The best thing about being a libertarian is that you’re simultaneously accused of being completely impotent and the most dangerous force on Earth. Making the situation even better is the fact libertarianism is often blamed for things it has absolutely no part in. Take this recent article by statist economic stooge Will Hutton:
Yet there is a parallel collapse in the economic order that is less conspicuous: the hundreds of billions of dollars fleeing emerging economies, from Brazil to China, don’t come with images of women and children on capsizing boats. Nor do banks that have lent trillions that will never be repaid post gruesome videos. However, this collapse threatens our liberal universe as much as certain responses to the refugees. Capital flight and bank fragility are profound dysfunctions in the way the global economy is now organised that will surface as real-world economic dislocation.
The IMF is profoundly concerned, warning at last week’s annual meeting in Peru of $3tn (£1.95tn) of excess credit globally and weakening global economic growth. But while it knows there needs to be an international co-ordinated response, no progress is likely. The grip of libertarian, anti-state philosophies on the dominant Anglo-Saxon political right in the US and UK makes such intervention as probable as a Middle East settlement. Order is crumbling all around and the forces that might save it are politically weak and intellectually ineffective.
We’re seeing signs of the very economic turmoil libertarians have been warning about for decades. This turmoil is the result of unsound monetary practices, namely the reliance on debt instead of wealth for economic activity between nations. No matter how much evidence libertarians point to or how loudly libertarians scream the statists seem entirely unwilling to adjust their monetary policies. Instead they continue trying the same thing — only harder.
So who’s to blame for the current turmoil? Libertarians, of course!
There’s so much to laugh at in this article but the insinuation that libertarian, anti-state philosophies have any kind of old on the political right of the United States (US) or United Kingdoms (UK) is a real gut buster. The political right and left can best be defined as anti-libertarianism. Libertarianism is about individual empowerment at the expense of state power. Strong centralized militaries, militarized domestic police forces, national surveillance apparatuses, fortress-like borders, fiat currency, and other such nonsense the political right has a raging hard-on for are anti-libertarian in nature. Likewise the redistribution of wealth, heavy-handed market controls, widespread censorship, restrictions on voluntary association, almost zealous opposition to self-defense, and other politically left ideas are equally anti-libertarian in nature.
The economic philosophies, which Mr. Hutton claims to be libertarian, of both the US and UK are entirely statist in nature. Libertarians advocate for wealth-based currencies, usually in the form of gold or silver backed warehouse receipts, whereas the US and UK both use fiat currencies that are backed by little more than each nation’s respective capacity for violence against anybody who doesn’t recognize their full faith and credit. Debt, the US and UK’s preferred excuse for printing more worthless paper, is the antithesis of libertarianism’s advocacy of spending within one’s means.
The current economic turmoil is the result of authoritarian, pro-state philosophies. If libertarianism actually had a grip on these nations we almost certainly wouldn’t be facing this economic crisis.
But, of course, libertarianism is the boogeyman of statists everywhere so it must be blamed for all things, whether or not those accusations make sense.