Friday, March 03, 2017

Everything That's Wrong With Libertarianism

Libertarianism is an ideology that carries appeal. There are two very major things that I see wrong with libertarianism.

One is that the government is not the only – and in the West not the worst – source of wrongdoing. I have heard many horror stories in the former Soviet Union; however I have also heard horror stories in the United States. The difference was that while in the Soviet Union the perpetrator was the government, in America the perpetrators were private entities such as families, religious organizations, and corrupt networks in law and medicine.

The government in the West is official, elected, accountable, checked and balanced. These entities are not. This allows them to get away with greater abuses than are allowed the government.

Brutality and corruption did not end in Russia when the Soviet Union failed. Instead the totalitarian government was replaced by the mafia, which was in many respects worse. Does the fact that something is unofficial make it any less capable of abuses than an entity that is official? I think not. I think that any entity is capable of corrupt or tyrannical practices, and that that is in no way limited to the government. In fact a case can be made that in the West the governments are better than private entities of oppression and corruption. The governments in the West are subject to accountability, check and balance; which Texas Oil, the mafia, the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Westboro Baptists and the corrupt doctor and lawyer networks are not.

Problem number two with libertarianism is that, if it is left to its own logic, it would not provide for the needs of the country. If responsibility is to be defined as financial self-interest, then everyone will want to become a yuppie. Nobody will want to become a teacher, a scientist or the military. This will starve the country of much of what it needs. People in these professions do not make very much money; but their contributions to prosperity are vast.

Not everyone involved in libertarianism is a bad person, but many are very much confused. They focus all their scrutiny on the government while failing to adequately scrutinize private entities. In fact in many cases we see precisely the wrong thing being done. Libertarians focus their scrutiny on entities in the government that try to scrutinize genuinely corrupt entities. This allows the genuinely corrupt to use the naivete of libertarians to put them in their service.

Once again, the fact that an entity is unofficial does not make it any less capable of corruption. There are plenty of non-government entities that are worse than the governments in the West. The governments are subject to accountability, check and balance; these entities are not subject to any such things whatsoever. This allows them to get away with worse abuses than are allowed the government. And that makes them, not the government, the primary perpetrator of wrong acts.

If libertarians really do stand for what they claim to stand for, they would be scrutinizing all sorts of non-government entities capable of tyranny and corruption. In the West it is these entities, not the government, that are guilty of greatest wrongs. Governments are capable of wrongdoing; but so are all sorts of entities that are not the government. Western democracies are subject to check and balances. Entities such as Jehovah's Witnesses are not subject to any such thing. This means that these entities can – and do – get away with greater abuses than are allowed the government.


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