A blog by Patrick Crozier

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May 21, 2004

Why I am a libertarian

I am a libertarian because I believe it comes closest to delivering what I want from a political philosophy.

But what’s the evidence?

It comes in two parts. First of all, there is the empirical side. It seems to me that those countries that have closest to abiding by libertarian principles have also come closest to delivering what I want from a political philosophy.

But there’s also the theoretical side on which, I am afraid, I am a bit shaky. Although I am sure great writers like Adam Smith, von Mises, Hayek, Rothbard, Friedman (both Milton and David) and Block have covered this in exhaustive detail for the most part I have never read them, or, if I have, have long since forgotten what they said.

However, one thing does strike me. In a libertarian world the individual can only make his world a better place either by doing it himself ie making things out of his own property or by swapping his property for someone else’s. That means that someone else has to be willing to swap and the only way that that swap can take place is if both parties feel that they are better off as a result. In which case the world is (if in a very small way) a better place.

Update 21/05/04

What doesn't come across here is how deeply sceptical I am about the state. I am deeply sceptical about the ability of the state to achieve anything. That is why I started compiling a list of 100 State Failures.

Update 19/08/04

The ASI have a posting on wealth and freedom. Seems the freer you are the wealthier you are - though they do point out there is something of a chicken and egg situation here.

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