The goal of libertarianism is maximum individual freedoms. According to libertarians, this is accomplished by a government that does not interfere with individual’s lives. This means there is no regulation of the economy, no laws limiting behavior so long as it doesn’t interfere with others’ lives, and no waging wars that citizens will fight in. This libertarian goal will not last under a libertarian policy. Here’s why.
Capitalism drives the people at the bottom towards socialism.
An advanced economy makes the essentials in life easier. When that happens, people don’t need to work as hard for the “essentials” needed to survive (housing, food). When this happens, there is an evaporative cooling of high value folks as life gets easier.
The world becomes less cut-throat as technology and division of labor increase the standard of living. This happens largely because high value individuals, as valued by the marketplace, are more likely to have fewer children than those that do not spend their reproductive years having children. It is compounded because there is less of a need for high value people because there are fewer hardships – due to the advanced economy that can solve most problems.
When there are fewer people being valued by the economy, they will seek to increase their value through other means. This can mean trying to bring down those that are valued.
A large reason for this is jealousy. So much demand is generated by advertising and marketing. Advertising and marketing target people’s insecurities to create a demand. Then the product is promised as an answer to that insecurity. This is problematic to libertarians for two reasons.
One, people will never find fulfillment in these things promised by companies. It means they will continue to want, and they will likely turn to more things to seek that fulfillment. While this grows the economy, which libertarians argue is good, it doesn’t answer people’s problems. People that cannot afford “the answer” to their insecurities will be jealous of those that can.
Two, most people aren’t wealthy. The majority of people cannot afford the extreme riches that are seen as fulfilling to the insecurities. This means that to reach the largest audiences, companies must cater to the people that cannot reach the highest levels of income and spend. This includes news and media companies. When the majority of people are looking for answers to their own insecurities, news and media companies must empathize with these people and create a solution. One solution is to tell them to work harder. That doesn’t sell as well as attacking the wealthy for not contributing their share to taxes and social benefits. Companies can actually profit by pushing socialist narratives. This is ironic, and it makes sense.
Another issue with libertarian policy is that totalitarianism can be accomplished by private companies. This was demonstrated over the last couple years with the growth of media platforms that then silence and cut funding from content creators that have ideas counter to the ideology of the company.
Just like the US Constitution restricts the power of the government, there must also be checks in place for private companies so they don’t become too powerful over others. There needs to be some regulation to advanced markets. Without this regulation, people will view private businesses as evil, which opens up an opportunity for socialist policies to attack businesses.
This makes socialist political parties appear like the good guys, even though large government is much more likely to turn totalitarian than private companies competing in a free market. There isn’t another option for governments, without going through significant hurdles.
Liberal social policies lead to socialism.
Just like an unrestricted free market leads to socialism, so do the social policies libertarians push for. I will use a couple examples to show this point: open borders and birth control, but this extends to other “social issues” in politics.
Opening borders to low value individuals invites more people that are likely to want socialism. The libertarian argument is that with open borders the economy will have more consumers and producers that can innovate and solve each other’s problems. Few of these immigrants have few skills that are valued in an advanced economy. The rest work for low wages and end up in the same pool as the citizens that are likely to turn socialist.
Birth control allows women to maintain a sexually active lifestyle and stay productive in the workplace. This is great for the financial economy but has negative effects on the happiness of both men and women because they aren’t realizing the promises they were given in grad school and the latest commercials. “Have sex and build your career while you’re young and then settle down when you’re older.”
Problem is, the qualities that make for an attractive man – strong in mind, body, and wallet, are not what make for an attractive female – youth and beauty. Because of that, the sexy man isn’t with options to date the young hottie isn’t going to be as interested in the older career girl.
As women continue to work as hard and as many hours as men without realizing the benefits in the sexual market, they will turn to other means to find their happiness. Since the free market didn’t work out, an obvious alternative is to seek socialist policies that promise equality and freedom. Just like the promises of advertisements and grad school counselors, the promises of socialism will not deliver.
For these reasons, a modern economy needs conservative social policy if the individual happiness is a priority. It should be.
Libertarianism is an unsustainable political ideology for the two reasons mentions. Capitalism, unconstrained, leads to totalitarianism through both monopoly over minds of consumers and from the tendency for individuals at bottom rungs to drift toward a preference for socialist equality. The social policies recommended will also lead to socialism by degrading the strength of individuals that free markets rely on.
The problem with libertarianism is that it puts the financial market as the primary good in the world. This goes against most psychological metrics, which would prioritize individual happiness or contentment, and economic metrics, which prioritizes utility – not just financial growth.