are
very dangerous. Public policy should not be based on fantasy.
Libetarians are coddled by the media. This is because they're
entertaining, and they have some positions that appeal to almost
all parts of the political spectrum. So, they are for not stupid drug
laws - yay from the left! They are against all taxes - yay from the
right! But those cartoonish positions mask the problems that lie
underneath this philosophy that show through if you so much as
dust its surface.
A few of the false premises of libetarianism:
- The assumption that lawlessness leads to order.
- The assumption that all humans started on an even playing field.
- The casual acceptance of cruel ends to the "losers" of the game
(No medical care for the poor, no justice for the weak.)
- The assumption that an individual can find a better life for himself
alone, rather than with the support of a group.
- The assumption that human achievement can be done without
support of a community.
Libetarianism is the philosophy of curious fourteen year olds, the
temporary stance of a person with no real life experience. It is the
classic "sounds like a good idea until you think about it" idea.