The Libertarian Fallacy
|Full of shit since '71|
Imagine the shining city on a hill. A city born from the bottom up, with a community of hard working, staunchly independent people. There is no structured government at all, but as the community identifies needs those needs are met by the entrepreneurial spirit of the free market. Roads, schools, prisons, all these things are regulated privately and paid for through usage fees, and whoever can supply the service in the cheapest and most efficient way wins.
It sounds like what it is, total bullshit. The principles of libertarianism are as idealistic and naïve as the principles of communism. They sound good on paper but are chaotically dangerous in practice. This is why you cannot name one civilization that practiced libertarianism. In fact, the basic concepts are incompatible with the very idea of a community. By definition, libertarians believe there should be no shared sacrifices required by any individual for the good of the whole. I guess it might work if we all live in self-assembled shacks in the woods, pointing guns at our neighbors should they venture too close.
A libertarian political system relies on the infrastructure provided by a pre-existing structured government. For such a society to exist it must put it’s flesh on the already existing bones of a city. It avoids the truly difficult decisions that must be made by a responsible government . Even the most seemingly universal concept, like the thought that a group of people will sometimes share their pooled resources to make a large purchase that benefits them all, are discarded as unnecessary. In the libertarian mind people will pool their resources if they want. It should never be structured or mandated.
The problem with this train of thought is that some institutions should not be privatized and run for profit. Healthcare, the prison system, and education would all be rendered ineffective if run entirely for profit. Ask any self-proclaimed libertarian this question to fuck up their day: “Are you telling me you want for profit prisons? You want to give people a financial incentive to take away freedom?” Works every time.
To gain proper perspective it may be necessary to try an experiment. Next month try making every decision you make based on the cheapest possible option. You would have to ride a bike to work, eat nothing but ramen noodles, and start practicing the rhythm method with your girlfriend. This is the way a corporation would run you, with maximum profitability and no regard for quality of life. Fucking paradise.