Our Libertarian View

The Survival Podcast attempts to be as non nonpartisan as possible as we evaluate potential threats (governmental, environmental or man made) to our future. The reality though is that most of our political discussion comes from a libertarian mindset so I felt it would be a good idea to add a bit of information about it to our website.

The Libertarian Party is actually a legitimate third party and you can view their website and learn more about them by simply visiting the Libertarian Party Website.

A short summary of my view of Libertarianism at the Survival Podcast is as follows…

  • I believe that government should make no law that interferes with individual rights or behavior so long as no one is harmed by it. However, I don’t want to pay for your lifestyle so tax payers should never have to subsidize behavior of any group nor should they be forced to pay for “programs” that take away the consequences of stupid behavior.
  • The government should not be in the business of redistribution of wealth, which the graduated income tax does.
  • I believe that government is too big, too intrusive and relied upon entirely too much by our people.
  • I believe that the majority of problems that our government is attempting to solve with government programs were actually first created by other government programs.
  • I believe that programs like welfare and other entitlements promote dependence and destroy individual liberty and freedom for generations upon generations.
  • I believe that the “entitlement attitude” is a cancer that is killing our nation.
  • I believe “The government that governs least, governs best“.
  • Truly summing it up I believe that when Oliver Wendell Holmes stated, The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins“; he had it dead on! If we simply made this the guiding concept of our governing we would all be much better off.

Whether we are actively discussing politics or economic issues or simply discussing how to be prepared for any emergency or disaster it is this political ideology that is at the core of how we think and why we view things the way we do.

41 Responses to Our Libertarian View

  1. Clayton Ferguson

    I like this way of thinking ,, but sometimes I believe this way of thinking is just another reason to do nothing, well how did we get where we are by not doing anything?? Love the pod casts thou

    • That is a huge misconception. Libertarians do a lot of things, it is just that we don’t want the government taking our money away (excessive taxes), taking our freedoms (the ability to do stuff) away, and doing things that we may either want to do (use the millions of acres of restricted government land) or not agree with (use tax dollars for unethical purposes).

  2. I agree completely and would like to add that hepling those who can’t help themselves is a community responsibilty (ie. neighbors, churches) and should always be a choice. Elected officials who are payed full-time rarely act in the best interests of their constituants. If each of us take the time to KNOW our neighbor, we can help where we can and when we can. Everyone (99%) can contribute SOMETHING (time, talent, love, money, an understanding ear, etc.) “A rising tide raises all ships”

  3. Up front I find these views pretty easy to accept. I do have a question though, regarding the government making laws that impede on individual rights. I know the bill of rights isn’t a law, but it is supposed to protect our basic rights as a human being. But what is written down is up for interpretation by the judicial system. So my question is do you consider this to be more interfering with an individual’s rights, or more protecting individual rights?

  4. Mike Shalamskas

    Actually, the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution are the HIGHEST law of the land. Any powers or abilities not specifically given to the federal government are held by the states and individuals, respectively. In my opinion, any law that is against the Constitution is null, void, and unenforceable in this country. The Constitution is actually a libertarian statement. ‘We the people…’ what an amazing concept!

    • Actually the first statement of “We the people” is the first untruth in the Constitution. It collectivized “us” into a fictitious philosophical whole that did not then and has never existed. Power kept it in place from that time forward. “We” in it means those with the power, be it majority (mob) power or merely superior political or military power. It could not mean all of us in America then and it does not mean all of us now.

      So, who are the ‘we’ in ‘We the people’? Only 55 of the 74 appointed to write it participated in it’s creation. Rhode Island refused to even send delegates to the convention. Of those 55 only 39 would sign it. Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine, and Patrick Henry (for instance) heavily disapproved of even making the effort and preferred the Articles of Confederation that we were already governed by and refused to attend the convention while speaking against it. So far ‘we’ is 39 people. “But it was ratified by all 13 colonies” comes the reply. What does that mean? In the end it was a grand total of 1071 individuals (void of blacks and women and American Indians and some other groups… they were certainly not ‘we’) who placed us under this first limiting of the freedoms that were previously enshrined in the Articles of Confederation, by their votes in the ratification conventions. That’s 1110 people out of 3.5 million (including slaves and women but not Indians) who placed us under “We the people”.

      Not that it’s a horrible document. We would be better off than now if we observed it. However “We the people” was not the utopian ‘all for one and one for all’ that we often think of it as and breaking from such programed thought patterns is the beginning of a free mind.

      Finally, a self serving place for anyone to start that thought process with some good links in it to sources as well.

  5. Mark Olejniczak

    I am one-half libertarian. The reason that I say “one-half” is that there are really two domains that Libertarianism covers: the political and the economic. These two are usually conflated, but they do not need to be. They are only peripherally related.

    I am 100% for political Libertarianism. In political Libertarianism I include things such as freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, and the press. In other words, I support the things that 99% of the Constitution is concerned with.

    Where I differ from most libertarians is in the economic domain. I think that their position is that of laissez faire Capitalism. This is where it is assumed that markets can regulate themselves, and all people must compete as individuals against whatever economic powers exist.

    (This is a very broad subject and in fact books have been written on it. I will try to be concise.)

    Political Libertarianism is eminently viable. Most of US history is an example of this kind of Liberty. The greatest threat in my lifetime to this kind of Liberty occurred during the Bush administration with his malfeasance on FISA, suspension of the Posse Comitatus Act, the Patriot Act, indefinite detention, sanction of torture, huge increase in the standing army, his war mongering, and extensive use of drones. Many of these excesses have continued under the Obama administration.

    Economic Libertarianism on the other hand has never existed and can never exist. The reasons that I do not support it are many. I will list them without much comment. If someone wants me to elaborate, I can do that at a later time.

    Reasons that I am not for total Economic Libertarianism:
    It would lead to a tyrannical plutocracy.
    To exist it must be anti-democratic.
    People in a democracy will never vote for it.
    Capitalists don’t want it.
    It has never existed.
    Fittingly, one of its founding documents (Atlas Shrugged) is a work of fiction.
    Since no one really wants it, the only way to implement it would be to establish a Dictatorship of the Libertariat. (Much like Communism established a Dictatorship of the Proletariat.)
    In short, it is impossible. Only naïve utopians could support it.
    A partial implementation of economic Libertarianism would be disastrous for the middle class and would lead to the tyrannical plutocracy I spoke about.

    I support efforts of people to make themselves more resilient to the coming economic troubles, so I do support your web site.

    I welcome any comments.

    • Modern Survival

      If you differ on economic issues the way you say, YOU ARE NOT a libertarian. Frankly you sound like a statist. A statist but a statist that believes in constitutional protections. Frankly that means if the Constitution gave different protections those are probably what you would believe in.

    • Richard Morgan

      I have to make a quick comment.

      How do the Capitalists who would form this plutocracy at the same time “not want it” then? If you look back through history and view every single economic cartel whether in steel, textiles, oil, etc. They were all made possible only by the fact they were able to pay off government to make competition difficult or illegal.

      • Modern Survival

        Um BAZINGA!

        See this is the typical shit, people say we need government to prevent monopoly but it is government that CREATES monopoly.

        Rail Road Monopoly was created with GOVERNMENT MONEY.

        Rockefeller’s oil monopoly was created with government regulations.

        Same with Carnegie’s Steel Monopoly built with government money and enforced with government regulation.

        What do we teach kids about those monopolies? That I shit you not taxes are what fixed them!

  6. Mark Olejniczak

    I neither claim nor aspire to be a libertarian. I hold many libertarian ideals but that’s as far as I will go. For instance I applaud Ron Paul’s recent filibuster against the use of Drones.

    I hope that that fact does not preclude my participating on this web site. I consider its subject very important and have been interested in it since the 1960’s.

    However, I will not admit to being a “state-ist.” That term is likely a horrible pejorative here. It is likely seen as something akin to promoting human sacrifice and worshiping Beelzebub.

    I reluctantly support the state intervening in the economy, especially the financial sector, because I see no alternative. Markets cannot regulate themselves.

    • Modern Survival

      First it was Rand not Ron and that in itself isn’t libertarian.

      No it doesn’t preclude you but frankly you have not expressed just about anything I really consider a libertarian ideal. I am only answering you because well you posted and asked.

      Perhaps you should learn a bit more about libertarianism and your incorrect assumptions if it is important to you to ask such things.

      Such as you said this, “Economic Libertarianism on the other hand has never existed and can never exist.”

      Nothing could be more false it is economic libertarianism that always shows us the truth about markets. The stock market is at an “all time high” right? Wrongo bucko price it in ounces of gold or silver and the free market while hidden from public view shows you the truth.

      Economic libertarianism exists at every farmers market, every swap meet, ever “trading blanket”, every “black market”, every unregulated exchange between neighbors over an adjoining fence.

      The simple matter is you really don’t know what you are speaking about. You are in fact based on how you describe yourself a statist with a liberal view of personal freedoms. That is alright there are plenty of people here just like you, most call themselves republicans by the way.

    • Modern Survival

      Oh and Atlas Shrugged is not the founding father of libertarianism, frankly Thomas Jefferson is more a founder of it then Ayn Rand, again you are drawing conclusions on false beliefs.

      Ayn Rand’s philosophy is “objectivist” not libertarian.


      A libertarian will tell you to knock yourself out with all the socialist crap you want, just don’t use force to compel us to participate in it with you.

      Again if you are going to draw conclusions it is very important to begin with facts and you are not using factual info to draw your conclusions.

    • :-)

      @Mark –
      IMO a concise definition of ‘libertarianism’ would be ‘freedom to do what you want, as long as it doesn’t harm others’. Jack made a comment in a podcast that liberty is a natural state, whereas freedom is ‘granted’ by an authority.. so a libertarian might say ‘I am at liberty to do as I wish’ not ‘The state has granted me the freedom to do as I wish’.

      Personally I find Capitalism, Socialism and Communism to be ‘outdated’ concepts.. as they’re all defined by who ‘owns the means of production’.. they were all created with the industrial revolution, when the way to wealth was massive factories.

      With the birth of more decentralized production methods, I think they will continue to fade away. (Name any ‘company’ or ‘conglomerate’ that has raised ‘capital’ in the last ten years to build a giant factory).

      So I think you can ignore ‘capitalism’ and instead look at ‘free markets’ vs. ‘regulated (unfree) markets’. If the regulation doesn’t create a ‘level’ competitive landscape, you have problems. If it does.. things go well. So the thing I think you’re really trying to say is that ‘we have a crony capitalist system where rich companies/individuals can buy an unfair advantage in the marketplace that is then enforced by the government’. This is not capitalism or free markets, its Facism. In a free market economy, the buying of favors is not allowed.

      So, you may be a libertarian after all.


  7. Capitalism is commonly mistaken for a political system. It is not. It merely describes the free exchange of PRIVATELY owned goods and services between PRIVATE parties. Once the government interferes by regulating – deciding who can legally sell or make, where business can be done and dictates the method of exchange (currency) – then capitalism is superficial at best.

  8. Mark Olejniczak

    Thank you all for your replies to my postings.

    With the exception of my Ron Paul and Ayn Rand statements, I stand by my posts. I am committed to self-sufficiency and preparedness. Even if one believes that state intervention in an economy has beneficial aspects, it does not mean that they want a nanny state to run their lives or that they are willing to give up political freedom for material security.

    I have read the forum post “The Primary Role of the Survival Podcast Forums” and it states that this site is not for political discussions. The preparation mission of this site is much more important than political discussion.

    I have a lot of ammo on this issue, and the postings would likely get quite long. I do not want to distract from this primary mission so I am prepared to either terminate this discussion or continue it.

    • Probably should save the political discussions for ‘over a beer’ or in the forums (where longer conversations work better)..


      Preparedness is a ‘thinking human’ issue (if you’ve had the thought ‘hey.. what if something goes wrong!?’ And then done something about that, you’re a prepper) so this may be the place for you..



    • Modern Survival

      Understand I am not being a dick here you just HAVE IT WRONG on what it means to be a libertarian.

      1. Believing in self sufficiency may very well LEAD YOU TO libertarianism, specifically as you actually BECOME more self sufficient, but it isn’t what makes you libertarian or even really a libertarian principle. Many come to libertarianism the other way around, they become libertarians and then REALIZE that if you are to be libertarian and say we don’t need the government for this and/or that, then that means WE NEED to provide it for ourselves and OUR COMMUNITIES.

      2. Let me see if I get your position correct in your own words, you want paraphrasing you, “state intervention in the economy to provide beneficial aspects, but you do not want a nanny state to run your life”. Do I have that right? My new friend, respectfully doesn’t that sound EXACTLY LIKE good old GOP marketing? Like I said you are a statist republican. That isn’t a SLUR just what you are.

      Let me explain you ARE FOR the state imposing it’s will on people. You just said so, so please do not argue with yourself. Hence you believe the state has a right dare I say a duty to use force to impose the will of some on others, hence statist. You also are for intervention fiscally, which actually starts to drag you to the “left” as a fiscal progressive but only so far. Hence you stick to common talking points of the “right” where you agree. Hence statist republican, see how that works, this is the anti thesis of libertarian.

      I am going to go out on a limb and bet you are also opposed to the decriminalization of marijuana, opposed to gay marriage, believe the state should be involved in policing marriage at all and also believe that you can have a crime even with NO VICTIM. If I am wrong I apologize in advance but if I am even mostly right this line of thinking is decidedly anti libertarian.

      Look I would not bother with this except for statements like, “I have a lot of ammo on this issue” in conjunction with so many other statements that are flat out factually WRONG. I figure if you are posting and talking about this a factual analysis is important to you right? So if you are going to state you are something you should know what that means, and if you are stating you are not something else and won’t be such a thing you should know what that is too. Would you not agree?

      Frankly it seems like you are confusing “free market libertarian” and “anarcho capitalist”. Anarchist capitalism is much of what is described by objectivist ideology (Ayn Rand). No regulation of the market. This means if I want to put crushed glass into a pie and sell it that would be okay until someone was harmed, then I am in trouble only for the harm I have done, the belief being that if I sell pies for a living I would be a fool to put crushed glass in it.

      The libertarian who favors a minarchist state would say, well the glass could also be something that takes far longer to do harm but if it does harm at a minimum I have a right to know what is in there. So I would be okay with a requirement to provide a factual list of ingredients with my pies. That really is empowering the market though, now I can buy a pie that is GMO free even if it isn’t USDA organic which the government you show faith in has all but ruined.

      Now where would I draw the line on Jack’s Pies? The government should not have any say over where I get my apples from, how much I pay for them, how I sell them (direct to consumer or via resell channels), where I cook them, how big they are, how much sugar does or doesn’t go in them (so long as I disclose that), who can buy them, how many a person can buy, etc. Any regulation of Jack’s pies should only be the MINIMUM to provide for pubic safety. With said minimum if I do anything really stupid beyond that the market indeed will fix the problem.

      So in an anarcho capitalist world anyone could start a bank and do what ever they want, if they screwed up their bank goes under. In a libertarian system anyone could start a bank but might be required to publish 100% of their procedures and said publishing would be a inherent contract with all depositors. The government would not tell the bank how to behave it would simply require that they follow their own published rules.

      Think of what that would do! What considerations do you take when getting a bank right now? Interest rates on CDs, Savings, Money Markets and loans (if you need money). Customer service and fees on any services you would generally use. Do you even worry about anything else? No because your STATE has fully homogenized all banking to be inherently equal and also empowered them to be thieves!

      In a libertarian system where the only regulation over a bank would be disclosure and full honoring of contracts, we would see a banking sector that grows and expands via innovation. People would ask 30 questions or more in choosing a bank. How do you insure deposits? Where does the money you make loans from come from? (Do you know the answer to that in our current system? I doubt it.) Do you carry gold or silver reserves? What good do you do for my local community? Who are your other customers? Etc, etc. Frankly since we have never had such a system in living history, we don’t know how innovative things would become.

      These are just a few examples. What people fail to understand is as soon as the government has “intervention in an economy” as you put it there is a ripple effect. This causes “unintended consequences” at first, such things as a government grows, bloats and expands become excuses for more “intervention in an economy”.

      You say you are for smaller government? Really then tell me any government that practiced “intervention in an economy” that ever got smaller over any 10 year or longer period in history? Just one? It has never happened.

      Your contention is the one that has never existed not mine. For thousands of years free trade was just that and human kind evolved quite well and was still capable of looking after itself. Right now a free market does exist many of use participate in it. We do this via the direct exchange of value for value outside the system.

      Before you write off libertarian thinking all I am suggesting is you know what it is to begin with. I am also suggesting before you put ANY FAITH in “intervention in an economy” by government you examine said history. Not just the MARKETING about the good that it did, but connect all the dots of said action.

      Take the welfare system, today we hear how millions are saved from poverty by it. No one though asks what percentage of the people were in true poverty before we implemented it vs. the one in SEVEN Americans today on food stamps and generations that have never worked a day in their lives.

      No one asks what other things are worse due to the entire system? How many people employed by this system are doing something completely unnecessary? How has this helped to inflate the economy and put families that don’t need welfare into a choice that they can only survive with two parents working full time?

      Please give me anywhere you think that government’s “intervention in an economy” worked, I am serious about that. When you do I will give you 20-30 negatives it created vs. 1-2 perceived positives.

      Libertarians believe no man should do harm to another, government should exist only to provide for protection of that principle.

      Now I know you will point to turn of the century factories, etc. Just remember unions HAD NOTHING TO DO with government in the beginning. Could I as a libertarian be pro union? Yes but not in the current system. If union membership was 100% voluntary and the only role government had in unions was to assure good faith resolution in contract breech first and enforcement if that fails, sure.

      The problem is a lot of anarchists don’t know that is what they are and run around talking about libertarianism and those tend to be the people most often listened to by the main stream. This is because when we already have something written off, we look to find what we disagree with.

      On anarchism just so I don’t piss off true anarchists in my community. I am an anarchist as an idealist, I would love for such a system to exist. I believe it can but only in the future with a far more evolved society then we have today. I believe libertarianism in a stop along that journey. I also believe it will take centuries to get to the destination. Libertarianism is what I believe is possible to move toward today and what is possible to implement if enough can be educated as to what it actually means. I also believe most anarchists do know they are anarchists, it is only a few vocal ones calling themselves libertarians I was referring to above.

      • Mark Olejniczak

        Modern Survival:

        Thank you for the long response. I respect your passion and want to take some time to read and re-read it so I can make a thoughtful reply. Do you want me to reply? I am a guest on your web site and do not want to junk it up. I could provide a useful foil for you to demonstrate the superiority of libertarian philosophy over a stateist one.

        If we continue, I would like to split my next response into two; one to answer some of the specific points that you raised and the other to set a framework for future discussions so we at least know what we are arguing about. If you would rather that I go to a different part of the web site, let me know where that is.

        • Modern Survival

          Reply all you want, if I didn’t want you to reply you would have already been banned, there is nothing wrong with the tone and content of your postings.

          Just know this, right now we are not even discussing why libertarianism is better then anything else, what we are discussing is WHAT LIBERTARIANISM is. Until we can get there it is really hard for me to debate with you the merits of libertarianism because you won’t be debating reality, only the current misconceptions in your own head.

          Here is what I mean, say we were debating what color is best for a car, I say red and you say black. But you think red is pink, how can we discuss the merits of red and black when you don’t know what red is? (this is an analogy of course)

          Now continuing what if in the discussion I realized you were actually talking about a truck, not a car and didn’t know what a car is.

          So here I am trying to discuss the merits of a red paint job on a car and you are telling me about a black paint job on a car but think red is pink and cars are pickup trucks. What point is there for me in that debate, would we not first have to have a reasonable understanding of the words red and car to have any meaningful discussion. So I am just saying may be you need to be clear on what a libertarian is, what a statist is, what a progressive is, etc. before we can discuss which is better.

          For a start, have you ever seen this, try taking it,


          only takes about 1 minute to complete

  9. Mark Olejniczak

    Me and the quiz

    I took quiz. It was fun and interesting. I scored 100% on personal issues and 30% on economic issues. That puts me firmly in the liberal area.

    This discussion should not be about me. It should not be about you. This discussion should be about ideas. To the extent that both libertarianism and liberalism are sets of ideas, it should not even be about them but about the ideas that they contain.

    To digress I will describe the depth of my commitment to personal freedom. In a previous post you listed a set of personal freedoms that I may not support. Be assured that on each of those issues I come down on the side of personal freedom.

    To extend the issue I will say that both cannabis and coca leaf should be legalized, not merely decriminalized (i.e. handled them like alcohol and tobacco). So-called hard drugs should be “medicalized.” By that I mean that no one should go to jail for their use but should be required to get medical prescription. The drugs would be available at pharmacies. The harm that they may do should be handled by treatment centers, not prisons.

    Examples of other personal freedoms:
    If a non-pregnant-looking woman goes into a doctor’s office, it is none of the state’s business what goes on in there. I am unsure what the state’s role should be for a woman that is visibly heavy with child.
    If a person wants to commit suicide but is physically unable to “pull the trigger,” they should have access to physician-assisted suicide. (If they can find a willing physician.)

    I do not wish to argue ad hominems. If the pursuit of brevity I will likely not respond to them.

  10. Mark Olejniczak

    IMO, ethics and philosophies consist of principles, goals, and means. When discussing philosophies, especially political philosophies it is important to differentiate between them.

    Principles are principles and cannot be compromised.

    Goals are what one hopes to be the outcome of their philosophy. Generally speaking, it is not useful to argue with someone’s goals unless you think that two of their goals conflict with each other. Their goals are what they want so they are not necessarily the products of logic.
    Note: the idea of principles is so strong that if a goal turns out to be impossible without violating one’s principles, then the goal must be abandoned.

    Means are the path that someone suggests to reach their goal. This is where most argument can take place. If a person’s means have been shown not to lead to their goals in the past, “evidence” can be offered to demonstrate that fact. A person’s means must be strictly circumscribed by their own principles. If one of their means violates their own principles, that should be pointed out.

    My principles: are pretty well denoted by personal freedoms. The US Constitution can be used to determine which personal freedoms make up my principles.

    My goal is to promote a large, prosperous, and sustainable middle class. In constitutional terms this would be “To Promote the General Welfare.” My goal would not to have the largest possible middle class or be at all egalitarian, but middle class should sufficiently large and prosperous to be self-sustaining and accessible to the average person.

    My means: once circumscribed by my principles they are quite flexible. On taxes: high or low top marginal rates are on the table as is their progressivity. If low tax rates on the Rich promote the middle class, then I’m for them.

    On the other hand if, for instance, the only way to Promote the General Welfare would be to put all Latvians into concentration camps, that would violate my principles and would be unacceptable. So I would be forced to abandon my goal.

    The ends (goals) do NOT justify the means.

    We have our principles, goals, and means; now how do we know if our means have a good chance of furthering our goals? How do we know if we have reached our goal? This brings us to what constitutes evidence. This is the pink vs. red car idea that you raised.

    Can economic history be used as evidence? Since economics is not a science, the best that we can get from history is correlation. I think that correlations can be used as evidence if they are used carefully.

    Any observed correlation between a policy and an outcome must be applicable over a long period of time to be valid. Picking a correlation from a short time period is a favorite way to deceive. Do you agree with this statement?

    The use of history will always be imperfect since past conditions will not perfectly match current ones. We have no choice. History, both recent and distant, is all that we have.

    Can a philosophy that has never been perfectly implemented be investigated at all? I would say that if a philosophy is so fragile, so dependant on a perfect implementation for it to work, then it will fail. The real world is not perfect. A useful philosophy must be more than logically consistent; it must also be robust enough to attain its goals even if slightly to moderately modified.

    The way forward: If you could give me what your (or a typical libertarian’s) principles and goals are, then we can decide if there is anything to discuss. It is no use for me to try to divert you from your principles. Also, if our goals are significantly out of sync there is nothing to discuss and we can part friends.

    I have sensed one difference between what each of us focuses on. You seem to focus on the micro, namely the direct dealings between point of sale buyers and sellers. That is OK. I want to let you that I focus more on the macro or nation-state level. So my posts will be directed at the macro level. At the micro level I think that we would be in near total agreement.

    I apologize for going so long. I know that you have important work to do and not all that much time to devote to philosophical discussions. It is OK if you don’t respond quickly. Feel free to give this info to a lieutenant for a reply.

    If you want to break off the discussion at any time, let me know.

    • Modern Survival

      Again none of this matters until you know WHAT libertarian means, you have demonstrated that you don’t.

      The quiz was just a starting point, it has limits.

      Frankly though you are still telling me red isn’t good for a car while thinking red is pink and a car is a truck.

      You are right my time is valuable and you are so fixated on debating me you can’t see past your own bias at all. You focus on “point of sale” wow, just wow one example and you think that is it?

      You just don’t get it, I am sorry but until you at least know what you are objecting to, I can’t put any energy into this.

      You stated this, “My goal is to promote a large, prosperous, and sustainable middle class. ”

      Well then brother you are on the wrong damn train! Here are the real results of all this intervention in the economy,


  11. I have a problem with where we should draw the line government regarding the activities performed by government. We are seeing space exploration moving to the private sector so NASA may become irrelevant as a government program. But vector control to stop the spread of crop destroying insects needs to be a national government project. Our national highways, which are critical to commerce, would not have been constructed by a private entity. Where does the “general welfare” as depicted in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 go beyond the bounds of our Constitution and thereby become unlawful?

    • At the turn of the industrial revolution in England all roads were built without government. When the government took them over (to confiscate the profit of the private roads) the quality began going down and the cost began going up. Roads in early America were adequate for the time and built without government. Why are we to assume, had not government taken over the task, that roads would not still be adequate for the time and needs of the people who build them and use them? History uncovers the argument that we need government to build roads as factually incorrect.

      By the way, saying, “without government, who will build the roads?” is equal to saying, “without slavery who will pick the cotton?” Yet, there is no historical cotton shortage due to the ending of slavery in America. Thou dost protest to much.

  12. The one problem with libertarian-ism is the lack of morality. You may be ok with a lack of morality, I am not. I believe God blesses nations or curses them based on what those nations allow, when libertarians state that they do not care what others do, so long as it does not affect them, there is a problem. The problem is eventually, those who practice things that you do not like, but allow, will influence your children. Thus, in effect, you have sanctioned them to influence your children.

    • Modern Survival

      And who are you to determine what is moral for another person if they are not harming another person. Oh and if people like you get to decide what is moral today, what prevents someone with a totally different view of what is moral tomorrow. Sounds like you are simply afraid to acknowledge natural rights to me.

      As for your children, “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

      That is up to you,not the state to decide on what is the way he should go.

    • Jack is correct about the training up YOUR OWN children, which is of course a bible quote. Further I would add the thing about being in the world but not of it, tells us to raise our children to expect to see things different than how they are supposed to live but to keep the way they were “raised to go”.

      Now, libertarain-ism (Anarcho Capitalism in my case) are social/civil systems, not religious systems, based on two simple principals that are completely compatible with how the bible tells us to live with each other and those outside “the church”. In civil and social action my christian morality does not allow me to violate those two principles in my life or in social/civil dealings with others. Those two principles are the core of all social morality described in a non-biblical (though not un-biblical) way. Thus if taught and treasured they will make for a more moral society.

      Will God curse a nation for say…. allowing gay marriage more or less than for allowing their rulers to rob their citizens, kill innocents abroad etc… I don’t know but the two principles have application for me both as a social human and as a christian relating to others and society. Beyond specific religious do’s and don’ts that I may practice in my faith but may not force upon another (according to biblical principals); those two principles never produce anything that is socially/civilly immoral. Personally immoral? Maybe, but not to the extent that the bible holds me accountable for not stopping such behavior among non-believers. As a believer I am responsible for the morality within the church. I am only responsible to God for the example I show to those outside the church. Indeed it is biblically immoral for me to force another to do something that is strictly a religious norm that does not violate natural law.

      Sorry so long and I know Jack may prefer to avoid religious arguing but I run into too many believers who think Libertarian-ism and or Anarchy are immoral but don’t defend it. I would like the church to get on board and that begins by dispelling the ignorance about the bibles requirements for social interaction with others not in the church. I’m fond of the shocking statement used for effect, “Jesus was an Anarchist.”

  13. Dead-on Jack! Free Will above all… limiting that puts man above God… sounds like the other dude’s plan to me

  14. Jack, in one of your articles, you wrote: “The connotation is that the libertarian … simply all theory and no practice.”
    I have read everything you have written here and appreciate the Survival Philosophy to the extreme. I’ve also read this entire thread (some of which was beneficial and some inane) and I have read Mises.org for several years. However, I still have some honest questions I haven’t had answered.

    Please, don’t respond by telling me I’m stupid as you have other respondents because that is as counterproductive as the Pomerene response beginning with “bullshit article”. I’m serious here and as I read your blogs I am addressing this question to you:

    “Where and when in modern history (the last 400 years) has any nation existed with a Libertarian governing philosophy or economic system?”
    Because I want to believe that this is more workable than the flawed concept of democracy as a system of government, I would like to understand where this has actually been implemented and existed, how it was implemented, what system it replaced, and how it has survived. By seeing where this has been actually practiced, I can agree that this is more than theory. But no one has yet pointed me to a real world example. Can you do so, please?

    And if there is no real world example of a Libertarian economic/government system, how is it possible to assert that the philosophy is anything beyond theory with no practical history?

    I am NOT seeking to be argumentative. I am hoping beyond hope you can point me to such a system in practice today with a lengthy history revealing it can succeed over time.

    • Modern Survival

      Question, “Where and when in modern history (the last 400 years) has any nation existed with a Libertarian governing philosophy or economic system?”

      Answer, it hasn’t, the US was close for about 60 years except for the blight of slavery but we were not completely there. Problem people like you have is two fold.

      One you confuse libertarian with say absolute minarchist one degree separation from anarchism as the only thing that is libertarian. Libertarian like any philosophy comes in a gradient. Libertarianism isn’t anarchism and anarchism isn’t libertarianism. Your question is far more about anarchism then it is about libertarianism. Also you are asking for a libertarian democracy, such cannot exist as 1% in the middle can swing control to either side. This is why the US was established as a republic. There is no doubt this nation wasn’t libertarian in 1900 but it was far MORE libertarian then it is today.

      Two, your question supposes that just because something hasn’t been done recently (or ever) means it can’t exist. What if I asked, “when in the last 400 years has man walked on the moon” in say 1935? What if any point would I have made. The truth is most tribal societies that are still around are highly libertarian. Yes they have rules but you are not compelled to stay if you want to go elsewhere. Just because you can’t conceive of a world where the state isn’t the driving force behind all things doesn’t mean it can’t exist. Just as many could not conceive of a way for man to walk on the moon in the 1930s or to fly at all in the 1700s or conceive of a computer or a cell phone.

      It really is that simple, first you call libertarianism something it isn’t (anarchism) you then ask for proof it can exist by asking if it has ever recently existed. The first part (assigning characteristics to it that don’t apply such as a 100% stateless society and democracy rule) really negates the second component of “when has it worked”. When we examine history we see that societies that are more libertarian develop faster than those that are not, sadly once developed they fall into socialism as consumers start to out number the producers and 1% in the middle become the deciders for all on either side. Set up in a “two party system” this gets worse as both parties being different forms of socialism cancel any balance any power shifts would normally create.

    • While no society has ever existed by the two basic principles alone, without a state, societies around the world throughout history have been more and less libertarian at different times. Each major area of what we see government taking monopoly over today has been done in the past completely without government, cheaper, more effectively and usually better. If you have read a lot on Mesis dot org you surely ran across Rothbard’s “For a New Liberty” which details many of these areas. Here is a site that will fill in many other gaps in many other ways. http://royhalliday.home.mindspring.com/history.htm Many/most of the links are to the Mesis institute (where you have read for years) or Lew Rockwell’s site. Did you just miss these historical examples in your years of reading? Or, is it not good enough evidence for you to want to give it a try because no entire society ever did it all at once?

      The question becomes, why is it necessary that one society do all these things at once for us to believe that one can when each individual area of life and society has been done successfully somewhere at some time before a ‘state’ screwed it up?

      • PS. Ireland came pretty close for almost a thousand years but that wasn’t in the last 400 years. It’s end of liberty missed it by a couple of decades. Pitty we have to rule out a thousand year society of relative peace and prosperity because it isn’t modern enough. It took the superpower of the age (England) nearly 300 years to bring this “backward and barbaric” society under their thumb so it appears they were fairly secure in that peace and prosperity as well. The principles are timeless and the deadline is arbitrary.

  15. This is my first time here, after my son in law introduced me to Jack’s material last week. Because the point here seems to be defining WHAT libertarianism is, I think this should be noted:
    We all live in a historic continuity. Political philosophy systems and labels arise largely to define what they are not, in reaction to systems already in existence. Liberalism, in the classic sense, was a movement away from statist monarchy. It was based on applied Common Law, binding on everyone, including rulers. I make this point about law because Common Law is the scientific application of Natural Law or Higher Law, concepts that many people deny today, in contravention to Positive Law, decreed by some human power, either a King or a Legislature. The word Liberal is descriptive, because it is from the same root as Liberty. European political distinctions have traditionally been better than those that developed in the Unites States, because there a Liberal political orientation tends to describe what most people in America now call Conservative (conservative actually, linguistically, only means something like; resistant to change, particularly of established institutions). It was Classical Liberalism that birthed the American Revolution. I, in fact, call myself a Classical Liberal (but the reasons are for another discussion). The term Libertarian was coined in the United States, in response to the fact that the socialistic Left managed to (in my mind) hijack the term Liberal after the term Progressive lost favor. Libertarian actually describes a return to, and a development of, the ideas and principles that were once what people meant when they used the word Liberal. The modern vernacular usually associates something that has nothing to do with liberty with the word Liberal, namely, egalitarian Socialism.

  16. What keeps you from being a voluntaryist/agorist?

    • Modern Survival

      This article is about 7 years old, at this point I have politically evolved and consider myself an anarchist. More accurately I discovered that is what I always was. What took me so long was not knowing what anarchism is and how poorly most anarchists explain it. Also the elitist anarchist assholes that can’t face reality and understand where we must work within the system only because we are required to as to avoid things like jail.

      Watching these fuckheads bash people for say serving in the military and killing people for oil while they themselves pump gas into their cars, yea that took a long time to get past and now that I have it makes bringing others across the line, difficult.

    • I personally don’t see a difference between Anarchist and ‘voluntaryist/agorist’. I don’t even see a reason for the ‘voluntaryist’ qualifier for an Agorist. Aren’t all Agorists voluntaryists? A Voluntaryist would not be or have a ‘ruler’ by principal thus they believe by definition in: ‘A’ (latin negation ‘not’ or ‘no’ to what follows, ‘archist’ [‘arch’ = over/overloard/ruler])…. no-rulers.

      I guess my question is why such a level of nit-picking? I get that Agorism has come to be associated with peaceful, revolutionary, counter economics but it really just stems from ‘agora’, the central social and market place in an ancient Greek village or city. It evolved into a substitute for ‘market’ in both the city market sense and in the economic sense. However the political counter-economic distinction is newer. So I would say I am an agorist but again aren’t all Anarchists, really? The anarchist label to me (when properly understood) is the clearer and simpler term.

      Peace out.

      • Modern Survival

        Of course you are right Curtis!

        If you believe in only voluntary association of people and feel there should be no cohesion by a State to force said association you are an anarchist. Period, the end.

        Every other adjective or pre or suffix is just an attempt to label yourself. This is done for two reasons…

        1. People feel a need to label everything. This is why even a dying person feels “better” when his/her disease has a name.

        2. The more valid point, people wish to be understood by other people. And to be fair for an anarchist society to work, this can be helpful. We all know who we are dealing with, and in anarcho groups you need that. Though we could do without the labels.

        The two big divides are anarcho capitalist and anarcho socialists, in reality as long as both are actually anarchists they DO NOT EVEN DISAGREE.

        I am more capitalist in the meaning of the word but I also realize any anarcho society will have socialist elements too it, it will have to. I love the right wing conservatives that claim ALL SOCIALISM IS EVIL and then VOLUNTARILY write a check for 10% to their church each week. Sigh, hello! But God said ________. Yea bro I feel you but it is still socialism.

        Likewise in an anarcho socialist group say a hippie commune there will still be communism. The Amish are the best example in modern day. In many ways they are an anarchist society so much so that our own State has made hundreds of “does not apply” exceptions for them in our own laws. The Amish are all about community, you never hear of one losing a farm do you? None ever apply for any assistance, because they do not need it. If you are born Amish and want to leave no one stops you, and quite a few do leave. The community is very socialist, no neighbor will EVER go hungry while the one next door eats but it is ALL voluntary. They are also capitalists! They sell to us, they sell everything from chickens, to meat sticks to furniture, etc.

        • Oh I agree that labels are very helpful/useful. I use them all the time and take them more seriously than most. I’m human, a believer (with bunches of sub-labels for my religious particulars), a husband, father, anarchist…. I just don’t find a distinction to be made between some lables and in such cases I stick with the clearer and simpler label.

          There is a distinction to be made between a parallel label (synonym) and a sub-label (type of X). Voluntaryist-agorist is synonymous with anarchist to me and thus not helpful that I can see. Someone would have to show me a distinction between the two for me to care beyond one being clearer and simpler than the other. Meanwhile anarcho-capitalist vs. anarcho-socialist are two variations of anarchism. In these cases the anarchy comes first and capitalism or socialism is bound by the higher principles of anarchy. That is a useful distinction as you pointed out.

          I kind of get it. I searched for a long time to find a better term than Anarchy precisely because of the baggage, misconceptions and some of those who preach it from the purist/elitist position (or pretend to). In the end though it was Anarchy that summed up all those other labels (like voluntaryist-agorist) so it stuck. If you asked about my religion I would say, “I’m a Christian” and that would entail a lot of explanation to get to what that means when I say it and what the details are in what I believe. But I believe the core label about me is accurate and simple enough to be at the top of the taxonomy about my religious views. So also if you asked about my politics I’d say, “I’m an Anarchist.” It’s another controversial term that needs a lot of explanation but it’s the simplest accurate core term, so I wear it along with the burden of the baggage that comes with it. We could choose other terms or coin a new one but after much effort I have found that none of them make it any simpler to explain or easier to wear.

          Wow, that was long winded even after I edited it for brevity.

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