Showing posts from November, 2012

The libertarian dream

To people like me, libertarianism is an attractive ideal. This is, to people who are self-motivated, who value reason, and who just want to live life without being bothered, and without bothering anyone else. This leads to a conviction that we need minimal government, that most everything possible needs to be private, and then it will be easy for everyone to take care of themselves.

The unfortunate thing about this ideal is that it assumes a world where everyone is like the libertarian. If we, indeed, had a world consisting of rational, well-meaning, capable, self-motivated people, libertarianism would be ideal. But we do not.

Instead, our world is chock full of people who fall short of this ideal, in ways that cause libertarianism to fail in practice. The instinctive reaction of libertarians is, why can't other people just become like that? Why can't they be capable, self-motivated, well-meaning, and rational? Why don't we just set up libertarian rules, and wait for peopl…