When one takes an overall top down view of Libertarian philosophy and the Libertarian Party one might immediately think that this philosophy should work best during the birth and expansion periods of this country when individual personal action, individual power, individual initiative were of paramount importance in a challenging environment of the times. Individuals and families needed to rely on themselves more and society less for survival. I think of farmer families spotted across this country working diligently as sole economic units and only minimally dependent upon neighbors and limited government for aid.
- Libertarian Philosophy:
- Maximize individual liberty
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of action
- Minimization of the state and state organizations.
- Minimal public assistance.
- Minimal support of the poor.
A number of factors have created themselves into our social and economic fabric through time and history and partially as a result of our tremendous economic and social success that make the Liberation philosophy inappropriate if not down right illogical today. Let us list some of those factors and you should see how society has so vastly changed from simple to complex that the Libertarian view has not kept up with this complexity.
In our early US history, business interests needed cheap labor. Today we move our factories over to foreign countries because there is where the cheap labor is and transportation is so efficient at bringing product back toward our county after it is created overseas. But the first, early nation, “solution” for cheap labor was inverse to what we view as the solution for today, that is, to import the labor into this county in the form of African slaves. This was a social problem at inception and has caused horrendous inequities among a large segment of our population.
Another historical bump in the road for Libertarians is the take over of Indian tribes, leaving a population of indigenous peoples robbed of their sovereign lands and power.
The next significant historical factor that marks the Libertarian views as obsolete is the illegal migration into this county. We have currently over 8 to 12 million (possibly 20 to 30 million) illegal individuals from foreign countries living here. I will not argue the right or wrong for this situation but it exists as a social problem that we must face. This “illegals” problem really tests the Libertarian concept of public assistance.
The next significant historical evolution that marks our society as too complex for Libertarians to accept is the vast number of society members that have not risen to being complete fully functional individuals for any number of reasons. This category alone requires a partial list of sub-components and let me list some of those here, in no particular order or level of importance:
- Substance abusers
The reason Libertarian Party and beliefs still exists is due to the fact that the tenants of this philosophy work for the betterment of the rich and business. The rich do not want to spend “their” money for social programs that help anyone other than themselves. Businesses do not want controls put upon them for worker rights, environment and business practices. Businesses and the rich do not want to be taxed, plain and simple. Intellectually this Libertarian philosophy is flawed because it serves only those who believe in its tenants. It fails the smell test because it is rotten for the rest of us. For these times it is embarrassingly out of date and should be closed and put in the history books as a once upon a time theory that wrinkled like a prune with age.