Thursday, January 10, 2013

Criticizing Libertarian Rhetoric

Libertarians blame all problems on the government, including my hangnail, insomnia, the common cold, and halitosis. We tend to give credit to markets or civil society for any improvements in our lives. Some even expect human nature to change, a lot like the "New Soviet Man" that the Bolsheviks kept trying to create.

Libertarians propose radical solutions where other people hardly see a problem. Many of us love to dwell on doomy gloomy scenarios and conspiracy theories.

If we could convince everyone to embrace the nonaggression principle (NAP), would that really accomplish much? Statists do not believe they are initiating force with their mass incarceration and foreign policy adventures. They think they are defending society against serious threats. Even some libertarians think spanking children should be exempted from the NAP.

So, have I convinced myself I'm wrong, or that placing blame should come second to finding practical solutions to concrete everyday problems? I am willing to consider radical social change, so long as it is voluntary. I hope to focus on what we can gain, rather than moralizing or spreading doom and gloom. Is that just spin doctoring? What alternatives can I seriously consider? I have rejected violence, what remains? Standard politics, left, right and center? Apathy and indifference? Or getting involved where I can actually make a difference?

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