Many well-meaning critics of Libertarianism are appalled at our “everything goes” attitude. The legalization of drugs, prostitution, gambling and other “vices”, which we support, is unacceptable to them, thought not on “economic” grounds. They seek something “higher” in a political creed than mere filthy lucre. They ask: “Will this make the world a better place?” This is a valid question, and it deserves a thorough answer.
Libertarianism places Freedom as its central “value” and therefore subjects its opposite, Coercion, to thorough scrutiny. The ultimate question in politics is the limits to coercion. By valuing Freedom and Voluntary Co-operation in markets, libertarians reduce the scope of coercion to its minimum. In a libertarian order, more and more people are more and more free from government coercion. In such an order, most ordinary people would be able to live their lives without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom or a police station. This is thus a “viable political order” precisely because its foundations do not rest on coercion.
On the contrary. They rest on the firm foundations of the market, a natural institution based on mutual co-operation (in a competitive setting). Thus, there is bound to be more “order” and less “law” in a nation governed under libertarian principles. It will therefore be a “successful” political order – leaving aside the Economics and all the filthy lucre.
Secondly, we do not see Society as a monolith, nor do we accord it any metaphysical status, as the Socialists do. Our focus is the Individual. Our “science” is based on the method of monologic, on the logic of the Individual. As we see ourselves as individuals too, we only seek the most “perfect freedom” for all. Socialists, communists, Keynesians, trade unionists – they all base their “science” on group thinking and group logic.
They look upon Society in anthropomorphic terms; and since their political credo consists entirely of creating anew a “perfect society” out of the horrible bazaar-culture of today, which they do not comprehend, the realization of their political ideals requires:
- firstly, organized coercion by The State; and
- second, the subjugation of all individuals to the great Czar of Planning or some such dictator.
Even if we leave aside the Economics and the filthy lucre (and all the consumer goods it delivers to the “working classes”) this is a political credo that is bound to fail, to be unsuccessful, because it is founded on coercion.
There are limits to coercion outside the seminar rooms of Political Science. South Africa released Mandela. The Iraqis and the Afghanis have not humbly offered their heads to the American yoke. The Manipuris, Kashmiris, Naxals et. al. are at war with The State – despite all the coercion. What can Libertarianism accomplish in such a chaotic situation?
Once again, since our political ideals cannot be met by organized coercion, our only method must be moral and intellectual persuasion. We know for sure that even the most powerful and effective state constabulary cannot beat a people into submission. So we reject that method.
Our only method is “political,” in the classical sense of the word: convincing a populace that Freedom for all Individuals means a better Society as well. This blog is dedicated to that goal.