Why Isn’t Libertarianism More Popular?

Those who have been following this blog may be wondering why Libertarianism isn’t more popular? After all, Libertarianism offers solutions to problems that both the Democrats and the Republicans don’t seem to be able to solve.  Both of the major political parties support “big government”, they just want government to do different things…  Democrats for example want government to regulate what people eat for their own benefit, want gun control so that it is more difficult for people to kill other people.  (the only trouble with this idea is that criminals will still likely be able to obtain guns) They support a lot of things like welfare, national health insurance (like the rest of the developed world has), Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, the public school system. Civil rights, freedom of the press, unions, the income tax, the payroll tax, “Planned Parenthood”, etc.  Republicans oppose a lot of things that the Democrats support.  Generally Republicans are opposed to much of what Democrats believe in. The Republicans favor “big” defense budgets, an aggressive military policy, preventive wars, free trade, low taxes on the rich and the corporations. Restrictions on voting, oppose abortion, oppose gun control (not always), oppose welfare, not all that happy over civil rights, favor harsh penalties for illicit drugs, support “law & order”, are likely to be more religious (Christian) than usually are Democrats.They also take more concern over the “national debt” and want to reduce Social Security and Medicare.  No doubt I’ve left a few things out here, but I think you get the idea of what our two major political parties currently believe in. Obviously there is a serious conflict between the two parties over what sort of a country the United States of America should be…  As I’ve shown so far, neither of our two major political parties really believes very much in personal freedom.  Both of them want to regulate your life, they just disagree here on what should be done and how it should be done!  Neither of our two major political parties seems to feel that individual freedom is very important, especially when it involves things that they happen to not like very much.  Under the Democrats you shouldn’t eat too much, drink too much, and you certainly shouldn’t smoke cigarettes!  Nor should you be allowed to own firearms as Democrats believe that if you do own firearms, you will use them to commit murder on innocent people!  Republicans fear that you will use “illicit drugs”, obtain prescription drugs without a doctor’s permission, obtain contraceptive drugs, forcing those who oppose contraception to have to supply you with these things.  And by all that is holy, you certainly must not abort any fetus you happen to be carrying!  As is obvious, our two major political parties really don’t think you should the right to do any of these things that I’ve mentioned. And if you do, they want to use the armed force of government to stop you at any cost!

Why do they believe all these things?  For one thing, neither party believes in “self ownership” or “self responsibility”.  To them you are incompetent to run your own life.  They definitely do not want to “mind their own business” and allow you to do the same.  After all, you may eat too much, smoke cigarettes, use too much health care.  (the fact that our health care system costs far more than it should doesn’t seem to be understood)  And you certainly shouldn’t be allowed to own or carry a gun…  The Republicans are afraid that you will engage in sexual relationships that they don’t approve of.  That you will bargain through a union with your employer.  That you will read “leftist” literature.  That you will want to do anything that they don’t approve of.  (like have an abortion).  The Republicans seem to have a “hang up” over the idea of sex.  They talk about the value of human life, but are quite willing to kill innocent civilians if they happen to be among those national groups that the Republicans consider to be “enemies of the West”.  Republicans claim they are for “small government”, but when in power they “grow” as much government as they can.  Especially that portion of the government that relates to “national defense”.  That part of government can never be too big in Republican eyes!

Libertarians on the other hand prefer to mind our own business as long as others are willing to do the same.  We oppose the creation of economic monopolies as they raise costs.  Make things more expensive for everyone else.  We oppose prescription laws as they serve mainly to give doctors a monopoly over access to medical drugs.  We oppose drug laws in general as they create more problems than they solve just as the prohibition of alcohol didn’t stop people from drinking, but created organized crime families that made life worse for everyone else.  Additionally our drug laws tend to greatly increase the amount of criminal activity in our society as addicts seek the money for their next “fix”.  Plus the cost of drug law enforcement, the judicial system, and keeping a couple million people in prison adds up to a figure close to a hundred billion dollars a year!  Certainly we have better uses for that hundred billion dollars than doing what we are doing now.  Certainly none of us benefit from living in a more dangerous society because of drug addicts who are willing to do anything it takes to satisfy their craving for the drug they are addicted to.  Those of us who carry concealed weapons are doing so because we have created a society where regardless of how many police we hire, they are never enough to deal with our criminal element.  Quite obviously we are going down the wrong path here! Our occupational licensing laws do little but increase costs to the consumer.  All told we probably spend up to an additional trillion dollars a year for the goods and services we purchase because of these laws.  Government licensing doesn’t really “protect” you all that much from those who will exploit any chance to overcharge you for their services.  The free market generally does a better job of weeding out these people than does the government.  On the other hand there are some things that government seems to do better at than the free market.  However this depends upon the nature and size of the government.  How “close” it is to the people, and how much power do they have over it.  We generally have more power over local government than state government and even less power over the activities of the federal government.  Thus we’d prefer to shrink the federal government down to far more manageable levels, transfer much now of what the federal government does to state government, and allow local government to do some of the duties that are now done by state government.  However currently government does a lot more than what it should be allowed to do…  Shrinking the duties of government down to far more reasonable levels is a task for which Libertarians are well suited to do.  Unlike Democrats and Republicans, we are far more able to ask questions as to whether or not government should be doing things that could be better left here to the people themselves.  As has been said, “Any government that is powerful enough to give you everything you want is also powerful enough to take everything away from you too…”



About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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