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Libertarianism and True Freedom

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posted on May, 19 2006 @ 11:33 PM

Libertarianism is one of the fastest growing political movements in the country today. It is also one of the most misunderstood. I have read many posts on the subject of "anarchy" here at ATS, and I have decided to do my best to try and explain the movement, as well as clear up some common misconceptions.

First of all, libertarianism is based on the idea of natural rights. Natural rights are pretty much the right of everyone to their own bodies and property. From this stems the foundation of libertarianism which is the non-aggression axiom which states that "No one may infringe upon another person's self or property." If this is a society's only rule, or common law, true liberty and the free market would be allowed to flourish.


If the non-aggression axiom is then applied, the entire institution of government is illeligitamate. This is because of the State's sole source of income which is taxation. Taxation when it comes right down to it is nothing more than mass theft. When governments take your hard earned money, they are really saying that they know how to spend your money better than you do. People say however that the money is used to provide services that only the government can. This is one of the biggest fallacies in society today. Any service provided by the government can be provided by the free market in a cheaper and more efficient way, as I will hope to show later. Furthermore, you would have control over where your money went.

Governments are also responsible for many of mankinds greatest atrocities, whether it be genocide, war, weapons of mass destruction, or slavery. This should be reason enough to abolish the whole system. Politicians are allowed to get away with mass murder of innocent civilians and call it war. The State can simply be viewed as the enemy to freedom and peace.

So what would a libertarian society without government look like you ask? Here's an idea.

Drugs, Prostitution, and Gambling

I would like to point out that just because I believe the following should be legal, I do not necessarily believe that they are moral. However it is necessary to seperate the two in order for true freedom to exist.

Drugs would be legal in a libertarian society because there remains the fact that everyone has sole ownership of their bodies. Why should someone else determine what another person does to their own bodies? How is that not tyranny? If a person gets addicted to a drug or ends up killing themselves as a result of drug use, that is their own fault. People in a libertarian society would have to learn to take responsibility for their actions. Another benefit of the legalization of drugs would be the dramatic decrease in drug crime. No longer would rival gangs have to battle for customers and territories.

Prostitution would also be legal because there is no coercion involved when a person voluntarily sells their body and services for money. There are no victims in this exchange and again, everyone has the right to do whatever they wish with their own bodies.

Gambling again would be legal because there is no reason that someone should not be allowed to do whatever they want with their own money. If someone wants to risk their property for a chance to let's say double their money that is their own business. Again there is no coercion involved and the action is purely voluntary.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 11:37 PM
Private Roads

So now we come to the issue of the road system. Well first off, every road in a libertarian society would be privately owned. Since the road businesses would be subject to the profit-loss system of the free market, service and cost would undoubtedly greatly improve. This is because if the road companies could not provide adequate solutions to such problems as traffic, safety, pollution, or construction, they would lose their customer base. Commuters would find different ways to reach their destinations and the road business would lose money. The government however does not have to worry about this because they can be as inefficient as they want without losing their customers because they have a constant source of income through our tax money.

How in the world would we pay to use the roads though!? Well this problem would easily be solved in the free market just as many others like it have before. However some ideas of a payment system might include toll booths on major highways, stickers that can be purchased and read by electronic monitors to record fees, or maybe the homeowners and businesses located on the roads would have to pay monthly fees. Whatever the solution, it would probably be much cheaper than what we have to pay now in taxes.

Private Security, Self-Defense, and the Law

One of the areas of libertarianism that is the hardest for people to grasp is the idea of private security forces. However I believe that this is one of the areas of society that is most in need of privatization because innocent lives are at stake and we cannot afford to not have the best protection available. First of all, lets discuss self-defense. In a free society, everyone would have the right to defend themselves and their property from force or invasion up to the point that they don't become aggressors themselves. Everyone in a free society would have the right to own a gun or any other weapon for their defense. However this is not the limit to the protection that would be provided by the free market in a libertarian society.

Private security forces would arise in order for people to pay for protection. The only "law" they would have to worry about enforcing would be the non-aggression axiom. They might come in the form of insurance agencies or just regular businesses, but the point is that people would be able to pay for the degree of protection they want. If someone wanted to just rely on themselves for defense, they would be free to do it. The service would be more efficient and cheaper than our current policeforces as well because they would be a part of the free market where serving the customer is key.

The businesses that owned the private roads would most likely hire their own security forces to make the roads and sidewalks safe for everyone so that businesses would have more incentive to locate next to them. This would drastically reduce "street" crime such as muggings, rapes, kidnaps, etc

Private investigation would also be much more efficient because they would have to be if they wanted to make a profit. The police forces now do not have to worry about this because they receive their payment through coercive taxes.

Wouldn't warlords or private armies arise if security was privatized? This is one of the most common questions brought up in libertarian debate. The answer to this question is that it is possible but highly unlikely. First of all, one has to remember that the source of these businesses income would be from voluntary payments, and war would be very bad for business. If a company decided to try and "conquer" another company or group of people, they would soon find their source of income and power running out very quickly. Also, I would like to believe that as Americans we would fight to protect our property and homes so that a well armed militia and society would keep a warlord in check just in case they did arise for whatever unlikely reason.

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 11:42 PM
The Courts

Another difficult area to grasp for some people is private arbitration. This would bring the free market to the court system. People would be free to bring their charges against anyone else and pay for the services of whatever court they choose. A private court system would also be more efficient and fair than our current system because they would have to be due to the nature of the free market. Court services would likely be paid for much like insurance companies or paid for per case. Judges would be hired based on their fairness and objectivity. They would also be discouraged from taking bribes because their job depends on the reputation of the company.

How would the courts enforce their decisions though? Well first of all lets say Smith takes Jones to court for whatever reason. Smith's court finds Jones guilty. If Jones accepts the verdict there is no problem. However if Jones does not accept the verdict and believes there was a mistrial, he would be free to take his case before another court of his choosing. Now if this court found him guilty too, then there would be no problem. However if it found him innocent, now what? Well a third arbitrator would be brought in and that decision would be made final because it makes sense that in a free society, any same verdict made by two courts would be final. In order to enforce the decision, courts might impose economic sanctions on the person until they complied.Restitution to the victim would be the main focus of the courts. In our current system however, the criminal is sent to a prison where the victim has to pay tax money to support them! This is an outrageous perversion of justice.

Isolationism, Revolution and Free trade

Isolationism and free trade are key to a libertarian society. There would be no armies, navy, or airforce. This is because in a free society we would be focused solely on defense through militias, guerilla warfare, etc. If the people would not rise up to defend their property against an aggressor than they are lost. Without a military, many innocent civilians that are usually killed in the crossfire of the current government's wars would be spared as well.

I like to believe that it would be next to impossible for a country to try and conquer the U.S. because of our spirit and determination when times are tough. Furthermore, if we were strictly isolationist, no country would have a legitimate reason for trying to conquer us. The people of that country would never support a war against innocent civilians. There would also be no state apparatus for the country to transfer rule into, thus making it even more difficult to establish a working government. Free trade would also be key to a libertarian society because it would establish economic alliances throughout the world making us even more safe. There is also the issue of revolution. I believe that revolution against any form of government is justified because it is a revolution against coercion and theft in the form of taxation.

America and the Path to Freedom

Our Founding Fathers knew liberty was something worth dying for, and I know that there is some of that spirit left in the American people. The events that took place during the American Revolution changed history and made this country into an ideal climate for freedom. However the first Americans should have gone that extra bit and abolished the government altogether because look what has happened to our country. It is the nature of every government to gather more and more power of its citizens. By educating others and spreading the word about what it means to live in true freedom, I believe we can make a free America a reality and hopefully it will spread throughout the rest of the world.

[edit on 19-5-2006 by Sproul]

posted on May, 19 2006 @ 11:43 PM
Further Reading

If anyone is interested in libertarianism and would like to know more I would recommend reading some material by Murray Rothbard, Walter Block, Lew Rockwell, Ludwig Von Mises, Bruce Benson, and Hans-Herman Hoppe.

There are also some great libertarian websites like and

[edit on 19-5-2006 by Sproul]

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 12:15 AM
As a Libertarian rather than an anarchist (the difference is basically in degrees--I believe in limited government as a necessary evil, whereas the anarchist believes no government at all would be a better idea), I partially agree.

Basically, in an anarchist state, whoever has the biggest guns is the law, and will turn himself into something of a dictatorship.

In a libertarian state, everyone can defend himself. But if he's unable, there is a police force to imprison murderers.

Instead of completely getting rid of government...why don't we just bind it to the limitations of the Constitution?

[edit on 3-8-2006 by Cyberbob]

posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 12:34 AM
Well, now that I know what Libertarianism is, I'm not to sure
I agree with it, in fact, the only part that I agree with is the
freedom to do what you like with your body and money.

People need a form of government, though not one with
vasts amounts of power.


posted on Aug, 3 2006 @ 11:56 AM

Originally posted by iori_komei
Well, now that I know what Libertarianism is...

The views of the libertarian party are covered in the Libertarian Party Platform. Imho this provides a better description than the one provided as a basis for this thread. Im a small "l" libertarian. This meaning that I subscribe to liberatrian principles, however I do not consider myself a member of the political party.

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