By Einzige Unbound
When I think of libertarianism, I think of it as having potential but no gumption. For those of you who don't know, Libertarianism is the notion that Liberty is a sacred principle above anything else. After learning what that means, it gets complicated due to branching off from the Right-Left Spectrum. The Libertarians that I will refer to is American, center-right, libertarians and that is where I will begin. Now, I've been friends with a few of them for a long time and I understand their concerns and fears. I cannot stand taxes and I won't make any excuses for them, same goes for the Social Contract, Democracy and the concept of Equality. The problem with Libertarians is that they are nuisance to anyone who has to listen to them talk. They shout like a Sunday School Preacher or a full blown DSA activist, but the answers they attempt to provide are null and void due to not having many solutions. Mencius Moldbug, blogger from Unqualified Reservations, has explained this phenomenon perfectly.
"On the other hand, it is hard to avoid noticing two basic facts about the universe. One is that libertarianism is an extremely obvious idea. The other is that it has never been successfully implemented. This does not prove anything. But what it suggests is that libertarianism is, as its detractors are always quick to claim, an essentially impractical ideology. I would love to live in a libertarian society. The question is: is there a path from here to there? And if we get there, will we stay there? If your answer to both questions is obviously "yes," perhaps your definition of "obvious" is not the same as mine" (1)
Such questions for a "Freer society" usually ends up with the individual just sitting and waiting for the State to get rid of itself and preach non violence through the Non Aggression Principle, , 'Natural' Property Rights and buying or selling cryptocurrency.
Let's start with Non-Aggression Principle (or NAP for short). The NAP preaches that everyone can get along as long as they don't commit acts of Aggression. What is aggression from libertarians are generally defined as "initiation" of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property". Notice the term “initiation” is within the definition, I'll explain this later.
The NAP is proposed by some as an Axiom, others consider it a rule of thumb that you should follow as much as possible. I intend to agree with the latter more than a former due to being realistic about the world we live in. Society and the State are merging together, this makes reality chaotic due to the unpredictably of people and governments to commit violence on a dime, this includes self-interest. The NAP cannot prevent violence, no matter how many times they say it can. Anything and everything can be considered an act of aggression due to the individuals need to take action in order to survive, threats of someone's life, or taking risks while knowing they exist. For example, if I had a 44 magnum with six cylinders in it and put one bullet in it. I then aimed the magnum at the person in front of me knowing that the bullet was not gonna shoot because it was in a different cylinder. I have violated the NAP on the initiation, despite the result being the person that I was aiming for still being alive. The Libertarian/Ancap might respond with a claim of "Performative Contradiction", in that I'm critiquing the NAP whilst being subconsciously committed to it. This is a false assertion, I don't want to be aggressive because of some axiom, it's because it's not in my self interest to do so. I'm fully aware of the consequences of such actions and I refuse to partake in such aggression due to making up my own mind about violence. A more thorough critique can be shown by David Friedman's Book "Machinery of Freedom" under part 4: ”For Libertarians, an expanded postscript.“(2)
This supposed axiom leads me to another one, Natural Property Rights. The claim most libertarians have with this is that property rights are the ultimate source of Freedom and that its as natural as animals tending to their ecosystem. Property Rights for libertarians arise from contractual obligations, these obligations are supposed to be the only true law which they should follow, IE an ultimate ideal that can be explained through “Logic and Reason.” This does not explain why people neglect property or why the masses riot to their hearts desire because they want the discussion on rights to be as simple as possible, like a christian justifying God’s anger as justified and not a mirror image of our own human anger. L.A Rollins, dedicated this whole breakdown on these arrangements as pure abstractions of paper with his booklet “The Myth of Natural Rights” and explains this as the bedrock of Rights, regardless if its a libertarian or a socialist proclaiming its existence as an absolute.
“In my view, natural law and natural rights are human inventions (not discoveries) intended to further the interests of the inventors. As Laurance Labadie put it, “...all theories of ‘rights’ are merely human inventions, used by one party or another in order to enhance as they think, their ability in getting along in the world.” It is misleading, therefore to contrast natural law with man-made law, for natural law is just as surely man-made as any governmental law”(3)
I could quote further but if any of these people have the stomach to read it, its available to read at your disposal, dear reader. Rights cannot deter people from committing crimes, the wall of legality needs to be enforced or otherwise its useless. This is why Might Makes Right, it is the ultimate decider on what the masses should or should not follow. Despite Liberalism decaying from within, its survived this long on the basis of controlling the individual spiritually and using force as a failsafe if the individual didn't listen to “the rule of law. ” Max Stirner points out the hypocrisy of State enforcing liberties by saying “The State’s behavior is violence, and it calls its violence “law”; that of the individual, “crime.” Crime, then [Verbrechen] — so the individual’s violence is called; and only by crime does he overcome [brechen] the State’s violence when he thinks that the State is not above him, but he is above the State.” (4).
I can't talk about Cryptocurrency so I want to end my tirade with Corporations. Depending on which Libertarian you talk to, they’ll either support corporations on the basis of free markets or they will hate it because they work with the State. I remember seeing libertarians praise Elon Musk for launching Falcon Heavy into space, while knowing Mr. Musk has obtained state government subsidies for his projects (5)(6). The problem isn't that some corporations within the market seeking dominance, the issue is the conception of corporations itself, they have turned from private beneficiaries into a public entity. They are now in the process of becoming incorporated into the US Government, which is already a corporation in of itself as Moldbug points out.
“So if the responsibility to fork over some cut of your paycheck makes you a serf (a reasonable reuse of the word, surely, for our less agricultural age), that's what Americans are - serfs. Corporate serfs, to be exact, because the US is nothing but a corporation. That is, it is a formal structure by which a group of individuals agree to act collectively to achieve some result. So what? So I'm a corporate serf. Is this so horrible? I seem to be pretty used to it. Two days out of the week I work for Lord Snooty-Snoot. Or Faceless Global Products. Or whoever. Does it matter who the check is written to? The modern distinction between "private" corporations and "governments" is actually a rather recent development. The US is certainly different from, say, Microsoft, in that the US handles its own security. On the other hand, just as Microsoft depends on the US for most of its security, the US depends on Microsoft for most of its software. It's not clear why this should make one of these corporations special, and the other not-special.”
So now, we have to deal with transitory phase of Monopoly Capitalism or State Capitalism into a “Global Village” and there's nothing any of these libertarians can do about it. Most of these people are Cretinous shills for some tribal identity, if I constructively criticize them, they see it as a personal attack and will either dismiss me as crazy or point and laugh collectively in an ironic matter. All the while they claim to be “free thinkers”, the only thing they're thinking about is when the next time bitcoin rises up, everything else is an absence of thought. Anything else is doctrines rewritten ad nauseam with little to no improvement for people to act independently. At the very least Egoism helps make you the better arbitrator on life and doesn't care if you reject them or not, Libertarianism will either attack you as evil, or “statist” if you don't say the correct words and/or use their lexicon.
To conclude, Libertarianism is dead and the people who believe it are trying to revive its decaying corpse. Either adapt in this world by dealing it with the intrinsic complications, or die as a person consuming the latest sex robots sponsored by the Tyrell Corporation.
(1) A Formalist manifesto by Mencius Moldbug. Retrieved from https://unqualified-reservations.blogspot.com/2007/04/formalist-manifesto-originally-posted.html
(2) The Machinery of Freedom by David Freidman, Retrieved From http://daviddfriedman.com/The_Machinery_of_Freedom_.pdf
(3) The Myth of Natural Rights by L.A. Rollins (pg.3)
(4) The Ego and its Own by Max Stirner. Retrieved From https://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/max-stirner-the-ego-and-his-own