Summary of the Arguments Against Libertarianism, and Responses

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]:

  1. Libertarians should just move to Somalia.
  2. Libertarians should not use X, because X is a public service.
  3. Roads are a natural monopoly and cannot be provided by the free market.
  4. The free market does not account for positive and negative externalities.
  5. Democracy is freedom, or is the best system of government.
  6. By living in our society, you consent to its rules.

Argument: Libertarians should just move to Somalia.

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.