Thoughts on Libertarianism – Part I – Preliminaries

I’m ready to engage a little bit with libertarianism.  Certainly, this election season has shown where libertarians can make common cause with conservatives and realpolitik liberals (hints: foreign policy, civil rights).  Before attempting this, though, a few preliminary notes:

1. I am vaguely aware that libertarians come in a variety flavors with a number of philosophical differences, some of which may be more or less responsive to the ideas expressed in my exploration. In general, I am not interested in discussing the more minimal forms of libertarianism to the extent that these flavors do not purport to offer a fully self-contained political philosophy or system.

2. It is easy to find examples of government waste, fraud and constitutional overreaching. The fact that these things exist does not strike me as a sufficient argument for libertarianism.

3. I am aware of the Von Mises Institute and website and have read some of the publications there. That is where I learned that, inter alia, in the libertarian dystopia, the use of force will be allocated by the market to private armies maintained by insurance companies, who will settle the claims of their clients by battling it out in a manner that is  somehow fully rights-respecting as to the participants.  Also, undesirable persons may be exiled to the polar regions, jungles, or desert regions, also in a fully rights-respecting manner.  (Citations to Von Mises approved publications are available upon request). If you wish to further promote the Von Mises Institute or website in the comments below or elsewhere on this blog, please do so as I hope these fascinating ideas are heard far and wide.

4. My general disclaimer and request apply: I am not a scholar of political science, philosophy or economics (or anything else for that matter), but am a working class lawyer exploring these ideas from a completely lay perspective. I request that, if you want to tell me how wrong I am, what circle of hell I am assigned to, or where I can pull my head out of, please do so in a way that is understandable and accessible from a similar lay perspective and in a way that addresses the actual terms of my arguments.

Substantive posts to follow.


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