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 two thousand five hundred years shows that most city-states and nations where people enjoyed a high level of liberty were remarkably short-lived. The example of several societies 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.

Liberty is that it leads to flowering of art, science, and private enterprise; it brings prosperity and comfort to the people. But liberty has unintended consequences too: it leads to the rise of a libertine society. When people have too much prosperity and comfort, they lose their character and 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 eventually it leads to 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 this society will be unstable. The paradox is that a free society with minimal government can only survive for a minimal amount of time.

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