After seeing the same misconceptions produce the same arguments against liberty over and over again, I’ve decided it is time to organize the responses to those arguments into a single, highly-accessible list. I will continue updating this list over time, using this as the central hub linking to all of the responses to all of the arguments against individual liberty. If an argument is not yet listed with a link, it doesn’t mean I don’t have an argument. It just means I want the argument here so I will remember to answer it, but I haven’t yet taken the time to compile that argument into a complete post. If you want the answer to any of the un-linked arguments, just ask me.
Last Updated: 7/1/2015
The common arguments against liberty and libertarianism [click the argument to be taken to the response]:
Somalia is in a state of anarchy, in which several different authoritarian powers, all very hostile to liberty, are vying for control. This is nowhere near the type of system that libertarians call for, in which a strong central government exists solely to protect the liberty of a country’s citizens.
A libertarian government does several important things, all of which distinguish it from a state of anarchy:
1.) Maintains a military to defend the country from external attack.
2.) Constitutionally defines the defense of individual liberty as the fundamental purpose of government, and forbids the government from exceeding this role.
3.) Implements a legislature that clarifies the defense of liberty in particular scenarios, determining when violence has been enacted against another person, or when a contract has been violated.
4.) Implements a police force to stop citizens from enacting violence against one another, or from applying the type of force involved in violating a contract.
5.) Implements a judicial system to try cases in which someone claims to be a victim of violent force, to identify the facts of those cases, and to apply corrective measures.
There’s a reason the law focuses on punishing harmful actions, rather than on implementing mandates and punishing inaction, at least in free societies.
Imagine a world where vaccines are mandatory under the law. How exactly would you enforce a vaccine mandate? Specifically, how would you determine who has not been vaccinated, and what would the punishment be for them or their parents?
Would you have to have a vaccination certification? What would it cost to get it? If you neglect to get it or lose it, how would the authorities find out? Aren’t there privacy issues at stake there? Aren’t the Democrats still, to this day, arguing that Voter ID is an affront to civil rights because poor black people can’t fill out forms or go to the DMV or something? Isn’t requiring people to go to the doctor and get a medical procedure done and get that certified quite a bit more intrusive, expensive, and burdensome?
So suppose people can be arrested for not vaccinating themselves or their kids…wouldn’t breaking up so many families like that do more harm to our society than measles?
Those of you who have been speaking out in support of a vaccination mandate…did you think about any of these issues before jumping to the conclusion that if there’s a problem, the government should fix it?
I was looking at a state-by-state map of liberty across the US, and thinking about where I would like to live in the future. Often, states are heavily favored as “free” because of their stance on marijuana. That’s great for people who like using drugs, but that’s simply not even on my list of things to care about. Fortunately, the Mercatus Center offers a tool that lets you personalize your view of freedom.
Overall liberty is here.
Economic liberty is here.
Drug-free (excluding alcohol) overall liberty for an average American is here.
Non-drug (excluding alcohol) personal liberty for an average American is here.
What you can see is that the southwestern desert states of Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico are some of the best for people who don’t like being told what to do, but personally choose to avoid the harder drugs. I like this because, as a native of California and a current resident of Wisconsin, I have learned the hard way that I definitely want to live somewhere hot and free.
When economic measures are thrown in there as well, Texas and Arizona still do reasonably well, but are no longer at the top of the list. Given that I don’t really want to live in a landlocked middle of nowhere (and my prior conditions), the top 5 on this list (the Dakotas, Oklahoma, Idaho, Tennessee) are ruled out. Surprisingly, Virginia and New Hampshire are #6 and #7, but they both voted for Obama twice, so that can’t be right. And that brings us back to Arizona and Texas. It’s worth noting that Georgia and Florida do pretty well by both measures too, though they are extremely humid, and both states seem to want a third Bush in the White House. So…
I have to say that both of these states look like excellent places to live. I hope Texas keeps its liberty, but Arizona seems to have made more recent progress. I’d prefer the climate in Arizona, but as beautiful as the natural landscape is there, it’s fairly important for me to be near the ocean. Plus, Texas has an amazing economy, with many job opportunities for someone in my field.
Taking into account liberty, economy, environment, and weather, I think Houston, Texas really would be the best place in the United States for me to live. It’s quite appealing that the Houston suburbs have names like “Jefferson” and “Freeport,” and were the districts that sent Ron Paul to Congress.