Once someone see’s the light, they usually rejects the modern Democrat and Republican Parties and declare themselves libertarian. This can be a long process like any other evolution, but once firmly entrenched with libertarian principles and philosophies, the truth can never be unlearned. The reality of self-ownership and the principle of non-aggression become firmly held beliefs, and nature repetitively proves your thesis upon observation. This type of reassurance in your ideology, and the confidence of principled argument make certain that once the value of liberty is discovered, it can not be rejected.
This post has expanded from what started as a comment I made on the website http://www.therightscoop.com. These “conservatives” were doing their basic “Rand Bashing”, which is fine by me, but they were totally missing the point behind libertarianism. The modern right often perceives libertarians as holding drug legalization at the top of our to-do lists. The following was my attempt at setting them straight:
“You couldn’t be further from the truth when you assert that Ron Paul’s support came from younger people because of his stance on drugs. What you fail to understand is the logical consistency between non-intervention in the economy, and non-intervention in foreign affairs. Central planners are bad, whether they are economic or otherwise. No group of people has the ability to build a nation without a free market and the invisible hand of the marketplace. This principle, when applied consistently, leads to small government with only the responsibility of protecting liberty and property. Therefore excluding social/corporate welfare, unnecessary military interventions, and the rest of the monstrosity that government has become.
Logical consistency is attractive, and that is what attracts people of all ages to the philosophy of Ron Paul and libertarianism.”
When I say libertarianism is easy, this is what I mean. It takes no mental gymnastics to apply the ‘principle’ of non-intervention across the board. A libertarian often becomes exceedingly confident in his belief system due to the principled and philosophical consistency. This confidence and the lack of mental gymnastics necessary to defend the libertarian position, makes it easy!
So why is it easier to be an Anarchist? Well I never thought I’d say this, but the meme says it all. The very same reasons that being a libertarian is easier than being a Republican or Democrat/Conservative or Liberal, are true for anarchy. If the state is based on immoral coercion in the form of taxation, and this taxation is only enforceable due to a geographical monopoly on the use of force, the state loses every last drop of its legitimacy.
What are the libertarian solutions? It is my opinion that there is no libertarian solution within the state. However there are libertarians that give answers! Some say that it is a necessary evil. Ludwig von Mises himself was no anarchist. It is HARD to envision a world without government, because it has not existed throughout recorded history. In that sense perhaps anarchism is not easier than minarchism, because we are living in a real life example of minarchism. I’m not say our government is minarchistic in the least, but it started that way. The potentiality of any limited government to become as large as the United States government notwithstanding, anarchism reveals the inconsistencies of libertarianism.
Many libertarians take a pragmatic approach and are simply not convinced that society could function without a government. That’s that right? Libertarians suggest we maintain a small state with the monopoly power on force over an arbitrary geographical expanse because there is no other way. Again, notwithstanding the many debates about how a stateless society would function (See Rothbards ‘For a New Liberty‘ and Friedmans ‘Machinery of Freedom‘), the libertarian statist position is inconsistent with the very core values of libertarianism, and is that not enough to investigate further?
So why is anarchy easier than libertarianism? Nonaggression, private property rights, and true freedom cannot occur in a statist society. These principled and philosophical inconsistencies are what lured most of us away from the left/right paradigm in American politics. They will lead us away from libertarianism, and to anarchy. Free market anarchy that is.