No philosophy is unified: liberal, conservative, marxist and libertarian philosophies are numerous and varied. Libertarian philosophies are all based on fundamental fantasies which are easily contradicted by common knowledge and science. If they claim to be based on firmer foundations, they make magical, unexplained leaps from those foundations to their conclusions: the logic that would connect them is missing.
- Anarcho-capitalism (10 links)
- The "logical" extreme of libertarianism, doing away with all government in favor of hi-tech feudalism. But libertarians have missed the obvious fact that Anarcho-capitalism exists; property ownership in land just happens to be dominated by about 200 firms called “governments.”
- Anarchy, State, and Utopia (book) (8 links)
- (1974) Robert Nozick has written the most academically important attempt at libertarian philosophy. Starting with the fantasy of Natural Rights, it is rife with fallacies, misdirection and unstated assumptions.
- Anthropology and Scientific Psychology (8 links)
- Libertarian philosophy and ideology (and indeed almost all economics) omit basic facts of anthropology, such as the fact that humans naturally engage in gift networks and sometimes barter, but that markets are unnatural to our psychology. They also usually ignore scientific psychology findings in favor of pop psychology. Capitalist exploitation relies on this fact.
- Capitalism, Markets and Laissez-Faire (14 links)
- Libertarian ideology worships these gods with feet of clay, and wishes no limits to them. History and common sense tell us that limits must be imposed on them, they must be regulated.
- Cyberlibertarianism (6 links)
- A utopian, incoherent front for neoliberal exploitation of technology. Some excellent spin-offs, such as Wikipedia, and some enormous threats, such as Algorithmic Prison.
- Failures Of Libertarian Philosophy (70 links)
- Libertarian philosophy has some conspicuous failures. The numerous libertarian attempts to demonstrate self-ownership and property rights fail badly. This undermines essentially everything else they attempt.
- Fallacies Of Ideology (20 links)
- Ideology commonly makes a number of different mistakes than more ordinary philosophy.
- Fallacies Of Philosophy (5 links)
- A great deal of philosophy is grossly misleading from the very start.
- Libertarianism Is Not Liberalism (4 links)
- The overriding role of property and capitalism in libertarianism prevents it from fulfilling liberal objectives and contradicts basic liberal ideas.
- Minarchy (2 links)
- The foolish idea of a minimal government, which overlooks the better idea of an optimal government. But libertarians have no moral justification for or alternative to taxation in a minimal government. Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand are the best known minarchists, and both fail miserably.
- Non-Aggression (16 links)
- The "non-aggression axiom" , also known as non-coercion, is one of the most widely repeated bits of libertarian propaganda. It simply means "we want to coerce you to live by our rules whether you like it or not." "Steal my candy bar? Then you must die!" It is an incoherent piece of rhetoric.
- Objectivism (16 links)
- Ayn Rand's Objectivism is based on little more than a fine Russian/European tradition of obscurantist philosophy and a number of patently false axioms. For example, as soon as you recognize that reproduction is as ultimate a goal as life, then egoism doesn't make sense.
- Praxeology (10 links)
- Ludwig von Mises' anti-scientific, axiomatic, a priori methodology for supporting his preferred conservative political economy. Also used by Murray Rothbard, Hans-Hermann Hoppe and some other libertarians. Ignored by academia, promoted by the crank vanity press Ludwig von Mises Institute.
[...] the central analytical failure of libertarianism as a worldview: a total and disqualifying inability to measure or account for power as it exists in the real world.
Freddie deBoer, "Brief insights into the libertarian mind"
Libertarianism is supposed to be all about principles, but what it’s really about is political expedience. It’s basically a corporate front, masked as a philosophy.
Thomas Frank in Jane Mayer, "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right" pg. 123.
[...] Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.
David Hume, "Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", 12, "Of the Academical or Sceptical Philosophy" p. 176.
I wouldn't confuse conservative libertarianism with a genuine philosophy, open to considering reasoned objections. Bryan Caplan is a libertarian, because that's his job! It is a completely synthetic ideology, deliberately manufactured by a cadre of full-time professionals. And, I don't think their employers intend to make the masses any smarter about the economy or society. In short, libertarians are a product of increasing inequality; of course, they are in favor of increasing inequality, and would prefer that no one draw attention to its deleterious effects; libertarianism is one of increasing inequality's deleterious effects!
Bruce Wilder, "The libertarian solution to inequality"