Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Is it 'libertarianism' or is it 'anarchy'?

Is it 'libertarianism' or is it 'anarchy'?

A common theme in comments is that what I am advocating is not "libertarianism", but "anarchy".

Libertarians seek to maximize personal freedom while minimizing government interference in the lives of individuals. Zero is the absolute "minimum". Nothing achieves that better than anarchy, in fact, nothing else even has a chance.

I am not speaking of "hyphenated" libertarians or anarchists, since that hyphen only exists in order to negate the "anarchy" and "libertarianism". Whatever is added by that hyphen makes the combined word mean something completely counter to the original word. You may as well substitute "Un-" in every case. (It's like that silly advertising slogan "There's strong, and then there's 'Army strong'")

Anarchy is libertarianism in full bloom; carried to its logical conclusion, with all the inconsistencies stripped away. It is not an either/or situation. If you claim libertarian status, but don't consider yourself an anarchist, you are being inconsistent somewhere. You are lying to yourself or others for some reason. Which basic human rights do you not want others to exercise? Which government function do you consider important enough to kill innocent people in order to finance or carry out?

Some might claim that you need to have some amount of externally-imposed-by-force government around in order to protect the freedom of the individual. How much government does that take? How do you keep that optimal amount of government constrained? Why has nothing designed to constrain that "perfect amount" of government ever worked? Could it be that by its very nature government always grows and becomes draconian? I have yet to see any evidence that suggests otherwise.