Many people recoil at the word libertarianism and will write it off, because it doesn’t fit into their way of thinking. Yes; libertarianism has its flaws and there are definitely tough critiques on it. However there are many real pros to it that make it a very attractive way of thinking for all people regardless of back ground. I will address the liberal and conservative critiques and also why this world outlook is so freeing.
Conservatives general critique of libertarianism boils down to three things. Libertarians are weak on defense. Libertarians are basically anarchists and want lawlessness. Now each of these points is valid and good critique. First of, libertarians are not weak on defense most libertarians are pro gun and are definitely for having an available defense. However, they don’t see much of a point of a having a gigantic military that intervenes in every part of the world when ever a countries business interest are threatened. This is the difference between being isolationist i.e. North Korea and Non interventionist i.e. Switzerland. It is why most people like Switzerland and most people dislike North Korea. Also NK’s economy is in the toilet while Switzerland has a very strong economy. It also makes more sense to trade with other countries then to go to war with them, how else would we get delicious Vodka if we went to war with Russia?
I could go on for long time on the subject of war and having massive armies but I won’t. As for anarchy and lawlessness, most libertarians believe in little to no government interference in the economy and on people’s personal freedoms. So if you like to drink go ahead, if you like being married to a person of the same gender go ahead, if you want start a coffee shop go ahead, if you want to do what ever if it is you want to do then do it. However the catch is, always be truthful in your words and don’t infringe on people and their property. So this is essentially the golden rule. This doesn’t mean there wouldn’t be a government there would be a very limited government, sort of like the way the founding fathers had set things up with a limited centralized government.
As for modern day liberals their general critiques are who would hold big business in check, who would take care of the sick and poor. Well each of these has an answer and many of them basically come back to the issue of crony capitalism. Governments cause many of the issues that you bring up. Most big businesses are essentially sanctioned by the government. They do this through special tax exemptions, subsidies and specially crafted legislation that helps businesses. If the government did not get involved in these industries like this there would be much more work and jobs available. It all comes back to the golden rule. Next, who would take care of the sick and elderly well if there was more work and more money and not as many taxes people could pay for these things themselves? Yes people would help themselves and their families. Libertarians believe in the golden rule and this is also the rule when it comes to any one regardless of back ground.
What I see around me is that conservatives are as bad as liberals when it comes to government’s use of force. Conservatives want to ban things that they don’t like such as drinking on Sunday and the like. So do the liberals, they don’t like guns, churches, trucks and the list goes on. Essentially they are using the exact same argument for the banning of things, not because of any scientific merit but because of an opinion they have. This is what it sounds like: “Guns are bad because they are bad, because I think they are bad. Cursing is bad because I think it is bad. Pollution is bad because I think it is bad….and the government should use violence to back my opinion because it is my opinion.”
To me, much of the conservative v liberal side comes down to this; who is allowed to use force against who. Using the force of government, instead of trying to educate and convince others their position is superior. If you don’t want people doing things that you think are bad for them, convince them that they shouldn’t do it. Libertarianism embraces what is best of the two party system in the US, the one side embraces free markets and limited government the other side embraces freedom of expression and choice and anti war. This is what true liberty is, freedom for everyone.