Sunday, September 5, 2010

Error of Libertarianism

For a Libertarian the greatest value is his own life. The value

of self is instinctive, even before the born knows he has been

born. Even before there is awareness that there is self

awareness among others, he who is born is demanding

service from his community. The newly born commits

his first act of selfishness before he is self aware.


When he reaches the age of perception, he must

learn to evaluate his role among others. If he owns

his life will he rule or serve or share. The choices

he makes will depend on how he values those with

whom he competes and cooperates for achievement.


When the Libertarian has come to the perception

that he is one among many, he must decide if he

wishes to live by separating his life value from

others. Is he independent, working to achieve

personal liberty measured by acquisition of

property and levels of achievement in comparison

to fellow human beings. In other words is he

better than others. Or is he interdependent

where his success is measured by his contribution

to the success of all members of the community.

Or is he a combination of both ideals.


The First Principle of Libertarianism is self ownership.

That is self evident. The property of self is based on

the subjective concept of “I am” The only existence

of self is internal. In the subjective world another

“self” is perceived by empathy and not by perception

0f the senses.


The second Principle is Liberty. That too is an internal

concept. It is the notion that you have the right to

take objective action and not be interfered with by

others. It is a desirable ideal as it relates to the

freedom of action by the subjective self. But in fact

it does not exist in the real (perceived) world. Others

can by their own choice interfere with your desires

or actions. Your liberty(freedom of action) depends

on the successful use of superior force or cooperative

agreement. Their is no independence of action in

objective reality. All things are interrelated and


. . . .

The third principle is the concept that property is

the the fruit of your labor. It is the product of time,

energy and talent. That also is a mental concept

and has no objective reality. Property is most

commonly considered real estate but it can be

produced goods or currency. Real estate is an

artificial construct that has no equivalence in

the natural(objective) reality. It is created and

granted and protected as a privilege by the state.

Even other Goods are not usually the product of

the time , energy, and talent of an individual.

They are instead produced by the combined and

interdependent skill and effort of the whole community.

No single individual ever gathers the fiber,

spins the thread, weaves the cloth, and cuts the

pattern to sew his own clothes. Nor does he build

the tools that are used to accomplish these task.

Ownership of Real property is a privilege created

and granted by the state. All other products are

created by the interdependent cooperative efforts

of a functioning community.


Libertarianism is not possible in the real world.

It rejects the notion of power to compel individual

behavior by a state or powerful group. It is predicated on the notion

that all things can be done by contractual agreement

between the members of a group that has assembled

to accomplish a particular task or function. It is

dependent on the agreement between the contracting

members on how to share the fruits of their labor

according to the degree or complexity of each

participants contribution. It then must decided how

to adjudicate disagreements between the participants.

This model has to be repeated a thousand  times over to

accomplish the huge variety of tasks necessary in a

modern complex society. 

 Then each task group must

enter contractual agreements with other groups for

trading their respective goods and services.

There must also be groups set up and funded to

prevent strife between competing groups. All of this

must be accomplish with out any kind of state that

would have power to force compliance of acceptable

behavior between all of these contractual groups

spread all over the world.


Libertarianism is a very nice philosophical ideal using

words that we value because they they have been

used to describe the creation of our current Democratic

Republic. They are high sounding principals of historic


 The problem is that they are just words that

lack substance and meaning. They would melt away

like snow in in a heat wave if there was the slightest

chance of creating them in the first place.

We must deal with the world as we perceive its reality

and not as we dream it should be. It is built one stone

at a time and torn down and built again as condition

change. One thing that both history and science has

taught us is that the only thing does not change is the

fact that everything does change. 

We must put aside the notion that each of us are independent  

We must deal with the truth that every life is dependent on both the

competitive nature and the cooperative nature of the

human community.

. . . .

Copyright © William Hodge 2010


One Response to “Error of Libertarianism”

  1. Neil B Says:
    William, check out the non-libertarian FAQ if you haven’t: