Jonah Goldberg recently wrote an excellent article over at National Review Online:
In a much-discussed essay for Salon, Michael Lind asks: “If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?”
Such is the philosophical poverty of liberalism today that this stands as a profound question.
Definitions vary, but broadly speaking, libertarianism is the idea that people should be as free as possible from state coercion so long as they don’t harm anyone. The job of the state is limited to fighting crime, providing for the common defense, and protecting the rights and contracts of citizens. The individual is sovereign; he is the captain of himself.
It’s true, no ideal libertarian state has ever existed outside a table for one. And no such state will ever exist. But here’s an important caveat: No ideal state of any other kind will be created either. America’s great, but it ain’t perfect. Sweden’s social democracy is all right, but if it were perfect, I suspect fewer cars would be on fire over there.
Ideals are called ideals for a reason: They’re ideals. They’re goals, aspirations, abstract straight rules we use as measuring sticks against the crooked timber of humanity.
Goldberg goes on to say that the progressive movement is only moving America towards the tried, failed and archaic system of statism, wherein our lives are largely dictated by leaders who are purported to know what’s best for all of us. Been there, done that, throughout history and it has never turned out well. How liberals and democrats can cite this as “progress” is beyond me.
I increasingly find myself on the libertarian side of the political equation, having been disappointed with the “conservative” movement far too many times. The less of an authoritarian figure that is in my life, the much better off I am – and that is both from a political and personal standpoint. I would much rather fail on my own, than succeed as a result of someone else’s decisions. Sadly I believe we have abandoned that ideal as a country and now far too many of Americans would prefer to be “employed” and work and live at the direction of someone else, rather than take a risk and seek their own path. The other day one of our resident progressives asked what did “conservatives have to offer”, which I found to be extremely disheartening. Too many people have simply lost sight of the spiritual and professional fulfillment that complete liberty can bring. When you are left to your own, failure is a given, but so is the potential abundance of spiritual awareness and financial rewards. You never really know who you truly are, until you have only yourself to rely on and I wish more people would take the leap to experience that.
Happy Father’s Day y’all!!