A shout-out for libertarianism from a conservative:
The only truly new political idea in the last couple thousand years is this libertarian idea, broadly understood. The revolution wrought by John Locke, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and the Founding Fathers is the only real revolution going. And it’s still unfolding.
Indeed, what’s remarkable about all of the states Lind identifies as proof that libertarianism doesn’t work is that they are in fact proof that it does. What made the American experiment new were its libertarian innovations, broadly speaking. Moreover, those innovations made us prosper. Even Sweden — the liberal Best in Show — owes its successes to its libertarian concessions.
I’m actually not a full-blown libertarian myself, but it’s an ideal I’d like America to move closer to, not further away from as we’ve been doing of late — bizarrely in the name of “progress,” of all things.
He was responding to a recent essay in Salon by Michael Lind that asked, “If libertarians are correct in claiming that they understand how best to organize a modern society, how is it that not a single country in the world in the early twenty-first century is organized along libertarian lines?” There is control and freedom from control -- those are the only two choices and they have been at the heart of our eternal political debate. It would be difficult to bring about a truly libertarian state because the people who seek office generally do not do so in order not to control people.