Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Libertarian Notions of Liberty are Impractical

The libertarians believe that liberty is a magic wand that can cure society of all its woes. But history of last 2500 years shows that most city-states and nations where people enjoyed a high level of liberty were remarkably short-lived. Several examples can be considered to establish the point that greater the liberty, shorter the lifespan of the society: Ancient Athens after the Peloponnesian War, Ancient Rome, and Florence during the time of the Renaissance.

The good thing about liberty is that it leads to flowering of art, science, and private enterprise—it brings prosperity and comfort to the people. But liberty has its unintended consequences; it leads to the rise of a libertine society. After enjoying prosperity and comfort people lose their character and their passion for hard work—they become complacent, lazy, degenerate, and arrogant; they start taking their freedom for granted. A stage comes when a significant part of the society’s population becomes uninterested in being free and they start lusting for a statist political system.

The libertarian notion that liberty is the cure of all social problems is wide of the mark—liberty solves some problems, but not all, and it gives rise to several new problems. Liberty has within itself the seeds of its own destruction. A self-governed society which allows a high degree of liberty to its people might be good in the short term, but in the long term such societies prove to be very unstable. A free society with minimal government can only survive for a minimal amount of time.

Political freedom can lead to more harm than good if a significant part of the population is not culturally united to defend their way of life from internal and external enemies. The campaign for liberty through a political process must go hand in hand with the campaign for strengthening the bonds of culture, tradition, and history.

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