Aside from a lucky break recently, this week hasn’t been great. So imagine my delight when I saw this story in my newsfeed: Libertarian ‘Utopia’ Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately.
Libertarians and their fellow travelers are fond of claiming that socialism has always failed wherever it has been tried. That’s a bit tough to tangle with as far as statements go, if only because the libertarian definition of socialism can, in some cases, extend to things like public roads or the post office. Then again, libertarians of all stripes are quite fond of making ridiculous assertions based on a priori assumptions.
In reality, “socialism” in various forms has “worked,” and if we count certain European social democratic welfare states as “socialist”(though I wouldn’t), you’d not only be compelled to admit that it works, but that it works well. Norway, after all, has the highest standard of living in the world. As for actual Marxist socialism, it was successful in the sense that virtually every country with a socialist revolution ended up better off than it was prior to their revolution, with relatively few very qualified exceptions.
Libertarianism, and particularly the more extreme and oxymoronic “anarcho-capitalism,” has by contrast never been implemented. To the extent that libertarian ideas have been put in place, life has sucked proportionately. And no, you can’t point to the neo-liberal United States as a refutation of this claim, because firstly, the US actually didn’t achieve its success due to neo-liberalism, and secondly, libertarians and anarcho-capitalists today tell us that America is basically a Communist totalitarian fascist state. Sorry, libertarians, you can’t pick successful states to support your views and then simultaneously declare them evil, socialist command economies just because they have a central bank.
So the gist of this article is that once again, libertarians attempted to create their own community and in the process fell for a con comparable to someone selling a piece of the Brooklyn bridge, or more appropriately, beachfront property in Arizona. The land they were supposed to buy was apparently, and a bit ironically, located within a protected area which was supposedly not fore sale. Whether it’s pure trusts or Bitcoin, libertarians and fellow travelers tend to be a target demographic for scam artists. They are suckers for conspiracy theories and the idea that the government is keeping some big secret from them, one which will make them get rich or achieve their dreams with very little effort. Therefore they won’t listen to lawyers, experts, official government sources, etc. when they explain why you can’t actually do such-and-such.
One interesting fact which the article didn’t seem to cover was the question of where these new expats would find work in Chile, where their community was supposed to be built. It’s clear that we’re not dealing with millionaires here, as some of the
suckers buyers had to sell property or use all of their life savings to buy their plots of land. Nothing was said about how they would legally live in Chile and earn money there as well. Of course none of this was important. The important thing was liberty! And if the dream turned out to be nothing but a delusion well, there’s always a government to blame, in this case that of Chile.
Naturally the first response of any libertarian upon realizing he or she got ripped off is to go to a government court and try to achieve justice. At no time do they consider this ironic or hypocritical. They fail to realize that for a functioning capitalist system, you need a stable, strong state which can at the very least secure private property rights, and the courts that can facilitate this. When you don’t have that, you end up with something like Russia in the 90’s. Granted, some libertarians, known as miniarchists, are aware of this, but they are considered a little too “statist” by the radical, hip Reddit-driven movement of “anarcho-capitalists” AKA Ron Paul cultists between elections.
So once again libertarianism fails before its even implemented. But of course that’s just my opinion, and I am after all a worthless, gullible, sheep-like statist who worships the government and believes everything the mainstream media tells me. I’m not fit to own an official Warner Bros. Guy Fawkes mask.