Libertarianism is Too Rational

I’ve written elsewhere, in places too numerous now to recall, about the fact that many if not most libertarians make the erroneous – and largely false – assumption that the average person actually wants to be free.  All the evidence demonstrates that they don’t.

There’s another reason why libertarianism fails to gain mass appeal:  It’s too rational.

Libertarian ideology (and it is just that – an ideal – one that is probably unrealizable, given that it requires human cooperation with such) is consistent.  It’s not based on the same arbitrary, infinitely flexible tenets of Statism.  It appeals to pure logic and reason (albeit even among self-proclaimed libertarians, there’s room for disagreement on some of the finer points).

And that is another of its downfalls.

Yes, human beings are capable (ostensibly, anyway) of reason, rational thought, and logical deduction.  It’s what separates us – some say – from the beasts in the wild.  It’s why some human beings are able to build skyscrapers, build computers, solve complex math equations, and send spacecraft out to distant celestial bodies. Libertarianism presumes that people – at least, most people — act this way all the time.  But this ignores that, in large measure, human beings do not act rationally.  And they fail to do so on a supremely consistent basis.

Many innocuous aspects of human nature do not rely upon logic.  There is nothing particularly “logical,” for instance, in having a favorite color, liking a certain rock band, or falling head over heels for a certain woman.  But none of these are quirks that in any way threaten the existence or functionality of a free and prosperous society.  On the contrary, they may even contribute to it in a complimentary way.

People, however, favor ideas and behavior which is not so easily assimilated: They favor redistribution of wealth (government theft), attack free markets as evil, are angered by gun ownership and free speech, accept and work at government jobs.  They see racism in everything that moves, cheer on the State’s aggressions as if they were part of a winning team.  They vote.  They eat Tide pods.

You get the picture.  With that as the raw material to work with – crowds of cattle who are more interested in football games and sitcoms than Spooner or Mises (and don’t even know who those two latter were – or care) – what chance does an elevated, evolutionary philosophy like libertarianism / voluntaryism stand?

None.

You cannot “educate” a society full of beings who exhibit such low intellect, coupled with an almost total inability to process facts in a consistent and cogent manner.

I wish I could read you a comfy bedtime story here at this point, but that’s not the world we’re stuck in.  The rulers know the ruled are basically complete fucking idiots – even many if not most of the ones with several university accolades hanging on their office walls – and while the rulers are often no prodigies themselves, they are cunning, ruthless, and brazen enough to get away with playing farmer on the farm.  And they have plenty of even more sinister, bloodthirsty goons with guns to help them get their way (more evidence of the irrationality of the herd) in the face of any resisters. Needless to say, most people aren’t resisters.  They’re just soft, pliable, Silly-Putty clowns who only want pan et circe.

Conclusion?  Is there one? You tell me.  Just thought I’d point out the obvious, once again.

Enjoy life.

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Alex R. Knight III is originally from Groveland, Massachusetts, where he grew up listening to rock and roll, reading J.R.R. Tolkien, and the comic books of the 1970s.  He today lives in rural southern Vermont where he welds, plays guitar, paints abstracts, reads avidly, and writes.  He is the author of the short fiction collection, Tales From Dark 7in addition to the novels The Morris Roomand Empty World.  And, he is a Voluntaryist. Visit his MeWe group here.

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Kilgore Forelle
22 days ago

And this is explained thoroughly in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave.

With 25 centuries to understand its message, what progress have we made?

Alex Knight
Alex Knight
22 days ago

I concur.

John Ketchum
John Ketchum
22 days ago

You may be right that libertarianism is too rational for most people. One person I tried to persuade explicitly objected that libertarianism is too rational. Another objected that a logically inconsistent political philosophy is preferable to a consistent one. This was after I explained that (1) pure libertarianism is logically consistent because it’s whatever set of political propositions is consistent with the principle of self-ownership and the closely related (properly formulated) non-aggression principle, (2) all other political positions shown on the Nolan Chart (including, surprisingly, pure totalitarianism, which is the exact opposite of pure libertarianism) are demonstrably inconsistent, and (3)… Read more »

Alex Knight
Alex Knight
22 days ago
Reply to  John Ketchum

Now go and present exactly what you wrote above to the average Joe or Jane…and see what kind of reaction you get. They’ll think you’re speaking an extraterrestrial language.

As for your last paragraph, I’d like to think you’re right — except that people have been trying that since around 1850 or so. Obviously, it hasn’t worked yet. And I’m not holding my breath. Philosophers are subject to the same irrationalities and confirmation-biases as I describe above.

Zack
Zack
22 days ago

The vast majority of people will never change their mind and are incapable of doing so. The solution is to raise children in a way that they understand and believe libertarian ideology. We all need to have 20 kids each

Alex Knight
Alex Knight
22 days ago
Reply to  Zack

Ha-ha! Just so. We’re fighting against the government-school indoctrination system, from which — albeit there are increasing numbers of homeschoolers, etc. — I see no mass exodus on the prerequisite scale anytime soon.