Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yes Senator McCain, Facts ARE Stubborn Things

Senators Rand Paul (R-KY) and John McCain (R-AZ) battled over the proposed amendment to change the language in the defense bill. McCain argued that without the provisions, terrorists would be able to reenter the battlefield and endanger Americans:

“Facts are stubborn things. If the senator from Kentucky wants to have a situation prevail where people who are released go back in to the fight to kill Americans, he is entitled to his opinion.”

McCain’s words were especially ironic because it was John Adams who once said “Facts are stubborn things,” while defending British soldiers during the Boston Massacre trials because of his firm belief that even as enemies to America’s best interests, these British soldiers had a right to a fair trial with due process and legal representation. Facts are stubborn things.

“…and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” -John Adams

One stubborn fact that McCain would not address despite a direct question about it from Rand Paul, is the fact that these provisions include American citizens within the purview of unchecked military policing powers in violation of the Constitution.

Read the rest at IVN.us.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Sharing this again: Please help me make "100 Reasons to End the Fed" go viral!

I worked very hard on this list and it makes a powerful case against the Fed. It will delight die-hard Fed critics and it will shock and inform those who aren't awake to the dangers of central banking. My list of 100 Libertarian Objections (with Libertarian Answers) is another major work I published this week, but it's a work in progress that I will refine and improve over time, a libertarian resource that will remain on this blog for years to come. What I'd really like to see go viral right now is this list of 100 Reasons to End the Fed.

Please share it on your Facebook walls, tweet it, email it to people you know, upvote it on Reddit, and do anything you can to make it go viral!


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Total Libertarian Badass: Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist is just too badass for words. Watch the interview below and note how commanding his physical and verbal presence is, how confident he is as he looks right into the interviewer's eyes (soul?), and how well he speaks. Absolutely no "uhs," "uhms," "likes," or "ya knows." His words are extremely concise and totally on message. He doesn't give in to the interviewer's loaded questions, but he isn't shaken by them either.

Pay super close attention to the exchange that happens around 4:15. THIS is how a libertarian answers loaded questions about the welfare state. This is how a libertarian speaks truth to power, doesn't back down from his beliefs, and doesn't lend any credence to the welfare statists' claim to moral ascendancy.

Interviewer: "Do you feel the government has any obligation to the poor, the elderly, or the unemployed?"

Grover Norquist: [Without blinking, without shifting in his chair, without looking away, without skipping a beat...] "Yeah, it should stop stepping on them, kicking them, and making their lives more difficult."

Don't let them ever forget the government is the bad guy. It is. And they can't deny it or wiggle around the overwhelming record that proves it. Watch:






Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Capitalism, a Definition: The Nature and Advantages of the Free Market


Over the last few years, American taxpayers have been on the hook for billions of dollars worth of "toxic" assets from the financial industry in the face of a deepening credit crunch, the failure of several major financial corporations, and triple digit dives in the value of public stocks in American companies. Meanwhile the looming threats of a weak dollar, high oil prices, and global economic recession have cast their shadow across the future of America and the world. The culprit? Many people are blaming capitalism, citing all of the recent phenomena as proof that capitalism has failed us and must be abandoned. Others will say that capitalism isn't all bad, but that we have too much of it, and need to balance it out with some "more oversight and regulation." In order to ascertain the validity of these claims, we have to begin with what we mean by "capitalism."

Capitalism is an economic system to be sure, but to leave it at that would be to miss the point entirely. It is an economic system based off of an ethical premise, the premise that human beings ought to deal with each other on a voluntary basis of mutual consent for mutual benefit. It is the premise that a civil society is one in which human beings accomplish their goals and advance their values in a peaceful way, which is to say, "without forcibly interfering in the lives of others." It is the premise that human beings are social creatures, and that the foundation of society is philanthropy- love for other human beings. By its nature, love is voluntary, meek, patient and never forces its way to its ends.

You may object at this point, saying:

"Wait a second! That's not what I always meant when I said 'capitalism.' I use that word to refer to a system of exploitation, corruption, and dog-eat-dog competition that takes advantage of society to line the pockets of the greedy wealthy classes."

I will agree with you that what we have in America today is in many ways "a system of exploitation, corruption, and dog-eat-dog competition that takes advantage of society... (etc.)." I will disagree that this is anything resembling true capitalism. To explain why, once again it is necessary to define our terms. Why do I believe capitalism is the much nicer-sounding thing that I described in the paragraph above? Because the economic principles at work in capitalism necessarily entail and are the result of the ethical premises I described.

The root of a capitalist economy is the monetary system. What is money? A medium of exchange. Money is a measure and storehouse of value. It is therefore the embodiment of the principles of love, society, and mutual, voluntary cooperation between people. Inherent in the concept of exchange is that human beings ought not to simply take from others and exploit them for personal gain, but must voluntarily exchange value for value in a way that benefits (i.e. creates more value) for both parties involved. Otherwise, the entire concept of exchange is pointless. A monetary system is the product of an attitude of love for others, a respect for their lives and the property that they use their lives and spend their time to create. It is the result of the belief that it is wrong to diminish another person and exploit his life by forcibly taking from him.

The greedy and powerful would have never bothered with creating a monetary system. They would have just appropriated what they wanted (whether food, water, buildings, clothing, medicine, etc.) from the hard work of the serfs they enslaved if they were rich feudal lords or the towns they terrorized and plundered if they were violent barbarians. The monetary system arose through the cooperation and collective action of the men and women throughout history who, whether implicitly or explicitly, understood that a civil society is one of voluntary cooperation between people who trade the product of their skills and labor to obtain the product of other such people in an exchange that is mutually beneficial to both.

The monetary system that underlies capitalism also necessarily recognizes an important part of human nature- that we are each uniquely gifted with different talents, interests, and passions. Necessary to the notion of exchange is the concept that exchange is worth happening. It is only worth happening if different people have different things to offer each other. If you were no better than me at what you do, and I no better than you, there would be no point in exchanging. But if I am an excellent crop farmer and you a skilled blacksmith, then why would you waste your time farming for yourself when you could spend your time doing something you're much better at doing? Then I would trade the product of my labor to feed you and your family for the product of your labor to help me farm in the first place be strengthening and improving my farming implements.

In recognizing this part of human nature, capitalism also recognizes that we are social creatures, it recognizes that it is good for us and part of our nature to work together and apply our different skills sets to different problems. It requires us to depend on each other. It ties the human family together in a relationship of mutual interdependence and cooperation that allows us to achieve greater productive possibilities, soaring achievements, and higher standards of living that would be unreachable to each of us individually. It is in this way that capitalism is true socialism. Socialism as a term to describe controlled (i.e. non-voluntary) economies is a misnomer. Capitalism is the economic system that recognizes humanity's social nature and sets up a true civil society as the context and framework for human interaction.

Last of all, capitalism and its underlying monetary system necessarily assume that human beings can and do produce more than they can consume. Money is a store of value. If I only produced as much as I could consume, there would be no need for money because I would consume the total product of my labor. But because of the vast and limitless power of our creative, reasoning minds, human beings create surpluses-- more than we can consume. Farmers create more food than they and their families eat. They could just let it rot, or they could exchange it with someone for money so that it doesn't go to waste and thereby store the extra value they created to use later in exchange for something else. Storing value prevents waste and allows people to keep all the wealth they create. It does something else too- something really cool:

The store of value in a medium of exchange allows people to pool their stored value together and create capital (assets that increase the productivity of human labor) that is too expensive for any one individual to acquire alone. This is the underlying principle of public corporations and the stock market. Joint ventures are made possible by storing value in a medium of exchange and they allow people to cooperate in ways that they never could without a monetary system. This cooperation has allowed us to create infrastructure and produce goods on a level that would have never been possible without capitalism. It also provides incentives to take risks and explore endless new possibilities by allowing people to share and divide up the risk together. This has been the ultimate source of the wealth explosion in the free, capitalistic-leaning countries of the West over the past two centuries, an explosion that has virtually eliminated poverty and created upward-class mobility at levels unprecedented in our entire history.

For an analysis of what kind of economic system is currently at work in the USA, its flaws, and why it is ultimately responsible for the recent economic troubles we've experienced, keep reading this website. You can also subscribe to this website's updates using the form in the right sidebar to stay updated with less effort on your part. Thanks for taking the time out to read this article and please know that you are encouraged to ask questions, make objections, and discuss this matter further in the comment thread of this post.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Herman Cain "Reassessing" Campaign!

This is big news! The question is, if Herman Cain drops out of the Republican presidential primary, where will all his supporters go?

Carl Wicklander's got all the facts and analysis at The RevoluTimes.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Pay Attention! Having More Than 7 Days of Food Makes You A Suspected Terrorist!

"Someone missing fingers on their hands is a [terror] suspect according to the Department of Justice, someone who has guns, someone who has ammunition that is weather proofed, someone who has more than seven days of food in their house can be considered a potential terrorist." -Sen Rand Paul (R-KY) on the Senate Floor discussing the indefinite detainment provisions of the pending defense spending bill






Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Is the Obama "Ron Paul 'Kill Order'" Real??

Probably not. I've seen a lot of buzz about this [Link has been removed because of reports that the website was giving people viruses. Yikes. -WEM] today in my inbox and on Facebook, and if you've heard about it too and are wondering if it could be possible, I wouldn't take it too seriously.

The website names its source as the Russian Federal Security Service, but they don't link to the alleged report itself, they just link to the Russian agency's website [Link has been removed for aforementioned reason. -WEM]. When I copied and pasted all of its headlines into Google Translate, I saw no headline that could remotely resemble anything about a Ron Paul "kill order," and nothing that even mentioned Obama or Ron Paul.

Not linking to the actual report is annoyingly unhelpful at best, and kind of sketchy at worst. Don't ever suspend your critical thinking and investigative abilities the second you hear a headline that confirms just how evil your opponent is, especially if it sounds too horrible to be true.

Sadly and kind of amusingly at the same time, if Ron Paul doesn't live to be 130, there will be conspiracy theories about his death for years and years. And guess what folks, he's not going to live to be 130. Sometimes people just die of old age. I imagine he could easily live well into his second century by a few years at the level of physical fitness he's in, but he won't live forever.

Let's get ahead of this now and not let a few odd balls distract people from our message of liberty with their half-baked weirdness.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 Reasons to End The Fed

This is an important resource I've put together to help educate people about the evils of central banking and inflationary monetary policy. Please share this around as much as you can!

Here are the first ten reasons to End the Fed:

1. The Federal Reserve System constantly inflates the value of our dollar by printing money out of thin air.

2. Graph: The value of a $1 Federal Reserve Note in 1913 dollars (the year the Fed was created).

3. The Fed even recognizes its inflationary activity. The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston says: “When you or I write a check there must be sufficient funds in our account to cover the check, but when the Federal Reserve writes a check there is no bank deposit on which that check is drawn. When the Federal Reserve writes a check, it is creating money.”

4. American economist Irving Fisher said: “Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess.”

5. If you or I did what the Fed does when it prints money, we would be found guilty of counterfeiting and locked up for a very long time!

6. The reason you or I would be arrested for counterfeiting is it’s theft! Every bill you create in bad faith, which doesn’t actually represent the creation of real goods and services, real value that has improved life by directing resources to their most productive uses, is a lie and an appropriation of value from the rest of the world, which gives the counterfeiter goods and services in exchange for nothing, because he or she did not actually create anything of value in return.

7. This is true of what the Federal Reserve does: “Neither paper currency nor deposits have value as commodities, intrinsically, a ‘dollar’ bill is just a piece of paper. Deposits are merely book entries.” – Modern Money Mechanics Workbook, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 1975

8. “The Fed creates absolutely nothing. It does not produce a single grain of wheat to feed people, a single drop of oil to power the engines of an industrial economy, nor a single ingot of metal from the ground to build the products and buildings that improve our lives.” -Wesley Messamore

9. This situation, in which you or I would be arrested for doing something the Federal Reserve does every day, is the hallmark of institutionalized theft and a legal system turned on its head. As French economist Frederic Bastiat said in the 19th century: “But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply… See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”

10. The inflation that results from the Federal Reserve’s massive counterfeiting operation steals from hardworking Americans by diminishing the value of the money they earn.

Read the rest at The Silver Underground.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Rand Paul Fights Senate Bill That Would Allow The Military to Arrest Civilians on American Soil and Detain Them Indefinitely!


The Hill reports:

Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and John McCain (Ariz.) battled on the Senate floor Tuesday over a proposed amendment to the pending defense authorization bill that could allow American citizens who are suspected of terrorism to be denied a civilian trial.

Paul argued the amendment, which is cosponsored by McCain, "puts every single American citizen at risk" and suggested that if the amendment passes, "the terrorists have won."

“Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well then the terrorists have won," Paul argued, "[D]etaining American citizens without a court trial is not American."

McCain, however, who has spent hours of floor time in the last weeks promoting his amendment, hurried to the floor to defend it against Paul's onslaught.

Hat tip: Memeorandum.

Here's what Judge Andrew Napolitano has to say about this amendment on his Fox News program, Freedom Watch:



Reason Magazine has a video of John McCain dodging Rand Paul's very direct question about his amendment:



Tennessee Campaign for Liberty reports:

Senator Rand Paul has submitted an Amendment to Senate Bill 1867 (known as the National Defense Authorization Act) which would strike the section of the bill that allows the US government to indefinitely detain individuals without trial or due process. The Amendment is #1062 and would eliminate Section 1031 which states:

"Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force...includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons...Detention under the law of war without trial"

This Amendment to strike Section 1031 was submitted by Senator Paul as soon as the bill came forward. There are other similar Amendments too, however none of them completely eliminate the Constitutionally offensive section.

Here's Rand Paul's address on the indefinite military detention amendment and the threat it poses to our republic.

This is what true statesmanship looks like:



I am reminded of an article I wrote this summer as Rand Paul courageously fought the renewal of the illegal Patriot Act.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Michael Badnarik Endorses Young Ron Paul Supporter for U.S. Congress in Colorado's 3rd District 2012 Race

Former Presidential Candidate Joins CASIDA 2012 Team

Michael Badnarik, a constitutional scholar, author, and former Presidential candidate, is joining the Casida 2012 Campaign Team as an adviser. Badnarik’s own personal experiences and relationships with thousands of liberty-minded activists from around the country, brings the opportunity to Colorado’s third congressional district to be the most educated, resilient, self-sufficient population in the country. And as Casida says,

"That is what this is all about – being a voice, representing the people, and being a leader for our communities and economies."

Badnarik’s experiences bring extensive insight to the campaign team. His book, Good To Be King, is one of the resources that has already been utilized on the campaign trail to help educate people on the basics of the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights.

Badnarik says:

"Every major party candidate tells the voters what they want to hear, but then they toe the party line. Every third party candidate confesses they have no chance of winning, and they simply want to spread their message. I have finally found an independent candidate who is idealistic enough to think she can win, and dedicated enough to make it happen. Tisha Casida vows that she is going to Washington to cut off the head of the snake. I love her determination, and I plan to do everything within my power to make sure she wins her election. Failure is not at option as far as I’m concerned."




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

End The Fed Video

A memorable demonstration followed by a simple explanation: what the Fed does is and ought to be illegal... just like it is for everyone else!

This is a video I made back in September of 2009. Thought I'd repost it. Please excuse the goofy hat that I thought was cool:



Apologies to the Secret Service. Please don't come after me... I'm NOT a counterfeiter! Promise!




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

New Ballot Initiative in California: The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012

"A new ballot initiative, painstakingly written by a pair of Standford University law professors, seeks to reform the Three Strikes Law in California by restoring it to its original intent, which supporters argue was to keep truly dangerous criminals like murderers and rapists in prison for life without forcing non-violent offenders to spend years behind bars."


Read my full coverage at The Independent Voter Network.


Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
Articles | Author's Page

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Mother Lode: 100 Objections to Libertarianism with Libertarian Answers and Rebuttals



Please share and use this libertarian resource and help me to improve and perfect it by using the comment thread below to offer suggestions, criticisms, and commentary regarding the choice and scope of objections as well as the libertarian answers to them. If you know of an article or video that better or more succinctly answers an objection than what I have included, please share it in the comments! If you can think of an important objection that I have missed, please let me know!

Economic Objections to Libertarianism

1. We need the government to prevent monopolies.

This is one of the most common objections to libertarianism. The very best answer to it I have ever encountered is in Ayn Rand's book: Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal. In it, a very young Alan Greenspan (before he sold out) wrote an essay called "Anti-Trust" which demonstrates how theoretically and historically, it is actually only government intervention that can create a true, coercive monopoly, not the free interaction of individuals in an unregulated market. You can listen to the first half of this essay in audio format here. Those of you with no scruples about copyrights can read the entire essay here (but I highly recommend you buy the entire book-- I daresay it's one of the most important libertarian books ever written). Milton Friedman also makes his case here, listing multiple examples of monopolies created by government intervention.


2. Capitalism inherently exploits labor.

This depends firstly on your definition of capitalism. Defining our terms clearly is very important to prevent equivocation during political discussions. If I may say so, one of the best explanations of capitalism can be found at this very website. If this is your definition of capitalism, and it is what libertarians actually mean by capitalism, then the notion that it exploits labor evaporates. Another great explanation and defense of capitalism can be found at Mises.org. Finally, you can simply point out to objectors that since the advent of more capitalist economies, the rate of return on capital (how much profit you can make by investing in capital) has remained steady, as has the rate of return on land (rents from real estate) when compared to the explosive growth in the rate of return on labor (hourly pay). Do workers in more capitalistic countries work harder than their counterparts in less capitalistic ones? They probably work less hard and in better conditions. So why are they paid more? Because capital has made each hour of their labor vastly more productive. Capital and capitalism have done more for the laborer than any other development in human history. For more on this, I again refer you to Ayn Rand's Capitalism, The Unknown Ideal.


3. Cutting government spending would harm the economy.

Libertarians can refute this objection with one simple analogy and a few historical examples. Besides, government spending is almost always, if not always less efficient than private spending, which results in a net economic loss, or at least less net economic gain than would be possible without the government spending.


4. The TARP bailouts were a necessary evil; libertarians would have done nothing and let the economy crash.

In my six reasons not to bailout the "big three" auto companies, I make a solid case against all such corporate bailouts of mismanaged companies. When conservatives make this argument, ask them why they think free markets would have failed to do a better job of resolving this problem than government. Ask them why they support socialism and point out that the TARP bailouts socialized corporate losses by spreading them out to the rest of society. Also ask them why they support welfare and point out that the bailouts were an example of welfare, and that they incentivize more unproductive behavior the same way conservatives feel that welfare for the poor does. When social democrats make this argument, ask them how they could support taking money from the working middle class and poor to give to rich, Wall Street banks. When they answer, as Obama did in one 2008 presidential debate, that it was necessary to keep businesses running so they could continue to employ the working middle class and poor, say: "So you're arguing that if the government gives money to the wealthy, it will trickle down to the poor?? Now you sound like a right-wing Republican!"


5. Libertarianism is good for big corporations.

If that were true, why don't more big corporations support libertarianism? Instead they seem to support more big government. Go ahead, browse OpenSecrets.org for yourself.


6. Libertarians want to take us back to the gold standard.

First of all, even if this were true, what would be so bad about that? Objectors will act as if libertarians are backward and unsophisticated for supporting a gold standard currency, but libertarians should point out that fiat currency is nearly as ancient as currency itself, and that centralized governments have been inflating currency for centuries with the same result each time: monetary collapse, often followed by civil disorder. But secondly, this objection isn't even true about most libertarians. Most libertarians do not advocate some kind of government monopoly gold standard like we had over a century ago because it can be all too easily manipulated; they actually prefer what most libertarians would call a free market of currency that allows individuals to decide for themselves what currency is and how much they trust it.


7. Libertarians would let foreign countries put Americans out of work.

Because protectionist economic policies force American businesses and consumers to pay higher prices for certain things (like steel or sugar) than they would have to pay in a free market, most economists agree that such policies have the effect of a net economic harm to the domestic economy and are overtly anti-consumer. And it is actually protectionist policies that put Americans out of work by causing this net economic harm to the growth of the domestic economy.


8. We need government to stabilize the economy and prevent steep booms and busts.

Booms and busts themselves are actually caused by government intervention into the economy. Libertarian economists who understand this (many of them belonging to the "Austrian School of Economics") have been incredibly accurate predictors of economic booms and busts. They predicted the Great Depression, the stagflation of the 1970s (that their opponents had always claimed was impossible), and the most recent credit and housing collapse. Their predictive powers are the result of their accurate theories and understanding. Here, I'll let "F.A. Hayek" rap it for you.


9. We need government to provide "public goods."

Wrong. No we don't. Not for lighthouses and national defense. Not for dikes. "Public goods" is simply a concept that has been used as the theoretical basis to justify all kinds of disingenuous, rent-seeking behavior.


10. We need government to regulate negative externalities.

The argument that negative externalities are examples of market failure does not necessarily prove the necessity for government intervention, and does nothing to address the possibility unavoidable reality of government failure. Just one example of government failure, for instance, is unintended consequences. Libertarians do have a solution to negative externalities, however, which is using our system of civil law to enforce and protect private property rights.


11. The recent financial collapse proves that capitalism doesn't work.

Myth. Really stupid myth too. How on earth the housing and financial markets prior to the recent bust could possibly be characterized as capitalist is beyond me.


Moral and Religious Objections to Libertarianism

12. Libertarians are immoral hedonists.

Ouch. Not really.


13. Libertarians would let drugs flood our streets.

Portugal has empirically proven this false. By completely decriminalizing drug possession over a decade ago, the country has actually achieved better metrics on drug abuse than it had before and better than we have in the United States.


14. Okay, maybe marijuana should be legal, but not hard drugs like heroin!

Look again to the example of Portugal above, which decriminalized all hard drugs, not just marijuana.


15. A libertarian society would let sexual immorality run rampant.

Like Jesus did when he chose not to use the apparatus of the state to enforce sexual morality, instead telling those around him that he without sin should cast the first stone? And isn't putting politicians in charge of our sexual morality kind of like putting alcoholics in charge of our sobriety?


16. Libertarianism is un-Christian.

That's not what they think at LibertarianChristians.com. Their about page has a lot of good information and links to good arguments explaining that it's perfectly sound to be a Christian and a libertarian.


17. Libertarians are religious fanatics.

On the one hand Christians will make Objection #16 above, but on the other hand, atheists, agnostics, and progressive, mainline Christians will accuse libertarians of being too "extremely" Christian and obsessed with excluding the government from every area of their lives on religious pretexts and brainwashing their children via private, religious homeschooling. Ask them why Ayn Rand was a libertarian then.


18. Jesus was a socialist.

No he wasn't. But he wasn't really a capitalist either. His message wasn't: "This is how you should live" or "This is the ideal form of government." His message was: "I'm God." It falls into an entirely different kind of category and answers entirely different questions from the claims made by capitalists and socialists. Let's just agree to leave him out of this. For those who simply can't agree to this, answer:

"Christ taught that one cannot live by the sword- I'd add that one cannot give by the sword. If the Good Samaritan had robbed the priest in order to take care of the man in need and pay for his lodging at the inn, he would have been the Bad Samaritan. If he had fancied himself charitable while doing so, he would have been the Hypocritical Samaritan. Christ taught to take care of those in need. It is a leap of logic to infer that Christ supported the modern democratic social welfare state."


19. Libertarians are all pro choice.

No we're not. Ron Paul, for instance, a doctor who has delivered hundreds of babies and one of the most visible champions of libertarian thought is 100% pro life. But we're not all pro life either. Libertarianism does not inherently dictate a particular view on this matter.


20. Libertarians oppose Israel.

Okay, if the person making this objection can read this essay in its entirety (which was written by a Jew), without budging or at least experiencing the sudden onset of a cognitive dissonance headache, I don't know if there's much you can do to help them. You can try my essay, which is addressed to Christians and makes a Biblical case against Washington's foreign policy toward Israel.


21. Libertarians are anti-family.

False.


22. Ron Paul's supporters are like a cult.

'Yet the Paul movement, as should be obvious, is the very opposite of a cult. For one thing, their leader hardly ever uses the word “I.” For another, they have substantive reasons for supporting him. Speak to a Ron Paul supporter and you’ll find someone who knows much more than the average person about topics like monetary policy, the Constitution, U.S. history, economics, etc. That person can give as many solid, substantive reasons for supporting Ron Paul as you have time to listen to.' -Tom Woods


Social Welfare Objections to Libertarianism

23. Who will take care of the poor in a libertarian society?

"Roughly half the American populace currently votes for Democrats and Democratic policies that believe in the role of government as 'collective citizenry' to support the welfare state in order to prevent mass poverty. Yet, these same voters believe that without these specific welfare policies in place, the half of the populace that so deeply believes this would still allow this poverty to occur. Either these individuals are afraid of something ridiculous, or confident in their own hypocrisy." -Eric Olsen

Also some of the very earliest libertarians were primarily concerned with the problem of poverty, and among the first theorists in human history to suggest that poverty could and would be entirely eliminated. As Ayn Rand said, if capitalism had never existed, any honest humanitarian should have been trying to invent it. It has, as a matter of fact, raised the standards of living beyond anything ever achieved by central economic planning in human history.


24. Health care is a necessity and a right, not a product.

What is a right? Health care is not a right, it's a good. That doesn't even make any sense. When you think of it as a right, you create some strange logical corollaries. The first government to guarantee cradle-to-grave health care as a "constitutional right" unwittingly unleashed horrors on its people. Okay, Soviet Russia doesn't count for some arbitrary reason? What about Canada? What about Massachusetts? Government interventions and market distortions are at the root of lack of access to health care in the United States today. Advocates of government-run medicine may have less than the best intentions in mind, and may have some of the very worst, most vicious, most evil ideas at heart.


25. How would we educate our children without government?

The same way that colonial Puritans educated their children without government, producing a universal literacy rate, a feat that bests that of present day America in the era of public schooling. The premise behind public schooling may be well-intentioned, but is grotesquely paternalistic. One libertarian solution, a school voucher program, was tried in D.C. where it produced better results at a quarter of the cost! The program was canceled while government bureaucrats hid the study showing the program's success.


26. So you would get rid of Social Security?

Libertarians absolutely do not advocate the government ripping off people who paid into Social Security. They deserve to get back the money that they put in. We do support allowing people to opt out of paying into a system that we know is mathematically incapable of not ripping them off in the future (thanks to big government). Many of us also support making a step in the right direction by privatizing Social Security accounts.

The net present value of privatizing Social Security is estimated to be as much as $20,000,000,000,000. The historical data on countries that have privatized their government run pension-systems promises us great reward if we follow their example. When Chile made this revolutionary reform to its own government pension system in 1980, the results after 15 years were exemplary.


27. People deserve to make a living wage.

At whose expense? Low-skilled workers? Racial minorities? And what's a "living wage?" Enough to afford air conditioning? Enough to afford a television? An iPhone? Eating out twice a week? Brand name athletic shoes?


28. Libertarians would end student loans for college.

Non-libertarians would keep college expensive.



29. Libertarianism benefits those who already have money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

This just isn't true and unwittingly betrays an ugly underlying premise which isn't at all concerned with the welfare of the poor, as humorously demonstrated by Margaret Thatcher.


30. How would libertarians make sure people have adequate housing?

By making sure the government stays out of their way; ending the bubbles that create boom and bust cycles created by government interference; not allowing government to displace people from their homes and destroy communities; and lifting zoning rules and government regulations that drive up the prices of housing.


31. The wealthy should give back to society.

Maybe. But that's an ethical claim, not a political one. Even if it is true, it is a different assertion than: "The government should force the wealthy to give back to society." Ask the objector if they believe that the government should legislate private moral beliefs-- regarding sexuality for instance. Ask them how their private moral belief in charity is any different, and why government should legislate that one. Also point out as Milton Friedman does, that the wealthy do "give back to society" when they invest their profits in the capital that improves society's productive possibilities and raises society's standard of living.


Regulatory Objections to Libertarianism

32. Child labor would run rampant in a libertarian society.

Some clarifications.


33. We need regulations to keep us safe.

No we don't. Who regulates the regulators? The perfect example of regulation actually causing the problems that people then call for yet more regulation to solve is the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010.


34. How would libertarians guarantee workplace safety?

By the hand of the free market.


35. Who will maintain housing standards and safety in a libertarian society?

Reread the answers to Objections #30 and #33.


36. How would libertarians keep corporations from defrauding us?

By forcing them to compete for our dollars by providing us value instead of defrauding us of our money by lobbying for it from government. By recognizing that regulation does not prevent fraud. By enforcing contracts that protect our property rights in courts of law.


37. How would libertarians protect the environment?

Remember first of all, that the worst polluter in the world is the United States government. Significantly curtailing its size, role, and influence, especially that of the Pentagon, would drastically decrease the amount of pollution in the world. Remember secondly, that the world is far cleaner today than it was a hundred years ago, and the reason isn't environmental regulation, but private enterprise and the explosion in wealth. This makes sense because environmental protection is a consumption good that we can afford more of as we become more wealthy. Note thirdly, that libertarians offer private property rights with their corresponding legal protections as the best solution to protect the environment. And observe finally, that the language and "reasoning" of environmental hysteria is often without substance, fraudulent in its claims, bears the hallmarks of religious faith rather than scientific inquiry or philosophical discourse, and posits-- without justifications other than aesthetic appeals-- that the pristine, untouched (by humans) environment is somehow intrinsically valuable, and thereby implies necessarily that man is somehow flawed and alien to the intrinsically good "environment" around him, that humanity and the requirements for its survival are evil.


38. What about food safety?

What about it?


39. What about drug safety?

What about the damage done to life and liberty by FDA regulation?


40. Who would enforce transportation safety?

Not the government!


41. Who would enforce broadcasting standards?

No one. Though consumers would be free to express their preferences by viewing or listening to programs that matched their differing tastes and standards.


42. Who would promote energy alternatives to fossil fuels?

Entrepreneurs.


National Security and Foreign Policy Objections to Libertarianism

43. Libertarians are all isolationists.

Calling people like Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, and other critics of military intervention in countries like Libya (not to mention Iraq and Afghanistan) "isolationist" would be like calling a high school prom king, president of his senior class, and editor on the yearbook staff, an introvert... because he never gets in any fights.

On both an individual and geopolitical level, violent conflict is not a necessary part-- and certainly not the only means-- of interacting with others, making friends, and being a leader. That anyone should even need to hear that clarification is a bewildering indictment of prevailing American attitudes toward global conflict and Washington foreign policy.


44. Libertarians don't believe in a strong national defense.

Sure we do. We're just smart about it. And we recognize that not all spending marked as "defense" actually makes America safer or our defenses stronger.


45. Libertarians don't support the troops.

That's funny, because the troops support libertarians.


46. Libertarians would leave our borders open.

If the objector means to foreign threats, libertarians would actually protect our borders better than anyone else by worrying less about the borders between foreign countries half a world a way and focusing on defending our own borders and points of entry from potential threats. If the objector means libertarians would support an open door policy regarding immigration, many of us would. Economically immigration is a net positive for American wages, jobs, and productivity. Culturally, we don't see what conservatives are so opposed to in the mass immigration of people from Latin American countries, people who closely share their conservative values of family, hard work, and religious piety-- and even their opposition toward abortion and their respect for masculinity and cowboy machismo. But don't worry, libertarians also oppose letting immigrants take advantage of government handouts (we don't even like American citizens taking advantage of government handouts).


47. Libertarians don't comprehend the danger of the threats opposing America.

Actually we do. In fact, we might comprehend the danger with a more accurate sense of scale than the fear-mongers who would make this objection. You see, we're just not afraid. And we're not going to let foreign terrorists scare us into giving up our American values and form of government.


48. Libertarians would just let Iran and similar countries go nuclear.

Yeah. So what? To say that Iran having a nuclear weapon is a potential threat to its neighbors is one thing — to say that it is a threat to the United States is quite another. Maybe the best policy to keep America safe in our post-atomic age would be not to antagonize other countries in the first place, so we don't have to worry at all when they acquire nuclear capabilities. And please forgive me for pointing out the absurdity of Washington acting as world police for nuclear weapons, when it is the only government in history to actually use a nuclear weapon on another country.


49. Libertarians wouldn't water board a terrorist to keep Americans from dying.

Neither would John McCain, who knows a thing or two about torture. Neither would Ronald Reagan, who prosecuted a sheriff for waterboarding. And waterboarding does not make America safer anyways. It is a part of very un-American torture techniques "based on tactics used by Chinese Communists against American soldiers during the Korean War for the purpose of eliciting false confessions for propaganda purposes." It does not provide accurate information: "In fact, it usually decreases the reliability of the information because the person will say whatever he believes will stop the pain."


50. World War II got us out of the Great Depression.

No it didn't. Wars destroy wealth by allocating labor and capital toward the destruction of other labor (people) and capital instead of toward producing things. There's an opportunity cost for the first kind of labor and capital and an overt destruction of the second set of labor and capital. Wars also lower standards of living by crowding out consumption.


51. Libertarians like Ron Paul always blame America first.

No, libertarians like Ron Paul put America first.


52. How can we let atrocities happen in other countries without intervening?

We do all the time when they don't have oil, or aren't planning to swap out the dollar for another reserve currency. The humanitarian justifications for war are always just rationalizations, and the effects of Washington's global interventions throughout the last century have been tragic on a horrific scale.


Political Objections to Libertarianism

53. Libertarians don't offer solutions, just criticisms.

Huh. What's this? Or this? Or this? Or this? Or this (a self-described libertarian, who didn't just offer solutions, but enacted them to spectacular effect after becoming governor of his state)?


54. Libertarians are too liberal.

On the contrary, libertarianism fulfills conservative values best.


55. Libertarians are too conservative.

On the contrary, libertarianism fulfills liberal values best.


56. Libertarians are unwilling to compromise.

Actually it's the partisans in Washington's party duopoly that are unwilling to compromise. Libertarians hardly even have the chance to compromise because we're hardly even allowed into the conversation. In fact, libertarians offer many difficult, but necessary compromises that would help solve many of the problems facing America today.


57. You've got to have some taxes.

Libertarians don't necessarily believe in no taxation. They just believe in a lot less than we have today. Though some of them have made surprisingly convincing arguments against any kind of taxation. Ayn Rand for instance, offered a very clever replacement for coercive taxation in the form of user fees for government services that would be voluntary because the user only has to pay the fee if they choose to use that particular government service. One example Rand gives is a fee, paid in advance, for any future enforcement of legal contracts in civil courts. It is from these fees that a properly restrained and delineated government would be able to carry out its basic functions, and Rand even reasons that big businesses and wealthy individuals would and should pay most of these fees because they have the most to lose without a government to protect property rights.


58. Libertarianism can't succeed in America's two-party system.

Actually, America can't succeed in America's two-party system.

"The usual terminology of political language is stupid. What is 'left' and what is 'right'? Why should Hitler be 'right' and Stalin, his temporary friend, be 'left'? Who is 'reactionary' and who is 'progressive'? Reaction against an unwise policy is not to be condemned. And progress towards chaos is not to be commended. Nothing should find acceptance just because it is new, radical, and fashionable. 'Orthodoxy' is not an evil if the doctrine on which the 'orthodox' stand is sound. Who is anti-labor, those who want to lower labor to the Russian level, or those who want for labor the capitalistic standard of the United States? Who is 'nationalist,' those who want to bring their nation under the heel of the Nazis, or those who want to preserve its independence?" -Ludwig von Mises


59. The Commerce Clause allows government to do many of the things libertarians claim are unconstitutional.

Nope. Not true.


60. The Constitution allows government to "promote the general welfare."

Not quite. At least not the way you mean it.


61. The Constitution is a living document.

Whatever-- so long as it "lives" and "breathes" in its own, clearly delineated space and stays out of the space that has been reserved for the people.


62. The government can't just go back on its promises and pull the rug out from under people.

Well actually, it does that all the time (ask the Native Americans), which is one more reason to stop trusting it with more and more of our money, liberty, lives, and future, but most libertarians would agree that we should find ways to limit government growth while continuing to honor promises it has made to the American people (for instance, via Social Security). The only way to do this is to stop making new promises (because the government simply, mathematically cannot continue to do so at the present rate with any reasonable chance of following through), give people the freedom not to be obligated to pay into unsustainable systems like Social Security, and severely curtail the size and cost of the Washington establishment to reduce costs and siphon that money toward paying down obligations until they're gone. This third step involves ending corporate handouts, freezing federal hiring as well as increases in public compensation, and ending all the unnecessary wars and foreign aid.


63. What do we do with all the people who already have government jobs?

Put them to productive work. And don't worry, even some of the strictest of libertarian budget cutters like Ron Paul, don't support firing government employees, but propose to put a freeze on new hiring and diminish the number of public sector workers via attrition, which might be why Ron Paul is ironically getting so many donations from federal workers.


Practical Objections to Libertarianism

64. What about roads?

Oh the roads. They always, always bring up the roads. No worries. The Ludwig on Mises Institute's got your back here, here, and here.


65. What about fire departments?

Nice try.


66. We need some gun control.

Tell that to Malcolm X. He probably makes a better case for gun rights than I could. In case that doesn't work, remind your objector that preventing gun violence won't prevent all violence: determined lunatics like the Virginia Tech or Tucson, Arizona shooters could simply resort to another method like a car bomb. But gun control laws might prevent people from protecting themselves from violence: if you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. And gun control is empirically proven as a matter of record to increase rates of crime (and fascism), while more permissive gun laws are strongly correlated with lower rates of crime, which is why jurisdictions with notoriously strict gun control measures paradoxically tend to suffer from the worst rates of violent crime– that is, places like Washington DC, Chicago, and the United Kingdom. Ever try dialing 9-11 while being mugged?


67. What about funding for science and research?

First re-read the answers to the economic objections above regarding market failure and public goods, replacing every instance of "public good" with "scientific research," then read this Mises paper explaining why the entrepreneur, operating by profit and loss, does better scientific research than the government, operating by (...???).


68. You'd get rid of NASA?

Yeah. We don't need NASA. The world would be better off.


69. What about patents and copyrights?

Libertarians are divided on this issue, with some like Ayn Rand who strongly believe in patents and copyrights as a necessary part of property rights, and others like Thomas Jefferson who regarded them as government-granted monopolies that served no useful purpose. So there's really no single libertarian answer to this question, though in a libertarian society, it's complicated issues like this that policymakers should be able to discuss and debate in good faith and with the common goal of maximizing human liberty.


70. What about funding for the arts?

Writing in the 1800s, French economist Frederic Bastiat answers.


71. What about police departments?

Most libertarians believe police departments are legitimate role of government and should be provided by the public sector. Those who disagree provide compelling arguments for a free market in security.


72. How would libertarians deal with major disaster response?

Better than FEMA.


73. Who would deliver the mail in a libertarian society?

Not the USPS. Lol. Free market alternatives and substitutes like: FedEx, UPS, email, text, super cheap long distance plans, cell phones, Skype, Facebook, and on and on the list could go...


74. People would just be allowed to sell their organs in a libertarian world.

So what?


Theoretical Objections to Libertarianism

75. There will never be a libertarian society.

There might never be a society where no one ever murders anyone else. That doesn't mean that such a society wouldn't be preferable to the one we live in and it certainly doesn't mean we should strive by increments toward the goal of living in such a society. This question is irrelevant. The question is whether a libertarian society is a good society. If it is, then the question is not "Will good win out over evil in the end?" as if there is some ultimate "end" in the first place, but here and now, in this very moment: "Will you be good? Will you strive for the good? Will you defend the good against its detractors? Will you oppose what is evil? Will you speak out against it? Will you fight it? Will you thwart it?" If you believe liberty is good and you answered yes, then you are a libertarian. Besides no one can actually be sure of this objection. Ask them, "How do you know?" They'll likely give some of the other objections in this list and you can proceed to answer and settle those. I, for one, usually lean toward believing that there absolutely will be a society more libertarian than any other in human history and that it will happen in the lifetime of my own generation (I was born in the late 1980s).


76. People are too greedy / selfish / imperfect for libertarianism to work.

Right, people are greedy. In fact, people are too greedy, selfish, and imperfect for centralized political power in the hands of an elite few to work. If people are so horrible by nature that they can't be expected to get along with each other fairly, how on earth is concentrating the force of political power in the hands of just a few of these horrible people going to make matters any better? The record of history shows it doesn't. It makes things worse. The historical record of government is a record of greed, selfishness, and human imperfection without limits or restraint, armed with the aura of moral ascendancy and the guns of an army, stomping on the face of humanity, prone to mismanagement, abuse, misuse, malfeasance, corruption, secrecy, lies, mass theft, and mass murder. If people are imperfect and unworthy to govern even themselves, then they are certainly more unworthy to govern others.


77. You can't have no government at all.

Most libertarians don't argue for no government at all. They argue for constitutionally-limited government, which confines itself to the role of acting as a policeman to protect its citizens from aggression. Those libertarians that do argue for no government at all, at least deserve to be heard out instead of dismissed outright on the basis of your preconceived notions of what they believe and how well they can defend it.


78. Libertarians are too idealistic.

Reread Objection #76 --statists and non-libertarians are too idealistic if they believe that the state has their best interests in mind and not the special interests of the well-connected elite and powerful in mind. They are too idealistic if they believe the people who brought you the Postal Service will ever outperform the people that brought you the iPhone. They are too idealistic if they would trust their health care or the education of their children in the hands of a government that took days just to bring water to Hurricane Katrina victims.


79. Libertarianism is too extreme. We need a balance.

Extreme is merely a modifier. Too often in modern political discourse, the word itself is taken as evidence of something sinister, but what's sinister about a man of "extreme integrity?" Or what would we make of the claim that someone was "moderately honest?" Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.


80. Libertarianism is social Darwinism.

The activity of government and of the rent-seekers that shoulder up to the trough of government is more like social Darwinism. Study the history of just about any government to observe the behavior of the strong manipulating and controlling the weak. Contrary to that paradigm, libertarians offer a social order that allows everyone to benefit from the achievements of the able instead of suffer at their mercy.


81. Libertarianism has it all wrong-- I'm an anarchist / voluntaryist / agorist / etc.

When people say this, they're just trying to get attention and feel "badass." Smile and nod. Or ask them this: "So you're an anarchist, huh? Because you believe a society without a state is preferable to one with a state? Because you believe that a stateless society would maximize human liberty? So your criterion here is human liberty? Soooo.... you're a libertarian."


82. Libertarianism could work on a smaller scale, but not with so many people and not in modern times.

Why not? I'm inclined to think that central planning becomes more difficult the more people there are to manage and the more new modern technologies and complexities there are to take into account.


83. You can't just let people do whatever they want.

From my e-book, Learn About Liberty:

'To enjoy freedom or liberty presupposes a prepositional object. To be free from what? To enjoy liberty from what?

Thomas Hobbes understood liberty to mean "license" -license to do whatever one pleases. Hobbes found liberty- as he understood it- to endanger human happiness and prosperity. Without a strong, central government to forcibly limit our destructive whims at whatever price (including the destruction wrought by the government's own whims!), life would be a "war of all against all," rendering the average human life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Indeed the liberty to follow any whim or wish at anyone's expense, running roughshod over the lives of other human beings, would be a very dangerous kind of liberty. Who could have any liberty at all if anyone else who pleased could come along to rob, enslave, or even murder them? But there is another way to understand liberty: to be free- not from whatever principle, convention, or constraint impedes one's every terrible whim as Hobbes defines it- but to be free from aggression. It is in this sense that libertarians understand freedom.'


84. It's not a violation of your liberty because you had a chance to vote on it.

You will often hear some variant of this objection to libertarian ideas. Sometimes a critic will just say, "If you don't like it, you can vote to change it." The problem with this argument is the moral impotence of democracy. What makes government so special? And who says voters are so smart?


85. Government does do good things.

At what opportunity cost? With what unintended consequences? And are even the best-intentioned government programs the first step on the road to serfdom?


86. We have to give up some rights to get others as part of "the social contract."

Says who and by what special authority?


87. Libertarianism is adolescent. You'll grow out of it.

Smug condescension is sophomoric. You'll grow out of it.

Also this.


Historical Objections to Libertarianism

88. There has never been a libertarian society.

Answer: "If I were arguing for the abolition of slavery in 1700, would you object by saying there has never been a slaveless society? No? See how that particular objection isn't relevant?"


89.How's libertarianism working out for Somalia?

Actually...


90. So would you repeal the Civil Rights Act?

So would you force a black restaurant owner to serve a Klansman? Would you force a bartender at a gay bar to serve Fred Phelps?


91. Too many libertarians are racists.

What's racist about balanced budgets? Besides, too many politicians are racists... and too many journalists let them get away with it.


92. Libertarians are closet secessionists and neo-confederates.

If anyone makes this objection to libertarianism, RUN LIKE HELL. Get out of there before they eat your brains.


93. Libertarians are "crazy."

This is just empty name-calling. Ask your objector what they mean by that and press them until they stop using vague insults and make substantive criticisms. They'll likely make one covered elsewhere in this list.


94. Libertarians are all conspiracy theorists.

Remind your objector that a conspiracy theory is a particular view of history, a theory that a certain conspiracy has happened or is happening. Libertarianism is an entirely different kind of thing. While it draws on history's lessons to support its ideas, libertarianism is not a particular view of history, but a normative political philosophy that prescribes the best way for human beings to live and interact. If a few, or even if all libertarians happen to believe in certain conspiracy theories, whether those theories are true or false is a separate question from whether libertarian political and economic theories are true are false.

And conspiracy theories themselves are not inherently libertarian. The "birther" theory got started in the Democratic Party by supporters of Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 presidential nomination and spread to the Republican Party after the primaries where it is alive and well to this day. The 9-11 "truth" conspiracy theory is also as rampant if not more rampant among Democrats and the political left as it is among libertarians. Every major political group or school of thought is going to have its fringe members with odd ideas that are irrelevant to the school of thought itself.


95. Libertarians are mostly rich, white men.

Tell that to me (poor), Frederick Douglass (black), or Ayn Rand (woman). Libertarian ideas are not inherently modern nor ancient, neither are they inherently ethnocentric, neither are they inherently androcentric. They do not favor any specific class, which is plainly evident in their theory and amply proven by the record of their history. It's funny libertarians should always be slandered as stupidly wide-eyed idealists one minute, and totally self-interested pigs the next. Pick a lane, people! And oh yeah-- actually governments are mostly run by rich, white men. Just in case ya didn't notice. If you're skeptical of "rich, white, man bias," you should be skeptical of government... like libertarians.


96. Libertarians are heartless.

"What? I thought we were brainless idealists. Which is it?" (Then once again, ask your objector to be more specific, which will lead to discussions of substantive issues.)

And: assuming that statists have a monopoly on the golden rule just because they want to use the most coercive, inefficient, blunt-trauma institution in the world-- the US Federal Government-- to express their love is facetious.


97. You want things to go back to the 1800s?

You want your wealth and standard of living to increase by a factor of six??


98. We need a strong federal government to keep the states in line.

Thomas Jefferson best addresses this in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, explaining how we need strong states and a strong citizenry to keep the over-reaching, police state powers of the federal government in line.


99. Libertarianism got us into the Great Depression.

Not true! All kinds of massive government interventions preceded and caused the Great Depression.


100. Spending got us out of the Great Depression.

Wrong again! I'll let Hayek take it from here.




Wes Messamore,
Editor in Chief, THL
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