Issues

From Critiques Of Libertarianism
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There are a large number of issues that libertarians perennially raise.

Links

Children
Much libertarian theory ignores the fact that we start out as children. Many libertarians feel that government has no role in protecting or supporting children.
Civil Rights (5 links)
The civil rights movement has been one of the great libertarian bugaboos: it is a classic example of non-market application of government to relieve widespread oppression.
Claimed Examples Of Libertarianism (22 links)
There has never been a libertarian nation or society anywhere, despite numerous attempts to found them as micro-nations, oceanic platforms, etc. But libertarians are armed with many "examples" to show that it could work. Examples such as the USA, Hong Kong, Chile and Singapore are uniformly misleading or false.
Class War (29 links)
Libertarianism is an astroturf pawn created by the first-class citizens (large corporations and the ultra-wealthy) in the class war against ordinary people (the 99%.) The first-class citizens have subverted representative government with propaganda, lobbying, campaign finance and revolving-door politics. The result is greater inequality due to state support of the wealthy.
Corporations (12 links)
Corporations are our first-class citizens, government created systems of privilege used to concentrate wealth. They are a fundamental part of our current capitalist system. Libertarian individualism seems to ignore this basic problem. A few libertarians (and some others) oppose corporations for that reason. Giant corporations exercise private tyranny because they are unaccountable to the public.
Defense (1 link)
Defense against predation both external and internal is a classic public good which libertarians have no real way of providing short of re-inventing government. Even Nozick thought private defense agencies would consolidate into a monopoly which would justifiably tax. Individualist plans for defense are fundamentally fantasy.
Drugs, Gambling and Sex (4 links)
Libertarian ideology takes an absurd total unregulated legalization position. But these have enormous externalities having to do with health, crime, family problems and neglect of other responsibilities. These are all economically irrational on a grand scale.
Education (27 links)
Libertarians strongly oppose public education: they wish to eliminate tax-funding for education, regulation of education, and make education independent of government. Libertarians favor privatization and corporatization of schooling. This despite the obvious market failures in education and the international successes of state-run education.
Environment (14 links)
Libertarians have no way of constraining damage to the environment or maintaining a healthy environment to live in. It is an issue they prefer to pretend does not exist, which is why global warming denialism is so popular among libertarians.
Freedom Through Technology (20 links)
Cyberlibertarians, cypherpunks, high-tech libertarians, and various others mistakenly think technology will eliminate the need for government (if not outright eliminate government.) As foolish as the idea that atomic weapons will end war. Digital currencies such as bitcoin are the latest fad.
Game Theory (4 links)
Simple game theory such as the Prisoner's Dilemma shows that many situations can be improved by government interference.
Global Warming (21 links)
Libertarians generally align with "climate skeptics" (denialists of global warming) because market regulation by government is needed to reduce global warming. Opposition to global warming theory has been funded at very high levels by the petrochemical industry and the Koch brothers.
Guns (11 links)
Libertarians generally endorse unregulated private ownership of guns and other armaments, no matter how absurd.
Harms Of Libertarian Policies (13 links)
Libertarian policies can be harmful both as public policies and as private sector practices within corporations.
Health Care (28 links)
Despite superior results from socialized health care in every developed nation, libertarians insist on privatizing. Public health is the outstanding government success story. The sewers of Rome have saved far more lives than the legions of Rome ever killed. Killing by governments is tiny compared to the lives saved by government-eradicated smallpox alone.
Historical Revisionism (45 links)
The facts of history do not support libertarianism. This spawns an industry supplying libertarians with false history that supports their beliefs.
Immigration (5 links)
(Especially immigration restriction.) Libertarians have many stands on immigration. Some take the position that the state has no right to restrict freedom of movement. At the other extreme, some (including Milton Friedman) say that the welfare state should be able to restrict entry to save on welfare costs.
Inequality (34 links)
Libertarians have no answers for the many problems of inequality, which markets do not solve. Problems such as: class war, disability, discrimination, minorities, poverty, privilege, real world power, women's issues and much more.
Infrastructure (4 links)
We use infrastructure as we breathe the air: we hardly ever think about it unless it fails. But the infrastructure of roads, communications, education, science, defense, law, and many other institutions is largely a product of government efforts.
Innovation (2 links)
Libertarians ignore the enormous history and pervasiveness of government innovation to claim that innovation is primarily from the private sector.
Institutions
Libertarians cannot see the forest for the trees. By focussing on individuals, they ignore the fact that individuals comprise, reside in and utilize institutions. Institutions such as property, law, governance, capitalism, marriage, etc. Libertarians pretend that rights are "natural" when in reality they come from institutions.
Labor (22 links)
Libertarians should support labor rights and unions because workers are more free when employer power is limited. But libertarians oppose labor rights and unions because they side with the private exercise of power by employers. If an employer wishes to deny you bathroom breaks, requiring you to sit in your own urine, that is his privilege until he is limited.
Law (15 links)
Libertarians want laws and interpretations of laws that favor their own interests. They have invested in authoring and sponsoring laws. They have their ridiculous own schools of legal and Constitutional interpretation, and they sponsor training for law students and judges.
Libertarian Hypocrisy (18 links)
The classic "I never got a government handout" from libertarians is usualy a hypocritical lie. Lots of them gratefully suck from the tit of the welfare state. For example, Friedrich von Hayek and Ayn Rand were both hypocritical users of Medicare. And often they request the state to compel others.
Libertarian Self-Delusions
Libertarians believe many weird things about themselves compared to others. Many are splendid examples of the Dunning–Kruger effect. See also: Derp.
Markets in Organs (3 links)
Society is very leery of creating markets for organs, for very good reasons. Many libertarians (following ideological dictates of Self-Ownership and Market Fundamentalism) think organ markets should be unregulated.
Middle Class
There is no libertarian theory of the formation of the middle class. The middle class is conspicuously the result of government programs in education, commerce, taxation, housing policy, agricultural policy and other efforts.
Minimum Wage (15 links)
Contrary to Economics 101 dogmas, minimum wage law has no harmful effects on employment according to many real-world studies. And definitely not the harmful effects long claimed by its opponents. Minimum wage does effectively reduce poverty.
Pax Americana (2 links)
One of the few valid claims to American exceptionalism, the degree of international peace brokered by the US since WWII has been unprecedented both in nature and duration. This has resulted in vast increases in wealth and freedom for the US and especially for the rest of the world.
Plutocracy (49 links)
Most of the world, including the USA, is a plutocracy: ruled by and for the rich, the .01%. Libertarians with their obsession with property tend to favor this status quo. Also known as plutonomy and plutarchy, closely related to oligarchy.
Politics (2 links)
Libertarians claim to eliminate politics by retaining only protection of property among government services (if that too is not privatized.) This, too, is another strategy of privatization of power, a way for the largest, richest property owners to make political decisions with their wealth and private security forces, as in feudalism.
Poverty (22 links)
Libertarians like to claim that poverty will be solved by "The Magic Of The Market" and charity. But high levels of poverty persist despite US markets and charity, and has been nearly eliminated in strongly socialist nations such as Denmark. See also inequality.
Predictions That Never Come True (8 links)
Medicare will cause the end of freedom! We're on the road to serfdom! The market will end discrimination! Regulation will bankrupt business! Libertarians are loaded with predictions and promises that will never come true, and ignore all the historical evidence they won't come true.
Regulation (4 links)
Regulation can protect important liberties, such as freedom from poisoning by pollution. Regulation can benefit by eliminating some bad choices or protecting from side effects. Complaints that regulation "destroys jobs" are laughable because ordinary productivity increases routinely destroy vast numbers of jobs. How many of us have farm jobs any more? Meeting regulatory requirements may even create new jobs.
Reinventing Government Badly (4 links)
It is patently obvious, even to many libertarians, that some form of government is needed. Libertarians thus reinvent governments according to their own lights as defense associations, private monarchies, and a variety of other bad solutions that privatize power.
Religion (2 links)
Libertarians range from staunch atheists like Ayn Rand to theocrats. A delightful miscellany of bad reasoning!
Responsibility (11 links)
Libertarians regard government policies of responsibility as tyrannical burdens.
Science (6 links)
Libertarians (such as John Stossel) are renowned for science denialism. They have a long and bad history of misrepresenting science on tobacco, global warming and other issues.
Social Justice (9 links)
People who tend to the Libertarian side are usually people who have yet to experience the need for financial assistance or social justice. They have little sympathy for these ideas because they often arise from "free" interaction and their solutions may involve regulation and redistribution.
Social Security (12 links)
Social security (and other social insurance such as Medicare) is one of the great enemies of libertarians and conservatives. They continually misrepresent it and claim alternatives are better. It is also the largest pot of money in the world: hence it's destruction would provide a huge windfall for the economically dominant.
Society (3 links)
Humans live in societies, and societies are inescapably political because humans have conflicting interests. All societies rely on coercion to enforce their rules. A libertarian society would be just as coercive (primarily about property) and political (enacting rules by force) as any democratic society, but libertarians don't usually seem to realize that: they often believe their rules are "natural". The difference is that libertarians don't want to allow any changes to their rules, no matter how unpopular they are.
Taxes (20 links)
Libertarians hate 'em! But minarchist libertarians (the vast majority) have no coherent answer to how to pay for even a minimal government. Libertarian and Republican criticisms of taxes usually overlap.
The New Deal (8 links)
Libertarians cannot explain the successes of FDR's New Deal. Hence, they engage in ridiculous denialism about how effective it was and attempt to undo New Deal progress. They greatly fear revisiting and extending the New Deal as FDR envisioned.
The Workplace (32 links)
Our greatest daily loss of liberty is in the workplace. Libertarian pretense that the workplace is voluntary would only make sense if people had an equal alternative to the workplace. Power differences between employer and employee result in many losses of liberty.
There Are Important Values Besides Liberty (15 links)
Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak, and vulnerable. All these trade off with liberty in important ways. Libertarians want to found society on only one value, private property (which they conflate with liberty.) People with other values will be burdened by having to pay for them.
Vast, Right-Wing Conspiracy (20 links)
A term used by Hillary Clinton, which like politically Incorrect is sneered at by libertarians. Hillary was wrong: there are several vast, right-wing conspiracies, aimed at corporatism, movement conservatism, plutocracy, and theocracy, each with their respective billionaire sponsors. Koch, Scaife, Ahmundson, Coors, Murdoch, etc. The Kochtopus is probably foremost among them in the US, and the Mont Pelerin Society globally. Libertarians are among the cats paws of these conspiracies.
Voluntary Failures (4 links)
Just as there are market failures and government failures, there are also voluntary failures such as philanthropic insufficiency, philanthropic particularism and philanthropic paternalism. Where voluntary and market efforts fail, government should step up.
Vouchers (6 links)
Libertarians claim to prefer vouchers to direct government provision. But they do so for ideological reasons, not because vouchers are the best method. Some voucher programs (such as food stamps) work well, but direct provision works better for many other goods.

Quotations

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