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Refuting Libertarianism

- Introduction -
- What is Libertarianism? -
- Pillars of Libertarianism -
- Self-ownership -
- Non-aggression principle -
- Property rights -
- Specific issues -
- "Free" market -
- Is taxation theft? -
- Property rights contradict self-ownership -
- Property is theft -
- The advertisement problem in libertarianism -
- Regulations -
- Why mandatory GM food labeling is great -
- Other regulations -
- Child labor - widespread in libertarianism -
- No worker protections = mass exploitation and suffering -
- Do private rating services solve the problems? -
- Summary -
- Land ownership in libertarianism -
- Public space -
- Do libertarians lack feelings? -


Wars, propaganda, surveillance, taxes, draconian laws...the ways the governments are exploiting the people are numerous and the situation is only getting worse. This has increased the popularity of an ideology - libertarianism - that aims to answer these problems by either limiting the scope of - or outright eliminating - the government. How well does it succeed at its stated goal? Let's start with defining this belief system:

What is libertarianism?

Historically, libertarianism has meant different things, but we will consider the definition currently used by its proponents, since that is the ideology I want to tackle. From (archive):

Libertarianism is, as the name implies, the belief in liberty. Libertarians strive for the best of all worlds – a free, peaceful, abundant world where each individual has the maximum opportunity to pursue his or her dreams and to realize his full potential.

Okay, sounds great. Let us confirm with another website - (archive):

Many people believe that liberty is the core political value of modern civilization itself, the one that gives substance and form to all the other values of social life. They're called libertarians.

So, libertarians think freedom is really important and essential for human fulfillment. But what does "freedom" actually mean to them? How do they intend to attain this freedom?

Pillars of Libertarianism

Libertarian understanding of "freedom" is dependent upon certain hard principles - which they sometimes call "axioms". So confident they are in those, that they will take back your libertarian badge if you question them - If one is going to call themselves a libertarian, they must put those two philosophies first or, in all honesty, they aren’t libertarians. Anyway, let's see just how hard those axioms are and if they have anything to do with freedom:


From Murray Rothbard's (prominent libertarian) book For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto:

The right to self-ownership asserts the absolute right of Property and Exchange each man, by virtue of his (or her) being a human being, to “own” his or her own body; that is, to control that body free of coercive interference.

Though it might seem logical at first glance, there are many issues with this principle. The main one is the fact that - while we do have a certain amount of free will - the choices we make are heavily impacted by the environment - the things we see and hear, the people around us, our previous experiences, or even biological stuff like hormone levels, etc. The idea of fully independent agents is mostly illusory - and you only need to meet an addicted person to prove this. Unless you have complete control over every particle of your body, you can't really say that you own yourself. Even if you managed to accomplish that feat (congratulations!) - there is still the long-standing philosophical issue of what the you actually is (and it's beyond the scope of this article). The other problem - when does the self-ownership start? This is a common issue dividing libertarians. Some believe that it begins at conception, others - at birth (fetus is a parasite (archive)); and the most extreme ones say that you don't own yourself until you can support yourself (archive). You don't have inborn freedom then - you have to either earn it or it has to be graciously granted by your parents. How is that different from freedom being granted by governments - a situation which libertarians hate? Already we can see that the alleged logic of libertarianism is based on shaky ground.

See, the big issue here is that you are affected by trillions of events beyond your control. You were born somewhere, and didn't choose where that was. You didn't choose your parents. You didn't choose your womb environment that later determines a lot of things about you. You didn't choose whether you were breastfed or not (and the healthiest population on Earth - the Hunza - breastfeeds their kids for two years). And at this critical period in your life you have no consciousness, no ability to control anything at all. So why pretend there is some magical "self-ownership" that allows everyone to decide their fate, instead of admitting external influences made you what you are? Of course, the newborn will grow up sometime, and gain more control - but the "self-ownership" isn't full even when fully developed. And the effects from a faulty upbringing will persist for the rest of its life (as an example, a disease that appeared because the mother was malnourished or too lazy to breastfeed, or injected vaccines and her kid got autism). Why not - then - focus on improving the conditions that affect everyone instead of pretending magical independent beings exist?

Non-aggression principle

Allegedly deriving from the above, the NAP states that (archive) individuals have the right to make their own choices in life so long as those choices do not involve the initiation of force or fraud against others. Simple and clear, right? Well, it is anything but. Even if no one initiates force against you, that doesn't really mean you are free, since there are a thousand ways to constrain someone without force. Just being born poor heavily limits your choices (and you can bet certain people had a hand in you being poor). How about advertising - no force used, yet it does control us very effectively (archive) - otherwise corporations wouldn't spend so much money (archive) on it. What about force? Let's say you are physically attacked, and you manage to defend yourself without being hurt - in this case, how much has your freedom really been impacted? Not at all - in fact, you might have even gained confidence from the encounter. The meaning of force isn't agreed upon by all libertarians, of course - some of them consider excessive noise to be included, for example. And since there are ways of harming someone without it (the aforementioned advertising, or even spreading lies about a person) - why is it force that is the focus, instead of actual harm? You can ruin someone's freedom by indirect means even more than by force in some cases - if you spread a rumor that someone is a rapist, people might not want to associate with him anymore - which would be way worse than being beaten up once (How False Rape Allegations Destroyed My Family (archive)). Under libertarian ethics, the woman who hurt him did nothing wrong - it was just words, after all. And thus, he could not have retaliated at all, or he'd be violating the NAP. Then comes the abortion issue again - what prevails, the self-ownership of the woman or the non-aggression against the fetus? Libertarians claim to have solved freedom (just obey the principles!) but instead keep digging more holes for themselves. Note: in this paragraph I took the commonsensical usage of the word force, but since libertarianism pretends to be this super logical ideology, they can't settle for common sense and need some hard rules. So let's see if they have them:

There is - actually - no definition of force that will allow you to reliably decide which behaviors to include under that label, and which not to. I mean, in physics, everything that happens is a force (including breathing, talking, etc), but libertarians arbitrarily decide that only some of those forces qualify for their definition of force. When someone feels your breath or even reads your words on the screen, there are also forces affecting him, then - yet no libertarian agrees that anyone calling someone bad words is violating the NAP (even though physics provides no distinction). Hell, even just seeing someone creates molecular changes in your brain, which from the physics point of view are also forces. So why not make walking near someone that hates you a crime in libertarianism? Though libertarians will never want this, they can't deny it because there is no non-arbitrary way to divide behaviors into force and non-force boxes (affecting someone in any way is a force in physics). There is also no reason to attempt such a feat, when there are clearly different situations that require different responses. Everyone accepts that intuitively, and yet libertarianism requires you to give up all your human experience in favor of the binary force / non-force system. NAP is a rule for midwits. Some libertarians have figured that out (archive) - but still somehow remain libertarians. If you do accept that the chaos of the usual human experience cannot fit into the binary force system, what even makes your belief system unique? You're just another person, looking to figure out what are the bad and good behaviors and what are the proper responses against them, instead of pretending that all human situations fit neatly into the force or non-force boxes. Why even call yourself libertarian at that point?

Summarizing: if you use the physics definition of force, then anything can be a crime if it affects someone somewhere. If you use the libertarian definition of force, then it's arbitrary in terms of whether some behavior fits into the force box or the non-force box. And because the binary distinction leaves no nuance in responding to situations, it creates a big problem whenever someone thinks they can kill you because you used force against them by throwing a leaf at them. Or whenever someone has hurt you without using force, which leaves you unable to defend yourself. This very unintuitive ideology creates way more problems than it solves, if it does indeed solve any at all. Moving along:

Property rights

From (archive):

Firmly grounded in natural law, property rights begins with self-ownership and extends to all justly acquired property. Self-ownership simply means that you own the exclusive rights to your own body. Property can be justly acquired in two ways: original appropriation via the homesteading principle or through voluntary exchange.

So, libertarians consider property an extension of the body - so if you own your body, and it can't be aggressed against - then the same applies to your property. There are many problems with this, starting with fact that nature provides land, water, food, air, etc. for free. How much, and under what conditions, can I actually claim as mine? This is actually hotly debated among libertarians and there are many contradictory theories (archive). The most extreme ones are completely fine with private ownership of the seas or forests - and since property rights are ultimate, their pollution would be a right of the businesses that own them. Of course, it's not possible to limit the pollution to exactly the space that you own - it will spread (best seen with GMOs) elsewhere, causing "aggression" against other people and their properties. Even if the polluter would then be punished, the damage has already been done - there might be a GMO growing on your property now, and you will not be able to get rid of it, EVER. And even if a property owner was somehow able to keep the pollution contained, it doesn't really matter. 500 years later, after the owner is gone and the business goes down, the next generations that would want to use that sea, or forest, or whatever - will still be affected by the poisons that were put in there, harming their freedom. So, the libertarian solution to pollution is completely useless, as we can see.

The most extreme kinds of libertarians claim that you can kill someone entering your property. Well, since it is his, and you violated it - off you go. But what harm has he caused you by entering it? None whatsoever (unless he destroyed something), therefore - property rights do not follow from the NAP. This is even easier to see in case of something like using, say, a flashlight someone left lying around. As long as you return it, no harm has been done - in fact, the owner might not even notice. We live in a world where businesses charge for just the usage of stuff (the chief one being land - just daring to exist somewhere is a violation, even though no one is hurt) and that is completely contrary to freedom - but it's the world libertarians want. How free is a person born into a landlord's property? Remember, in libertarianism - property rights are absolute - Essentially, libertarians view private property owners as the sovereign rulers over their property. Thus, if Doolittle were the property owner and developer of a vast swath of land (acquired via homesteading or voluntary/contractual transfer) then he could implement whatever form of government he desired over it (source (archive)). How different is that from what the governments are doing? And yet libertarians claim to hate that, even though the only difference is the scale (but actually, there is no limit to the amount of land you can own in libertarianism - as long as it has been justly acquired according to them). The libertarian position on property rights is contradictory and not conductive to real freedom. Okay, these are the 3 foundational beliefs of libertarianism (that I've now exposed as vague, contradictory, and anti-freedom) from which other, more specific ones get derived. Let's tackle those now:

Specific issues

"Free" market

I couldn't find a short definition of the free market to cite, so unfortunately (or not) I will have to switch the format here and reply to this lengthy and misguided essay in chunks (archive):

Free market” is a summary term for an array of exchanges that take place in society. Each exchange is undertaken as a voluntary agreement between two people or between groups of people represented by agents. These two individuals (or agents) exchange two economic goods, either tangible commodities or nontangible services. Thus, when I buy a newspaper from a newsdealer for fifty cents, the newsdealer and I exchange two commodities: I give up fifty cents, and the newsdealer gives up the newspaper. Or if I work for a corporation, I exchange my labor services, in a mutually agreed way, for a monetary salary; here the corporation is represented by a manager (an agent) with the authority to hire.

I've already talked about the "choice" thing - it does not work the way libertarians think it does - people are affected by their environment, have different strengths and weaknesses, stronger or weaker willpowers, subject to different emotions, etc. and this makes the choice process different for everyone. It certainly cannot all be encompassed by the term voluntary agreement. This is just another way of stating the common libertarian claim that consumers vote with their dollar, which has been beautifully and thoroughly refuted here. Briefly, the voting is as real as elections - the candidates are carefully picked and presented in a certain way by the rulers (or the capitalists in this case), hiding certain valuable information which would make the choices different. But it's even worse since a rich person gets more votes than the poor person; there is way more issues with this claim so just read the linked article - I assure you it's worth your time. Also, nice false equivalence of comparing buying a newspaper to selling your labor to a big corpo, which is exactly the kind of exploitation a freedom-based ideology should try to prevent. But we will talk about this later.

Both parties undertake the exchange because each expects to gain from it. Also, each will repeat the exchange next time (or refuse to) because his expectation has proved correct (or incorrect) in the recent past. Trade, or exchange, is engaged in precisely because both parties benefit; if they did not expect to gain, they would not agree to the exchange.

Even if both parties benefit from an exchange, it doesn't mean that it was based on freedom - for example, someone might have a gun to his head and give up his child. Of course libertarians wouldn't like that, but are fine with the thousands of other ways an exchange could be dishonest - false advertising, price manipulation, or having a monopoly - just to give a few examples. Actually, all work is inherently exploitative - the means of production are arbitrarily owned by corporations and - since money is required for life - the worker has no choice but to "agree" to whatever terms the corpo gives. The threat of poverty, homelessness or death is the gun in this case - and the corpo is massively advantageous in the exchange (for most jobs, there are a thousand other workers lined up).

This simple reasoning refutes the argument against free trade typical of the “mercantilist” period of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century Europe and classically expounded by the famed sixteenth-century French essayist Montaigne. The mercantilists argued that in any trade, one party can benefit only at the expense of the other—that in every transaction there is a winner and a loser, an “exploiter” and an “exploited.” We can immediately see the fallacy in this still-popular viewpoint: the willingness and even eagerness to trade means that both parties benefit. In modern game-theory jargon, trade is a win-win situation, a “positive-sum” rather than a “zero-sum” or “negative-sum” game.

This is way closer to the truth than the libertarian take. Of course honest exchanges can exist - but in the current world, they're pretty rare.

How can both parties benefit from an exchange? Each one values the two goods or services differently, and these differences set the scene for an exchange. I, for example, am walking along with money in my pocket but no newspaper; the newsdealer, on the other hand, has plenty of newspapers but is anxious to acquire money. And so, finding each other, we strike a deal.

How basic - as if all exchanges were like that. Anyway, the newsdealer probably doesn't even take the money for himself, but a corpo will pay him later - so it's not even a direct exchange (which would be more freedom supporting).

Two factors determine the terms of any agreement: how much each participant values each good in question, and each participant’s bargaining skills. How many cents will exchange for one newspaper, or how many Mickey Mantle baseball cards will swap for a Babe Ruth, depends on all the participants in the newspaper market or the baseball card market—on how much each one values the cards as compared with the other goods he could buy. These terms of exchange, called “prices” (of newspapers in terms of money, or of Babe Ruth cards in terms of Mickey Mantles), are ultimately determined by how many newspapers, or baseball cards, are available on the market in relation to how favorably buyers evaluate these goods—in shorthand, by the interaction of their supply with the demand for them.

Seriously, who the fuck cares about baseball cards - this world has way bigger problems, and fucking baseball cards are not why libertarianism is criticized. The real issues concern the land, housing, water, air and food - the life essentials. This is where the window of exploitation is wide open. The fact that a capitalist can withhold those is a great tragedy that libertarianism sees no issue with. The truth is, corpos owning the means of production is not at all justified (and especially not the ones required for life) - so we should talk about that before skipping to the exchanges. Supply and demand are both controlled by the capitalist, by the way - supply is obvious since the capitalist decides how much to produce, while demand can be affected by things such as advertising or planned obsolescence. If libertarians keep trivializing all exchanges as trading fucking baseball cards, they should expect mockery, not a serious reply.

Given the supply of a good, an increase in its value in the minds of the buyers will raise the demand for the good, more money will be bid for it, and its price will rise. The reverse occurs if the value, and therefore the demand, for the good falls. On the other hand, given the buyers’ evaluation, or demand, for a good, if the supply increases, each unit of supply—each baseball card or loaf of bread—will fall in value, and therefore the price of the good will fall. The reverse occurs if the supply of the good decreases.

Price is set up arbitrarily by the capitalist - anything else is just smoke and mirrors. And still talking about the fucking baseball cards. By the way, the loaf of bread will always be valuable as long as the capitalists keep hoarding them - after all, the need to eat is a constant. This is easy to show if you imagine the capitalists refusing to sell them or increasing price 100 times - people would still have to buy it, so would accept any price (or just steal it, which is a great retaliation against capitalist exploitation). This would never happen for baseball cards where they could just say "fuck it, I don't need those toys after all".

The market, then, is not simply an array; it is a highly complex, interacting latticework of exchanges. In primitive societies, exchanges are all barter or direct exchange. Two people trade two directly useful goods, such as horses for cows or Mickey Mantles for Babe Ruths. But as a society develops, a step-by-step process of mutual benefit creates a situation in which one or two broadly useful and valuable commodities are chosen on the market as a medium of indirect exchange. This money-commodity, generally but not always gold or silver, is then demanded not only for its own sake, but even more to facilitate a reexchange for another desired commodity. It is much easier to pay steelworkers not in steel bars but in money, with which the workers can then buy whatever they desire. They are willing to accept money because they know from experience and insight that everyone else in the society will also accept that money in payment.

Money is a tool of exploitation, too, and should probably be eliminated. It has no inherent value - When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.

The modern, almost infinite latticework of exchanges, the market, is made possible by the use of money. Each person engages in specialization, or a division of labor, producing what he or she is best at. Production begins with natural resources, and then various forms of machines and capital goods, until finally, goods are sold to the consumer. At each stage of production from natural resource to consumer good, money is voluntarily exchanged for capital goods, labor services, and land resources. At each step of the way, terms of exchanges, or prices, are determined by the voluntary interactions of suppliers and demanders. This market is “free” because choices, at each step, are made freely and voluntarily.

A pile of bullshit and I'm being charitable here. First of all, in the current world - most people are not producing what they are best at, but hold onto any shitty job they managed to get (if lucky). Nature gives its resources for free and does not require selling them to the consumer, since everyone can just take them. In fact, for most of our existence we've lived as hunter-gatherers - about as far removed from the libertarian ideal as it can be. And despite that, they were happier, healthier, had more freedom, worked less, and shared their possessions instead of hoarding them (which was heavily discouraged). For 90% of our existence on this planet, we knew no crapitalism and thrived. You can read more about hunter-gatherers here (archive), if you want to disprove libertarian ideas about human nature and optimal organization of society. And again, the free and voluntary nonsense rears its ugly head. What would be an "unfree" market? The one where all exchanges are made with a gun to your head?

The free market and the free price system make goods from around the world available to consumers. The free market also gives the largest possible scope to entrepreneurs, who risk capital to allocate resources so as to satisfy the future desires of the mass of consumers as efficiently as possible. Saving and investment can then develop capital goods and increase the productivity and wages of workers, thereby increasing their standard of living. The free competitive market also rewards and stimulates technological innovation that allows the innovator to get a head start in satisfying consumer wants in new and creative ways.
Not only is investment encouraged, but perhaps more important, the price system, and the profit-and-loss incentives of the market, guide capital investment and production into the proper paths. The intricate latticework can mesh and “clear” all markets so that there are no sudden, unforeseen, and inexplicable shortages and surpluses anywhere in the production system.

I can't even come up with a proper reply here. It's a bunch of vague, meaningless, un-evidenced trash.

But exchanges are not necessarily free. Many are coerced. If a robber threatens you with, “Your money or your life,” your payment to him is coerced and not voluntary, and he benefits at your expense. It is robbery, not free markets, that actually follows the mercantilist model: the robber benefits at the expense of the coerced. Exploitation occurs not in the free market, but where the coercer exploits his victim. In the long run, coercion is a negative-sum game that leads to reduced production, saving, and investment; a depleted stock of capital; and reduced productivity and living standards for all, perhaps even for the coercers themselves.

Thanks for admitting exploitation is harmful - because the so-called free market is full of it. As said before, the capitalists are massively advantageous in any exchange, especially when it concerns work and the life's essentials (housing is the big one).

Government, in every society, is the only lawful system of coercion. Taxation is a coerced exchange, and the heavier the burden of taxation on production, the more likely it is that economic growth will falter and decline. Other forms of government coercion (e.g., price controls or restrictions that prevent new competitors from entering a market) hamper and cripple market exchanges, while others (prohibitions on deceptive practices, enforcement of contracts) can facilitate voluntary exchanges.

I will tackle taxation in another section, but what do we have here? An admission that we actually do need the government meddling into the sacred free market? Why can't the buyer detect deceptive practices on his own? He didn't have a gun to his head during this allegedly deceptive exchange, so what was wrong with it, anyway? It was voluntary and free, so both parties benefitted! Here we have the free market supporter seeing cracks in his own ideology. Of course preventing deceptive practices is great - but it does not follow from libertarian principles at all. And about preventing new competitors from entering a market - you know corpos have lots of tactics to kick out competitors and don't need the government to do it. The claim that businesses with bad products / practices will be outcompeted by the good ones is a complete illusion. Even if that happened, people would still have to wait until the bad business actually goes bankrupt and its competitors start to gain traction.

The ultimate in government coercion is socialism. Under socialist central planning the socialist planning board lacks a price system for land or capital goods. As even socialists like Robert Heilbroner now admit (see socialism), the socialist planning board therefore has no way to calculate prices or costs or to invest capital so that the latticework of production meshes and clears. The experience of the former Soviet Union, where a bumper wheat harvest somehow could not find its way to retail stores, is an instructive example of the impossibility of operating a complex, modern economy in the absence of a free market. There was neither incentive nor means of calculating prices and costs for hopper cars to get to the wheat, for the flour mills to receive and process it, and so on down through the large number of stages needed to reach the ultimate consumer in Moscow or Sverdlovsk. The investment in wheat was almost totally wasted.

All of this is besides the point - we should be buying local or even better, growing our own. Actually, food should be community-grown and free.

Market socialism is, in fact, a contradiction in terms. The fashionable discussion of market socialism often overlooks one crucial aspect of the market: When two goods are exchanged, what is really exchanged is the property titles in those goods. When I buy a newspaper for fifty cents, the seller and I are exchanging property titles: I yield the ownership of the fifty cents and grant it to the newsdealer, and he yields the ownership of the newspaper to me. The exact same process occurs as in buying a house, except that in the case of the newspaper, matters are much more informal and we can avoid the intricate process of deeds, notarized contracts, agents, attorneys, mortgage brokers, and so on. But the economic nature of the two transactions remains the same.

We don't need notarized contracts, agents, attorneys, mortgage brokers and other nonsense - all of those are a relic of capitalist society.

This means that the key to the existence and flourishing of the free market is a society in which the rights and titles of private property are respected, defended, and kept secure. The key to socialism, on the other hand, is government ownership of the means of production, land, and capital goods. Under socialism, therefore, there can be no market in land or capital goods worthy of the name.

Crapitalism and socialism are not the only two options. And I thought you've admitted we need the government to protect people's property and to prevent deceptive practices?

Some critics of the free market argue that property rights are in conflict with “human” rights. But the critics fail to realize that in a free-market system, every person has a property right over his own person and his own labor and can make free contracts for those services. Slavery violates the basic property right of the slave over his own body and person, a right that is the groundwork for any person’s property rights over nonhuman material objects. What is more, all rights are human rights, whether it is everyone’s right to free speech or one individual’s property rights in his own home.

I already explained how self-ownership is mostly illusory. How much self-ownership does an addicted person have? Or a person living constantly in fear (perhaps because capitalists keep exploiting him and he's under pressure of losing his home / job all the time)? Also, many libertarians would disagree with the claim of slavery being against it - (archive) - Ownership is the authority to do what you wish with your property. That includes alienating it from your ownership by voluntarily transferring it to another. Why should we be allowed to do that with the rest of our property, but not with our own bodies?

A common charge against the free-market society is that it institutes “the law of the jungle,” of “dog eat dog,” that it spurns human cooperation for competition and exalts material success as opposed to spiritual values, philosophy, or leisure activities. On the contrary, the jungle is precisely a society of coercion, theft, and parasitism, a society that demolishes lives and living standards. The peaceful market competition of producers and suppliers is a profoundly cooperative process in which everyone benefits and where everyone’s living standard flourishes (compared with what it would be in an unfree society). And the undoubted material success of free societies provides the general affluence that permits us to enjoy an enormous amount of leisure as compared with other societies, and to pursue matters of the spirit. It is the coercive countries with little or no market activity—the notable examples in the last half of the twentieth century were the communist countries—where the grind of daily existence not only impoverishes people materially but also deadens their spirit.

A society of coercion, theft, and parasitism, a society that demolishes lives and living standards is a great description of libertarianism, actually. Ironically, people living in an actual jungle organize their society about as far from the libertarian ideal as possible - (archive). And contrary to the above claims, they enjoy greater health, happiness, freedom, and work less (but for them, work has a completely different meaning than the corporate grind). The so-called peaceful market competition is peaceful only for the capitalists who have all the aces up their sleeves; there is no material success of free societies. From (archive)

World Bank projections suggest that global poverty may have reached 700 million, or 9.6 percent of global population
Poverty is a ruthless and relentless enemy with an arsenal of weapons: infant mortality, hunger, disease, illiteracy and child labor, among other things.

How much self-ownership do you think a person affected by the above has? How free is he when making a decision to submit themselves to the capitalist for peanuts? But libertarianism is fine with all this, claiming that both parties benefit from the exchange! How despicably fraudulent. Now, I've explained before how capitalism ruins physical health of workers. What happens when a person suffers a disease due to the conditions on the job (that he cannot just give up) ? Since healthcare is not a right (archive) in libertarian society, the result is something like this:

Showing the hospital costs of an American

Now that person is under even more pressure and might have to take a dishonest loan just to be able to live. As we can see, unregulated capitalism just creates a chain of exploitation (need to pay rent > need a job > bad conditions > bad health > massive hospital costs > debt > loans, bankruptcy, perhaps homelessness) that only gets worse. On the other hand, an unfree socialist / communist society with the right to healthcare would have prevented this. Of course, those are not the only options - I will talk about this later. That's it for the essay - it has dragged on long enough, but the issue required a thorough refutation (I hope I did a good enough job). This does not cover all of what constitutes free market ideology, of course - whole books have been written about it - but there's other sections to write, so let's move on:

Is taxation theft?

From (archive):

When the government “taxes” citizens, what this means is that the government demands money from each citizen, under a threat of force: if you do not pay, armed agents hired by the government will take you away and lock you in a cage. This looks like about as clear a case as any of taking people’s property without consent. So the government is a thief.

Another example (archive):

It is crystal clear that "taxation" is "theft." The "prima facie" case is inescapable. The logic is air-tight. But there are all kinds of evasions and high-sounding rationalizations.

Lots of other libertarian sites make this claim (though some disagree (archive). But is the logic really air-tight? (spoiler: no. In fact, this is the argument where libertarians shoot themselves in the foot the most!). How so?

The simplest way to disprove this one is to consider the government as a property owner. Remember, property rights are absolute under libertarianism, so its owner can apply whatever laws he wants there. If that includes charging 100% of your money just for being able to live there - well, it's my fucking property. Get out if you don't like it! See? The exact same logic used by libertarians to claim that the government is a thief can be applied to any other property owner. Instead of being air-tight as proudly claimed by libertarians, the taxation is theft claim is revealed to be logically bankrupt.

Property rights contradict self-ownership

This turns into the bigger issue of property rights and self-ownership being in contradiction. Imagine I am born onto someone's property (not my choice). Do I still have a right to my earned money? Can the owner take away my stuff? Can he rape me? After all, it's his property - and my body occupies it. So, despite the libertarians claiming that these two principles support each other - they, actually, cannot co-exist. Either my bodily control prevails - which means I cannot be raped; or the owner's property does - which means that I, too, am his property.

Of course, this is all philosophical only. The reality is that I would still have control over my body in that situation and could perhaps fend off the rapist if capable enough. This is another big problem with libertarianism - they place too much weight on imaginary, abstract, philosophical musings - the real, physical world be damned. To resolve the contradiction between property and self-ownership, libertarianism has to submit to reality and temporarily restrict property rights (which ruins their whole narrative of being perfectly logically derived) to let the violator (the person who doesn't want to pay 100% tax) leave. This brings us to another issue:

Property is theft

What happens if the all the properties around have a law like that? In that case, unless you're a part of the privileged class that owns property - you're doomed to a life of slavery, where all your stuff belongs to the capitalist. This argument is related to an old idea known as Property is Theft, popularized by anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. Quoting from his book, "What is Property?":

The proprietor, producing neither by his own labor nor by his implement, and receiving products in exchange for nothing, is either a parasite or a thief.
AXIOM. —Property is the Right of Increase claimed by the Proprietor over any thing which he has stamped as his own.

The idea is actually older though, appearing in a 1797 novel:

Tracing the right of property back to its source, one infallibly arrives at usurpation. However, theft is only punished because it violates the right of property; but this right is itself nothing in origin but theft"

So, the libertarians have got it partially right with the taxation is theft idea - but they didn't go far enough. The power to tax comes from owning property (land), making THAT the real theft. A common criticism of this idea is that it can't be theft, because there was no one to steal it from. But this is just wordplay, so common to cornered ideologues. The point is, anyone claiming a piece of land as his own can now decide what you can or can't do there, including to take your stuff. But by what right did he take the land in the first place? The Earth certainly did not assign it to him. Why should we respect them, then? The claimant would now be preventing other people's usage of the property, reducing their freedom. And that is the spirit of the claim that Property is Theft - but maybe a better word would be usurpation.

This is also the basis of (the criticism of) the whole work system of a libertarian society. The capitalist arbitrarily controls the means of production, and you cannot take the results even if you did the labor. Instead, the capitalist will sell the products for profit while paying you a chunk of it (even though he himself had no part in the making of the product aside from owning the property). That is another meaning to Property is Theft, greatly summarized in Proudhon's two quotes above. Of course, libertarians would consider this situation voluntary, since you decided to sign up for the job. I've refuted this claim more thoroughly in the earlier sections, but briefly: since money is required for life (in the current society at least), and most people cannot hope to earn it in any other way than the corpo grind, it is no more voluntary than gun to head. You could say that taxation is voluntary by the same kind of logic, since the libertarians have decided to live in a certain country, agreeing to the tax laws. Of course both of those are unjustified, and both can only exist if we accept absolute property rights.

The advertisement problem in libertarianism

One good way - I think - to show the flaws of the libertarian pillars is the advertisement issue. Ads are everywhere now. Here, we will only consider the ads that are outside, not the ones that are easily blockable by software. So, the huge billboards on flats or screens in buses / trains etc. No one likes looking at ads - and since someone else controls the property they are on, they can't rip them off according to libertarian principles. And yet, the photons from the ads still reach our eyeballs and negatively affect our brains. Libertarians try to justify this by claiming that you can just look away (archive):

A woman, like any individual, can choose whether or not to pay attention to advertisements.

Except, that doesn't work when the ads are literally everywhere, such as in the sky (archive) or the grass (archive). Yet for the libertarians, it is all fine because, well, it's not violence or whatever - even though violence isn't reliably defined (remember, everything is a force in physics) and it is easier to defend yourself from a beating than from ads up in the sky - about which you can do literally nothing. Even if just looking away was viable, why should we need to do it? Ads provide nothing good to us, only to the corporations that throw them around. Remember, that in libertarianism, any property is up for grabs - and you can do whatever you want to it. And so, we can expect everything to be full of ads, since again - they control us very effectively and the corporations do not want to lose to their competition. Funnily enough, libertarians themselves should hate ads since they would divert customers from small businesses towards the big ones that can afford to plaster them all over buildings, etc. But I guess they do not mind a big corporation takeover, after all.

So, it seems to me that the advertising issue buries all of self-ownership, NAP and property rights. How "self-owned" are you really when thousands of ads enter your brain every day and direct its functioning towards making you into a perpetual consumer? Why should ads not be considered an aggressive act worse than the commonsensical view of violence, when they control us very effectively and we can't avoid them? Why allow unlimited property rights when they will destroy everything that is beautiful? Why take the libertarian principles as axioms at all (assuming they are even coherent), when they result in an ad-filled junkyard that no one likes except the few people who benefit from throwing the trash around? In the end, anyone who actually wants something good from this life and world should reject libertarianism. Rigid ideology has to be dropped in favor of pragmatism, ambivalence in favor of the love of goodness. Here's a quote from Banksy about advertisements that I really like, BTW:

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.

You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity.

Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.


Libertarians claim that regulations help big businesses (archive), and if the government just kept its hands away, small business could actually compete (archive):

In a free market, firms would be smaller and less hierarchical, more local and more numerous (and many would probably be employee-owned); prices would be lower and wages higher; and corporate power would be in shambles

It is true that big business loves some types of regulations - this is easily seen with GDPR, for example (archive):

According to PwC, 68 percent of US-based companies expect to spend $1 million to $10 million to meet GDPR requirements. Another 9 percent expect to spend more than $10 million.

There are also fines of up to €20 million for not complying with it, which big business easily affords but might be a problem for the small business. However, it is not at all true that all regulations help the corporations. Let us explore an example of one that is clearly negative for the corporations but positive for the average person - GM food labeling laws:

Why mandatory GM food labeling is great

Monsanto and DuPont would not have spent millions opposing GMO labeling laws (archive) if all regulations were beneficial to big corporations - as the libertarian narrative says. Since everything a corporation does is to increase profits, the only reason they'd attack labeling laws is that they know their profits would be negatively affected with them in place. Hey, we have studies proving that (archive):

In Study 1 [...] Labels such as “non-GMO” (absence labeling) and “contains GMO” (presence labeling) serve as negative signals for GM foods and tend to shrink their market share. The market share shrinkage effect is stronger under the mandatory policy (presence labeling) than under voluntary policy (absence labeling).

The above means that if you tell people there are GM ingredients in a product, they don't buy it. And that forcing businesses to report the information makes even less people buy GM than just relying on the companies to graciously let you know (which they don't want to; why do you think that is, if GM food is so great?). Let's read further:

In Study 2 [...] The results show that presence-focused labeling (“contains GMO”) makes consumers (i) more sensitive toward the GMO attribute, (ii) less sensitive toward price information, and (iii) more reluctant to make a purchase in a category.

Ha! Less sensitive toward price information means that the price stops mattering when the GM issue is involved. People really don't want to buy GM food.

In Study 4 [...] participants exposed to positive GMO labels tend to be less negative toward GMOs than those exposed to neutral GMO labels.

Reading this carefully, it means that even if you spin the presence of GM in a product positively, people still won't buy it. Industry tricks do not work here; people simply do not want GM regardless. And the only way you can prevent that from materializing (as shown by the studies) is by hiding that information. Is this the world you want? One in which a business wins because of selling products based on false pretenses? Poll (archive) after poll (archive) shows that ~90% of people in Europe and USA do not want such a world. Libertarians do (archive), though. They do not think you have a right to know what's in your food. They think it's on the company to graciously tell you (or not) what their products contain. Of course, they excuse that by saying people simply won't buy from the companies that hide information, so that they will be outcompeted and only the honest ones will survive:

As a libertarian, I am against mandating the labeling of anything. It should be the choice of the seller, which ultimately is dictated by consumer demand. Perhaps more consumers will stop buying food products that aren’t labeled.

You can assume there'd be many people still buying unlabeled products because of the additional effort required to seek out the labeled ones. So why add that extra step when it's so easy to just tell people what they are actually buying? This is just rewarding businesses for lack of transparency, and making it possible for a product to survive only because it hides information, instead of because people like it. Exactly the opposite of what we were promised the free market would do (reward good products and practices). But the libertarians want to save the business and burden the customer pointlessly at all costs:

If you are concerned about GMO foods, then you will have to do some research yourself and avoid foods that you know are likely to contain GMOs.

Why? When a simple regulation makes the problem disappear? This is simply rigging the game so that it is easy for businesses to do evil, but hard for the consumers to defend themselves from it. The only entity that benefits from the lack of labeling laws is the business. That is why they paid so much to kill the initiative. Hell, imagine I restated the research argument like this:

If you are concerned about cyanide in food, then you will have to do some research yourself and avoid foods that you know are likely to contain cyanide.

You can substitute cyanide for any other thing people might want to avoid such as sugar or seed oil. Either way, it is obvious to see how this argument fails completely. Yet libertarians always pretend (archive) that unregulated competition will create the best possible product for consumers:

Its [the competition's - addition mine] function is to safeguard the best satisfaction of the consumers which they can attain under the given state of the economic data.

Consumers are satisfied when foods are adequately labeled (which can only be ensured by the state) - as proven over and over by the relevant polls. Libertarians - then - can shove their competition you-know-where, because the people have already decided that a regulated market is better. Remember that we already have labeling laws for things like nutritional information, etc. And GM food labeling is just an extension of the laws already existing for decades that are also unquestionably positive.

What would actually happen in a totally free market is companies telling you only what they know you want to hear, and hiding everything else. Again, this still happens today to some extent but libertarians (as usual) want to kill hundreds of years of progress and have a world of unrestricted business abuse. Here we have their attempt to maliciously enable companies to hide information from the small guy with freedom as an excuse (though notice how the freedom concerns only what the business is allowed to do; the consumer's freedom to choose what enters their body can go to hell).

Why not put the puritanism away in favor of something that gives better results across the board aside from hurting the bottom lines of the few giant corporations (which - even then - it does only because they were not transparent in the first place) that want to push their inventions incognito? Again, they can still sell whatever they want to - they just have to tell us about it. So the only reason to oppose labeling laws is to let businesses get certain products past the people's lack of demand by selling them based on false pretenses. Libertarians - then - end up being cucks, supporting the exact policies that allow the abuse to persist against their own best interests. They'd rather be forced to expand additional effort to find products with labels, just because the businesses (their Gods) cannot be inconvenienced in any way. As my legendary friend once said - Ancapism is cuckism.

Other regulations

As if the above example alone wasn't bad enough, libertarians make it clear that they want to remove all regulations (archive) - not just the labeling ones:

When a legislature interferes with voluntary employment contracts, it infringes people’s freedom to bargain with their own labor and possessions
And there’s no principled way to draw a sharp line here: Once it’s okay for a legislature to interfere with bargaining in this way, there’s no stopping politicians from setting wages and prices, or requiring or prohibiting the hiring of particular people.

And this is actually the only consistent libertarian position - since according to them, all employment is voluntary, any regulation would decrease the freedom of the parties involved. Of course, this does not concern work regulations only - but all of them. Therefore, for example, environmental regulations would not exist (archive) in libertarianism unless they follow from private property:

We advocate repeal of the laws that prevent full ownership of the air and water above and below land, thus denying individuals protection under the law against polluters. Private property rights must replace public property.

Under libertarianism, all the air and water in the world is owned by someone, and if that someone wants to pollute it - so be it. The implications are staggering - unless you yourself own property, you have no guarantee that your next breath won't kill you. Since a business could pollute their air on purpose, and then force people living there to give up all their money in exchange for clean air - or even just not provide the option, and let them die. Some libertarians realize the problem (archive) and try to argue for environmental regulations - but that is going outside the libertarian principles, which cannot prohibit using your property the way you want it.

Exploitative child labor - widespread in libertarianism

Coming back to employment, there can be no worker protection laws (MozArchive) in libertarianism - after all, if someone wants to work in a place without safety requirements, who's to prevent him? Child labor is also all clear:

As for child labor, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea, so long as it is not abusive or recklessly dangerous. Why should it be fine for a 16 year old to work a few hours after school, but employing a 15 year old will result in stiff fines or prison. Shouldn't this be a decision left to the teen and his parents? We already have laws that take care of abusive parents, right?

But you can hear the doubt in the libertarians' words even above - right as they are justifying child labor. And libertarianism could not have laws against abusive parents, since children are their parents' property - they can abuse them just as they would a teddy bear. Some libertarians disagree with this due to the implications, but it is consistent with their logic. By the way, we do have proof that child labor would be very dangerous and exploitative under libertarianism, since that is what has happened historically (archive) until the dreaded government got involved:

Another reason that businesses liked to hire children workers was because they worked for little pay. In many cases, children weren't paid at all, but worked for their room and board. When they did earn wages, children often earned 10 to 20 percent of what an adult would earn for the same job.

What a surprise, a business likes their cheap labor, ethics be damned.

In some cases, the businesses treated the children no better than slaves. They kept them locked up and forced them to work long hours. In other cases, the businesses felt they were helping the children out by feeding them and keeping them from starving.

Ha! I was wondering when this was going to come up. This is the standard capitalist / libertarian mindset: I am the almighty property owner - working for me and getting a share of MY profits is a great privilege! You'd have to suffer from a pretty serious case of Stockholm Syndrome to believe in this stuff.

Children often had to work under very dangerous conditions. They lost limbs or fingers working on high powered machinery with little training. They worked in mines with bad ventilation and developed lung diseases.

If you give full autonomy to businesses, this is what inevitably happens - since profit is the ultimate goal, why develop safety measures? Unfortunately, this is still happening today to the extent that it is allowed - but the libertarians want a return to a world where the situation is ten times worse.

In the United States, a real effort to regulate and put an end to child labor began in the early 1900s. Many businesses were against it because they liked the cheap labor. Some families also needed the money their kids brought home. However, eventually laws were passed. In 1938, the Fair labor Standards Act was passed that placed some limitations on child labor, set a minimum wage, and put limits on how many hours an employee should work.

Despite some resistance, we've got the protections and only the businesses ended up losing out. In the end, the money that the parents allegedly needed from their children was simply replaced by the minimum wage. It will take some time but hopefully we soon realize that we don't need the capitalists at all as well - but this topic will be explored in a later section.

No worker protections = mass exploitation and suffering

With the increasing automation, and no employment regulation of any kind, the workers would simply be ruthlessly exploited. Libertarians, again, admit all regulations are unwelcome (archive), including minimum wage law, comparable worth rules, working condition laws, compulsory union membership, employment protection, employment taxes, payroll taxes, government unemployment insurance, welfare, regulations, licensing, anti-peddling laws, child-labor laws. Most workers have very little bargaining power over the workplaces; if someone doesn't want to work for the pay set up by the business, or dislikes the working conditions - there are a thousand others to replace him (unless he has some rare skills). This creates a situation where the business has free reign to exploit its workers however it wants to - with the only defense being the dreaded government regulations such as minimum wage. Without them, you'd quickly end up in a world where only the strongest, healthiest workers survive - after all, if a business can find people willing to work 16 hours per day, all the others who can only endure 12 are left in the dust. And yet, this is portrayed as a virtue by the libertarians:

In economics there are also people who are relatively weak. The disabled, the young, minorities, the untrained—all are weak economic actors.

If you can't deal with the increasingly hostile "free job market" - you're just weak. It's your fault, deal with it. Or work for less (or nothing):

Consider a young, uneducated, unskilled person, whose productivity is $2.50 an hour in the marketplace. What if the legislature passes a law requiring that he be paid $5 per hour? The employer hiring him would lose $2.50 an hour.

Hey, why are we making it all about productivity? The productivity of your grandparents, or the blind, or the legless is probably zero. Do they not matter anymore? Why is productivity the master measure, instead of something like, I dunno - human life and dignity? If libertarians are so concerned with the money "losses", maybe they should start caring about businesses spending exorbitant amounts on advertising campaigns, or wars, or making products that break on purpose, or... But they never care about any of this; rather victim blame the small guy - as a good social darwinist would. By the way, in a decade the young, uneducated, unskilled person will have trouble finding a job at all due to the aforementioned automation. The productivity of many / most people will then be zero. And since there is also no welfare under libertarianism, those millions of people would have a real problem. If there is no more need for so much productivity, why focus on it - just so that a business is allowed to hoard? But libertarians really like the idea of having everyone have to work:

Unemployment Insurance. Government unemployment insurance and welfare cause unemployment by subsidizing idleness. When a certain behavior is subsidized—in this case not working—we get more of it.

UPDATE December 2022: I was rereading this quote, and the part about subsidizing idleness jumped out at me this time. Guess what behaviors would be rewarded in libertarianism? Abuse of workers. Aggressive advertising campaigns including on the grass or in the skies. Environmental poisoning. Don't swing the sword so carelessly, libertarians, or you might cut yourself :D. Is subsidizing idleness so bad compared to those? Especially when you consider that...

...Unemployment is not necessarily bad anyway - if a job doesn't need to be done (archive), why do it? In the libertarian world, however, everyone would need a job to pay for "rent" (in other words, daring to exist) and food - unless they own some property, again proving that libertarianism provides freedom only if you do so (even better if you own a business). How do we even reconcile this job requirement with the upcoming robot revolution? Just let everyone starve and die? Since - remember - being replaced by a machine makes your productivity zero - and libertarians really don't think such people deserve to live. Though the current system is not even close to optimal - at least the unemployed have some kind of safety net instead of being forced to find work immediately or perish. There is some pressure put on the businesses that way, which would not exist in pure libertarianism. And that's something libertarians hate, as admitted in the above quotes, because they are really authoritarians, or social darwinists, in disguise. What could a seriously ill person do under libertarianism? Let's check out some answers from the libertarians (archive):

No, it is not the 'states' role to committ a wrong against other humans in order to try to rectify a fact of nature. We humans need our rights protected, not abused, by the state - that is the purpose.
I do not see why people should be obliged in helping others especially when they had nothing to do with the state of the person in need. A system based on the possible occurance of calamities will turn into a calamity itself.
Charity and the good will of people will cater to the needs of the disabled.

Or check out this gem (archive):

In a truly Libertarian society, the disabled are either taken care of by their family, or they are considered weak and simply die. If they cannot make it on their own and their family will not or cannot take care of them, then they die and the resources they would be taken up will eventually be split amongst those who are not as weak. Something along the lines of natural selection and evolution, and how they are supposed to work.

How insane is it that we're giving up human life just to protect the toxic ideology of absolute property rights? Under libertarianism, the disabled will either have to rely on charities or die. And we saw how well have voluntary services worked in the failed libertarian city. Though the current government system is not even close to optimal, at least it provides some safety net for the disabled (archive). Of course, I'm not saying that a charity-based system absolutely couldn't work - but under libertarianism, the businesses have an astronomical advantage over the workers, which creates an "everyone out for himself" kind of world. Having to compete in the so-called "free job market" would give the person enough pressure that volunteering inside charities would be the last thing on his mind (but still, did you know that the poor give more to charity than the rich (archive)?). Realistically, it would require a change in the system for there to be a change of people's mindset (since these days, we're learning the dog-eat-dog mindset right from the smallest age through school, parental conflicts, siblings etc); and that isn't likely to happen until we get a revolution. For now, even if the government tips the scale just a little towards regular people (through, say, welfare, disability, worker safety or child labor laws) that is an advantage over the pure free market (if that can even exist). The so-called universal basic income would relieve the workers from the pressure even more effectively - but it would still be a bandage on the capitalist / libertarian wound; we will explore even better systems (which, I believe, would fix all the problems mentioned in this section) later.

Would private rating services solve the problem?

One way libertarians try to squirm out of the problems with an unregulated market is by claiming that (MozArchive) private rating services would develop, to which businesses would have to submit if they want to compete:

So the libertarian perspective on job safety regulation would be to allow private rating services to develop. Employers who want to attract the best workers, for the best price, would need to submit themselves to scrutiny of these rating services.

However, what reason is there to believe that this would actually happen? Say there is a service which compares businesses in terms of working conditions, whether they allow child labor, work duration, etc. Does this mean that the low-rated companies would suddenly stop existing? No, since there would be no incentive for a business to even care about the ratings. Of course people would prefer to work in a safe place, but the choice does not belong to them. As said before, the so-called "low-skill worker" does not have much bargaining power over the businesses that hire him since there is a thousand people to replace him; if he refuses to work in a dangerous place, others will do it instead. Contrary to libertarian claims, then, it appears that it is the ethical companies who would be outcompeted, since they would not be able to save money by employing children or skipping repairs, etc.

Let us now look at what actually happens in reality instead of libertarian imagination. In the failed libertarian city (archive), the volunteer fire department collapsed for lack of funds. There was no sewage system, no animal control and no police - even though we've long been promised by the libertarians that private businesses could easily take care of those. If they couldn't, what makes you believe they could provide proper rating services? TripAdvisor is mentioned as an example of a successful rating service and yet it has a lot of problems (archive):

And in September 2018, a high-profile investigation by The Times of London found that one in three (33%) of TripAdvisor reviews are fake. TripAdvisor has denied the results of the independent investigation. However, from our experience, this seems pretty accurate.
We’ve stayed at a number of hotels where we are absolutely bombarded by the hotel management to leave positive reviews for them. We had a restaurant offer to complete the TripAdvisor review for us. On our recent trip to California, a restaurant offered us a complimentary glass of wine for completing a TripAdvisor review.

So the rating services can easily be gamed, and of course the big business is the one that benefits (they can afford to reward customers for positive reviews more easily). If a rating service gained a monopoly, they could also accept bribes and then it would become totally unreliable (benefitting big business) - making you wait for another one to appear that would compete with it, where the same thing would inevitably happen. The so-called free market has no viable answer to this problem. This goes deeper than traveling though - let's check out (MozArchive) the libertarian logic in supporting no government enforced standards in anything:

Look at how we deal with choices in areas where the government does not mandate standards, say how food tastes in restaurants. Does this lack of regulations mean that restaurants can do whatever they want and get away with it? Does it mean they can sacrifice taste in favor of maximizing profit. No, of course not. Instead we have restaurant reviews in newspapers. We have word of mouth. We have Yelp and Zagat and other rating services. If a restaurant starts serving poor tasting food, the world will know about it nearly instantly, certainly faster than the government could respond.

These could be gamed the same way as TripAdvisor - but okay, let's assume that the private rating services help us discover bad tasting food. It is kind of funny how libertarians always use something banal as an example to support their ideology. First it was trading cards, and now food taste... What if the food contained a toxic chemical (or a few) instead? Clearly, a regular person cannot detect such things - and in libertarianism, they don't have to be labeled. Would you like to end up with dementia because a business decided to stick aspartame into their drinks and didn't tell you? Or a bunch of toxic preservatives that will cause cancer a decade down the road? Do you think private rating services are capable of detecting those things? They'd have to send their agents to hunt down every food on the market, and send it to labs for analysis of ingredients. I can't imagine that being viable. Even if they could do that, why rely on this totally reactive measure instead of the proactive food labels / inspections that can actually protect you from being poisoned?

I would actually want to go even further than what we have today, and require the listing of all product ingredients, including chemical names (if applicable), pesticides used during production, country of origin, etc. This is what would ensure the ultimate consumer freedom. But libertarians - in their quest to justify business abuse at all costs - want to go back to the stone age and require people to shoot in the dark while buying anything at all, and risk poisoning themselves. As we've already learned to expect, the libertarian wants to put all the burden on the consumer and zero on the business. So, the food company can just put whatever into their products - not tell you - and you're supposed to just figure it out, somehow. Then, the libertarian calls that freedom for both parties...hahaha.


In summary: in libertarianism, all rights stem from property. Since capitalists aren't giving "their" products away for free, and some of them are required for survival - if you don't own capital yourself, you have to work for someone who does. This is the case today as well, of course - but libertarianism would make it much worse, as shown in the above sections. Therefore, libertarianism provides freedom only to the capitalists, who can always rely on extracting surplus value (archive) from the worker's labor.

Land ownership in libertarianism

Assume the current system went down and libertarians are now in power. Since their whole shtick is based upon property rights, they will have to decide who now gets all the property. The easiest would be to just leave the current owners in place - but wait! As explained earlier, libertarians believe only in justly acquired property - which means that which happened without using (their definition of) coercion / force / fraud. Therefore, to be consistent with their principles, they'd have to prove that all the current owners have acquired their property justly. This would entail establishing a chain of acquisition right from the first homesteading up to the current ownership and show that libertarian principles have never once been violated. Of course, you cannot go back in time and no one has recorded this information to the extent that is required. Therefore, if libertarians want to keep their property, they have to give up on their principles since they cannot absolutely prove it has been acquired justly.

What options remain for the libertarians? They could just ignore the above and stay with the current property owners even though they cannot justify their right to ownership (which would once again destroy their pretense of being based on cold, hard logic). Another way would be to admit that - since no one can show their property has been acquired following the libertarian principles - that it is all now without owner. Therefore, the first person who mixes their work with a property (homesteading principle) can now lay a claim to it. So, if I manage to sneak into your villa while no one is there and move some furniture, I'm now the rightful owner. If you are a libertarian, you will surely get a kick out of this while I throw you out for trespassing ^_^. As you can see, libertarians have no viable solution to this problem. Now let's see what they think should be done with public space:

Public space

I will write something here someday.

Do libertarians lack feelings?

This is surely hard to take in, but analyzing libertarian writings, we can detect a few common trends:

Recognizing the above, I cannot now think of libertarianism as anything else other than the ideology of psychopaths. All the logical principles libertarianism is supposedly based on are weak and only serve to justify (and hide) the inherent psychopathy. Their freedom is really a freedom to abuse and destroy, and is yet another attempt to conceal the toxicity of their ideology. Libertarians do not care about freedom at all. They are addicted to power, and if they can't have it themselves, they will worship those that do - and maybe hope they can one day be in a position where they can step on others. Libertarians want a kind of jungle, where the hyena eats the antelope - and everyone must constantly fight to not become the latter. Since libertarian ideology gives rich people an almost infinite level of power, and you can only become rich by abuse and trickery (easily seen today), this will put the worst people in positions of power. People will see that psychopathic behavior is rewarded, and become the same or at least indifferent. Only the most empathetic people will resist the influence of such a culture, same as very few resist the schooling system. I believe humans can come up with and deserve something better, and the libertarian distraction should be thrown into the trash.

February 2023: Deleted some sections I didn't like. Will rewrite someday in the future.

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