Libertarian Misgivings

November 27, 2023 at 4:30 pm

I’ve considered myself a libertarian for the better part of 15 years. The idea of being free from others meddling in my affairs was – and continues to be – powerfully appealing. However, recently I find myself struggling with the intersection of libertarian philosophy and reality. Libertarianism is a political ideology. It makes arguments for or against the proper place in society of government and force. It does not provide any sort of moral guidance for the issues it speaks to, and therein is part of the trouble. The second issue is pragmatic – the cold, hard truth is that we are never going to have a Libertarian president. We are never going to have a government meaningfully smaller than the perennially expanding one we have now unless something truly cataclysmic happens. Not enough voters will get out of the R vs. D mindset to actually make a third party viable unless one of the major parties utterly collapses, and you can be sure that if that happens, the people in power of whatever fills the power-vacuum will be the same people who were in power all along. Maybe this is an overly pessimistic take, but I think it realistic.

When I try to imagine the modern United States under libertarian governance I do not see something that looks good, or even particularly desirable despite its faults. In another time, I think things could be different. But now? I have grave doubts about the success of an ideology that demands personal responsibility on the part of every individual. Does this mean that working toward a libertarian futures is a bad thing to do? I’m not sure. The problem is that political action and getting libertarian candidates in office and libertarian philosophy to the masses won’t be enough. It cannot be enough, for the reason stated earlier. It will not work, just as the Founding Fathers’ vision of a republic has not worked. We have not a moral, educated, or thoughtful citizenry, on average. How can the degenerate factions in society be managed without resorting to violence?

As has ever been the case, the human element is the downfall of all things. Our government is corrupt because of it. Our society suffers from profoundly broken metaphysics because of it, and our culture caters to our most base hedonistic impulses while ridiculing those who seek to do better by breaking free of the bread and circuses.

What does a ‘just’ society look like? How is that compatible with a libertarian utopia in which every hedonistic impulse is being catered to and actively exploited by a completely free capitalist market? I’m not sure that it is. Here is the thought that’s hardest to utter: Maybe limited violence employed to maintain some level of order and decency is better than a society that permits every debauchery but follows the NAP. Which does more harm to more people? To be clear: I’m using “harm” very broadly, to include not just the physical but also the spiritual.

I am currently of the opinion that what good we still have in our society is the fading shadow of the Christian society we (not just the US, but the West in general) used to be. Without a return to that, the descent will continue. Religious life didn’t used to be a separate thing. It permeated every aspect. That’s not to say that everything was rainbows and unicorns – people were still broken, sinful creatures – as they are now and have been since the Fall. Society was structured in a way that centered it around God. Today, God is shoved into a hour or two long box on Sunday morning and largely ignored outside of that, at best. At worst, He’s actively fought against, with His followers mocked, ridiculed, insulted, and cancelled.

I don’t see a political answer to the woes facing society.

I don’t think one is possible.

Politics is the realm of sociopaths, sycophant, and satanic influences.

We can’t fix society until we fix ourselves.

We can’t fix ourselves without help.

Stop going to the ballot box.

Start going to church instead.

Center your life around Christ, as your ancestors did.

Love your neighbor as yourself.

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