Libertarianism In a Nutshell

The libertarian message can be boiled down to the following. 

Because government does things I don’t like, it is wrong. Because government stops me from doing what I want to do it, it is wrong. Because it’s wrong, it must be made as small as possible and starved to death is even better. Finally, because government is corrupted sometimes, it can’t be trusted to do anything worth doing. 

My response to this message is that most organizations in modern society do things I don’t like; that does not make them wrong; it just means they have an agenda, which is likely a mixture of right, wrong, evil, stupid, and necessary. 

Governments should stop some people from doing some things, otherwise the biggest bullies would run roughshod over the rest of us. 

As for its size, it should be as big as it needs to be to achieve the parts of its agenda that are right and necessary. It is the responsibility of We the People to tell the government what those parts are; if we don’t, the people who benefit from the wrong, evil and/or stupid parts of its agenda will have their way. 

Finally, because government is composed of corruptible people, of course it is corrupted sometimes. The answer is not to close the police department and burn down the courthouse and bulldoze the jail. The answer IS to fire the corrupt police and judges and prosecutors and others and put them in the jail, then to hire new ones who will do a proper job of locking up those who did the corrupting. 

If We the People want to live in a free country, the only way to do that is to invest our time and effort and attention in taking back our government from the billionaires who have used their control of large corporations to take it away from us. Shrinking the size of government while leaving fewer and fewer billionaires in charge of everything is simply a disaster. 

It’s a return to the feudal aristocracy that America rejected during the Revolutionary War with a modern twist of corporate crony capitalism. Along the way toward that aristocracy, we are passing into an American version of fascism, complete with police running amok, multiple scapegoat minorities, and all the other defining characteristics seen in German and Italian fascism  in the 20th century. 

I know how appealing the simple message of libertarianism can be. Unfortunately for us all, life is far too complicated for simplicity to work on the scale of the modern American civilization — and basing your opinion of right and wrong on whether it disagrees with your personal desires is just selfish egotism, not a defensible morality. It’s the value system of a little kid, not a grown-up who knows there are other people who are impacted by everything they do and whose voices must be heard and consent received if possible before they proceed. 

About Tim Gatewood

60+, male, widowed/single. Writer with a day job. Notary Public. #catdaddy Science fiction and fantasy fan, avid reader, Founder of the Darrell Awards. Author of _Getting Started As A Notary Signing Agent_ (available from Please be kind to one another.
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2 Responses to Libertarianism In a Nutshell

  1. Straight forward. Thank you. 🙂
    It is very difficult to say this is right and that is wrong, if you do not see the WHOLE picture.
    Rather ask a question and start a two way conversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said, Tim. Thanks for explaining it so clearly. It’s never seemed to me that Libertarian-like views take into account the needs of people who are struggling—be they for health reasons, financial reasons, or a variety of challenging circumstances—often outside of their control. The old “I didn’t need any assistance…others shouldn’t either” argument is selfish and short-sighted. We’re on the planet to help one another and to ease the collective load—there’s nothing more rewarding. Having said that, I suppose the world would not be nearly as interesting if we all shared the same views…. Thanks for another thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

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