.. when political communities adopt libertarian institutions, principles, and policies such as property rights, freedom of speech and association, freedom of contract, free trade, and legislative checks and balances, the results are generally good, and when communities adopt antithetical institutions and policies the results are generally bad.
Why are there no full-blown libertarian regimes in the real world? The answer to this question is so obvious it’s a wonder Lind hasn’t thought of it. Libertarians have actually explicated it in detail. It’s called public choice theory.
Most countries throughout history have been ruled by thugs and thieves. Fleecing ‘enemies’ for the benefit of ‘friends’ has been the central art of politics from time immemorial ..
.. Limiting and scaling back government is contrary to the class interest not only of politicians but also of bureaucrats, lobbyists, activist groups, and much of the media, which would have fewer controversies and scandals to cover if government were smaller and less important.
Big government, moreover, is truly an addiction — an appetite that grows with feeding ..
In addition, each disaster spawned by government intervention (e.g. the recent financial crisis) sets the stage for further interventions (e.g. the stimulus program). Blame-shifting politicians attribute their policy debacles to “market failure,” the liberal media disseminate the anti-capitalist narrative, and rationally ignorant voters typically are too busy to research the issue for themselves.E.J. Dionne’s big question:
..Might it be there are no libertarian “countries” because people like E.J. Dionne (who apologize for central power) and people like Lindsey Graham (who crave central power) and people like Jeffrey Immelt (who benefit financially from central power) belong to a parasitic nexus that feeds on the fears and hard work of average citizens?
This nexus forms through processes generally referred to as “public choice economics.” James Buchanan (a libertarian) won a Nobel Prize for explaining how and why this process happens, and libertarians understand these dynamics better than anyone. Understanding why power corrupts doesn’t make us long to have power. It makes us long for a way to dissipate it.
Fundamentally, therefore, libertarians are anti-utopian and skeptical of power. We think people who are determined to be thoroughly facile in the face of growing government abuse are simply enchanted by the idea that if you get the right people at the top of the hierarchy, everything’s going to be okay.The Myth of 19th-Century Laissez-Faire: Who Benefits Today? por Roderick Long:
.. Libertarianism is great for ordinary people, but not for the power elites that control countries and determine what policies they implement, and who don’t welcome seeing their privileged status subjected to free-market competition. And ordinary people don’t agitate for libertarian policies because most of them are not familiar with the full case for libertarianism’s benefits, in large part because the education system is controlled by the aforementioned elites.‘The Question Libertarians Just Can’t Answer’:
Lind’s question is analogous to ones that might have been asked a few centuries ago: If religious toleration, or equality for women, or the abolition of slavery are so great, why haven’t any countries tried them? All such questions amount to asking: If liberation from oppression is so great for the oppressed, why haven’t their oppressors embraced it?
So this is the unanswerable question? What’s supposed to be so hard about it? Ninety percent of what libertarians write about answers it at least implicitly.
Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.
(1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”