[Rushtalk] Why are there no libertarian countries?

Steven Laib stevenlaib at sbcglobal.net
Fri Jul 26 14:51:36 MDT 2013

This reminds me of a survey that the libertarians used to send around asking people to answer a set of questions.  Most answered in ways that suggest that they were, at heart, mostly libertarian.  But they never seem to apply it to politics.  

At the same time, I think that the modern US has lost the spirit it had 200 years ago and replaced self reliance with a "how can I get my piece of the govt. pie" approach, which is the antithesis of libertarianism.  

A sad state of affairs. 


 From: Paf Dvorak <notmyname at thatswaytoomuch.info>
To: rushtalk at csdco.com 
Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 12:03 PM
Subject: [Rushtalk] Why are there no libertarian countries?

You are here: Home / Opinion / Libertarianism
strictly individual philosophy

Libertarianism strictly individual philosophyJuly 25,

Commentator Michael Lind called it “The question libertarians just can’t

“If (the libertarian) approach is so great, why hasn’t any country
anywhere in the world ever tried it? Why are there no libertarian

It seems Lind doesn’t understand what he’s asking; he certainly doesn’t
understand libertarianism.

Kent McManigal

That’s a common problem with criticisms of libertarianism.

There can’t be a true “libertarian country” because libertarianism is
strictly individual, just as is any philosophy or way of life. You can’t
have a libertarian country because a “country” has no mind, opinions, or
philosophy ­ those things belong to the individual.

A “country” is an intangible concept, not a physical entity.

When you try to base a country upon any one philosophy, you are
pigeonholing everyone who lives there into one cramped box, and your
concept inevitably breaks down because a huge percentage of the residents
are being forced to live in a way they don’t want to live. A way they may
even find reprehensible, repugnant, and wrong.

Good or bad, there are only individuals. A country cannot initiate force
or commit theft. Only individuals can. Each individual makes that choice
for himself, and blaming it on the abstract collective is a failed
attempt to avoid responsibility.

A state, or rather those representing themselves as that state, can
either leave individuals to live as libertarians, or can try to force
them to behave as collectivists of one sort or another by regulating or
prohibiting consensual, non-aggressive behavior, and by violating their
right of association and property rights.

Individuals who would prefer to live free will always find a

However, there have been countries where the state mostly stayed out of
the way and let individuals live a libertarian life: early America and
medieval Iceland are two popular examples.

Even today most people live a largely libertarian life in their daily
interactions with others. Not only here, but all across the

Most individuals seek to trade for what they want rather than steal it.
Most people try to reach an agreement with others rather than beat them
into submission. Most people will “live and let live” as long as they
don’t see a “one-size-fits-all” order being imposed on them and on
everyone around them.

Perhaps this means the world is mostly libertarian already, if you ignore
the professional political realm. And, it is probably better for your
mental health and happiness if you do ignore that realm as much as

Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at:
dullhawk at hotmail.com

Paf Dvorak
"Right and wrong matter more than legal or illegal."
-Kent McManigal
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