Sometimes I consider myself a libertarian. Sometimes I don’t. I definitely have libertarian ideas and beliefs but I am not a purist. In fact sometimes libertarians really irritate me! Here are some of things that bother me most.
- Libertarians tend to have no interest in implementing their ideas. They prefer to argue among themselves about issues of dogma. If you suggest implementing some “pro-libertarian” policy you are likely to be savagely attacked by “true libertarians” who view you as insufficiently pure since your implementation is inevitably going to involve some compromise for practical pragmatic reasons.
- The Libertarian Party has been hijacked by two very negative groups whose ideas and behavior discredit other libertarians. The first are “pro-drugs” single issue people. They have no interest in libertarian issues other than promoting legalization of drugs. Once that is done they turn to the government to create programs to provide them with “free” drugs and support their lifestyles. The next detrimental group is neo-nazi anti-Semites who are attracted to the Libertarian Party solely to hide their hateful insane conspiracy theories behind the libertarian principal of non-intervention. I will acknowledge that these two issues have more to do with the Libertarian Party than libertarianism itself.
- Most libertarians wholly reject the possibility that voluntarism may have to go hand-in-hand with a culture that promotes responsibility in liberty rather than just license. There is a difference between liberty and license: liberty acknowledges the consequence of actions. As such libertarians tend to embrace at best an amoral approach to culture if not a downright hedonistic attitude. There is a difference between being free to choose and being non-judgmentally amoral to the point of supporting immorality.
- Finally, some libertarians have a problem with social interaction. In other words they are jerks and don’t know how to have a conversation let alone work with people. When a potential convert to libertarianism approaches a “true libertarian” he is often put off by the rude and anti-social behavior. It is very hard to have a discussion with these people since they only want to preach at you, and if you don’t blindly accept what they are preaching you become the enemy. Who wants to be treated as an enemy because you only agree with 80% of their dogma?