Why I Am Not a Libertarian

The libertarian possesses an idea of freedom that is unbound, and more than that, it is related to nothing, derived from nothing, sourced in nothing. It has no natural limits. It is a strange inorganic thing that finds its expression in the pure will of the individual, and as such, it does not form an effective framework for anything larger than the individual, and it does the individual no favors.

Consider that libertarianism touts the rule of law, yet none of its adherents can answer “From where the rule of law derive its authority?” except by saying ‘the will of the people’. That is a more polite way of stating ‘mob rule’. If you have ever experienced a mob, you would not want to be ruled by a mob. Thus, the founding fathers gave us the concept of checks and balances to constrain the mob-like tendencies of a pure democracy. And if the law is merely the expression of the governed, what will prevent the governed from abusing some section of the public with law? Nothing. Yet some section of the public must have their rights infringed by the law, for example, criminals. Would criminals ever agree to be locked up in prison voluntarily? A few exceptions aside, no. Thus the concept of having a law that all the governed agree with all the time is nothing more than a velleity. So the law must be grounded upon something aside from the will of the individual.

However libertarianism lacks any enduring ground to the law — that is, what makes a law just or unjust, what makes a law worthwhile or not. Because libertarianism explicitly denies any sort of spiritual or religious foundation to freedom, all that remains for it to derive its authority from is the individual. However, the individual mind does not scale to any larger concept in terms of law; libertarianism is a set of rules for angels, presuming that everyone is a moral paragon. Such a framework would not work for even righteous men, for no man is sinless and free of temptation; in other words, “men are not angels”, to quote Samuel Adams. That is why society voluntarily restricts the production of pornography, disallows prostitution, and at other times in history, forbade public swearing, gambling, and so on. Such a framework incorporates a mature view of the nature of men. Libertarians do not understand any human nature but their own nature and this they presume is close to moral perfection, thus, no restriction of behavior is allowed. Alternately, perhaps libertarianism is a set of rules for children, and it presumes that nothing in life is so destructive that an individual cannot participate in it. It is either dishonest about the nature of men or dishonest about the consequences of behavior.

Libertarianism, while not based on any moral or spiritual framework, still channels a morality to justify itself: selfishness. Libertarianism is the tantrum cry of the infant, the logo on the backpack of the “No Rules” crowd, the chorus in the nihilist punk rock song,  the dialect of Satan. Like Communism, pure libertarianism has never been implemented, and cannot be; if it were ever attempted, the lack of structure would lead to the rapid growth of dictators, large and small. In anarchy, a kind of lawless “he with the biggest gun wins” order prevails and this is precisely what libertarianism leads to — not a utopia where no-one can oppress anyone, but a dystopia, where the ruthless oppress as many as they can. Instead of eliminating dictatorships, the moralless philosophy of libertarianism seeds the ground with dictators.

I am not a libertarian because libertarianism, as a political philosophy, does not  functionally and accurately understand the nature of man, and so it is wholly insufficient to create a framework for handling men. Because it is explicitly anti-moral, and life is relentlessly moral, it is not true in a spiritual sense. It cares nothing for fellowmen, as it is inexhaustibly selfish and blind to results; it contributes nothing in terms of culture or art; it is an ugly, selfish, small creed of lies that does to men what eating glass shards does to the digestive system.

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