andalusia, one thing that r/w libertarian/anarcho-capitalist has wrong is his example of ordinary people reversing Napoleon’s conquest of Spain and Portugal. You could try suggesting he look up Wellesley (Wellington) and the Peninsular War: the Spanish and Portuguese guerrilleros
would not have won without the significant help of the British Army and Royal Navy (not to mention the Spanish and Portuguese regular, i.e. State, forces that fought alongside).
William M. Briggs wrote that ‘The love of theory is the root of all evil.
’ Much good can be found in some philosophies and some good can be found in many; but trouble ensues when philosophy becomes dogma and conforming to theory is placed ahead of reality. No matter one’s beliefs, one should be flexible enough to modify them in accord with the dictates of reality. Some libertarians, however, (why I left the philosophy behind) are dogmatic, insisting on cramming all aspects of human existence into the box marked ‘libertarian’.
There are degrees of libertarianism (as with any other belief). The extreme end of libertarianism advocates the abolition of the State, including armed forces (insurance companies will fill the gap or people will spontaneously rise when needed), with laws being replaced by social convention. (Although some people’s ‘libertarianism’ pretty much starts and ends with the legalisation of narcotics—Muh weed
But some libertarians are quite moderate and flexible, and productive discussions enjoyed and they can be allies in some political campaigns.
One might be able to draw a Venn diagram between libertarians, conservatives and reactionaries, with the common ground between all three being ‘Leave me alone’. As long as I’m not harming anyone (core libertarian), nor challenging the State (core reactionary) nor leaching off the State without putting anything in (core conservative), then I should be left alone by State, neighbours, etc. There’s common ground between conservatives and reactionaries (the State should enforce sexual morality), and between conservatives and libertarians (as long as the company makes a profit, anything goes).
The trouble with criticising the free market, GarryB, is that we don’t actually have a free market. Across the West, governments mandate what minimum wage an employer pays his least skilled employee, whom he can hire and fire, and which customers he must serve; and we all (employer and employee) see our incomes shrink as we pay ever more for ever worse public services (and at least part of the reason for NZ’s petrol prices is the tax applied).
Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism, but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice; all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. All governments which thwart this natural course, which force things into another channel or which endeavour to arrest the progress of society at a particular point, are unnatural, and to support themselves are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical.
(Adam Smith, Lecture notes, 1755.)