Introducing yourself as a “libertarian” tends to elicit strong reactions among those on the left who associate the term with the Tea Party and Conservative/Republican deception. I identified myself as such long before the Tea Party movement had started, for more than a decade. As I learned more and more about the thinking behind this dream, I started to develop “likes” and “dislikes” and I am definitely not as enthusiastic about the theory as I used to be.
My main driver in discovering and absorbing this knowledge is my growing up in an Eastern European country, where I got to see all the “champagne socialism”, cleptocracy and “antiselection” ushered upon roughly half the world by the nomenklatura under some empty slogans and pretenses. Even to this day I have difficulties keeping a civil conversation with people who identify themselves as Marxists - I can do it, but it takes self-discipline.
Here’s a few well-known “tests” (my results, to be clearer). In short, I place more emphasis on expressive rights and liberties than on “economic rights”; I think it’ OK to have some minor restrictions on economic rights to increase fairness and take care of people who cannot take care of themselves:
The Political Compass
Economic Left/Right: 0.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.56
Your PERSONAL issues Score is 100%.
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 70%.
Hans Slomp projection of the European political spectrum. Clickable.
These are some of the problems I have with what I’ve read on the subject. It’s a quick list and I’ll come back later to expand and add links.
- There is no perfect market IRL
- The idea of competing Justice Systems with their own security firms is a mindfuck. I don’t see it working. (see also Hoppe, Murphy)
- Most libertarian ideas are extremely counterintuitive for most people. Most people will never accept such ideas.
- Some libertarians embrace these concepts as a validation of their superiority, esp. racial. I have very little in common with such people and in fact it’s a major turn-off for me, especially the ideas of the superdude who’d dominate her flowing out of Ayn Rand’s books, though I like what she had to say about racists / nationalists. I’m not a big fan of Rothbard’s ideas on race either.
- Though I know it can be somehow defended, the view some libertarians share that reproductive rights should be restricted and / or that abortion, in particular, must be restricted or outlawed is particularly incongruent with being a libertarian (in my eyes).
- Finally, if you accept, as I do, that most of the formative experiences that make an individual who she is and what she can do with her life happen either due to circumstance or due to choices that their parents have made for them, to then turn around and pretend that one can and ought to make his own life with no “correction w.r.t. fairness” from government/state/leviathan seems somewhat irrational (I’ll expand upon this later).