Is Libertarianism a Form of Government?

A good number of people seem to think that Libertarianism is just another form of government. But it’s not, really. Libertarianism is a moral philosophy. It’s a code you live by. Now how a Libertarian society might be organized–the types of frameworks that might be result in a Libertarian outcome; namely, a neighborhood of non-aggression–is up for argument.

This is why many Libertarians are Anarco-Capitalists, while others are constituionalists or minarchists or what have you. Libertarians aren’t all that sure on how to get the most amount of liberty for themselves, actually–they just have theories. I lean Ancap. I think that’s the ultimate, real answer. But let’s talk about this. It’s important.

Libertarians are against force. Government is force. Libertarians, therefore, are against government.

James Babb says, as a Libertarian, the one thing he is against is human slavery. And not just one form of slavery, but all forms of human slavery. He actually says that, he goes, “Hi, I’m James Babb, and I’m against all forms of human slavery. What forms of human slavery are you for?”

So he starts the conversation there. He doesn’t announce himself as an anarchist. He says he’s an “abolitionist.” And I have to agree. I think calling yourself an anarchist results in some alarms being sounded that don’t necessarily need to be. Like that you’re some kind of savage punk-rock-loving, molotov-cocktail-hurling, degenerate, of some kind. Or what have you.

If I’m an anarcho-capitalist, it’s because my theory and research has lead me to believe that such a society would result in the most amount of freedom for every individual. I may be wrong. Because we haven’t actually tried it. But maybe we could sometime? I think it would be a fine experiment and, if nothing else, very fun and very interesting.

My problem with those who call for limited government is that limited government never seems to keep itself that way. I just don’t see how we could think we’d ever be able to keep the tumor at only, say, 5%. The nature of government is to grow. And yes, maybe we would see the same thing happen even without government. Who’s to say?

But I try not to be too much of an idealist. So any strategy that moves us in the direction of less government (liberty) is one I’m willing to lay a hand in and support. I would take minicharism any day over this crap. And I think it would do Libertarians a lot of good to stop getting into so many quibbles over this.

The point is Libertarianism is not a form of government, and Libertarians often do not agree on which form of government, exactly–if any–would produce the largest Libertarian outcome. But whatever our differences may be, we owe it to ourselves to be reminded that we are, in fact, on the same team. And so if we wish to see any of our freedom-inspired dreams come to fruition, it would do us well to start playing ball together.

– Pat

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