According to my understanding, Libertarianism is basically supportive of free-market. They believe government power should be minimized, and that there is constitutional support for this view (which there certainly is). However, I have heard no mention of how their philosophy and methods plan to compensate for the problems of consumerism. How would a free-market prevent monopolies, outsourcing, insider trading, planned obsolescence, and manufactured demand? How would it promote healthy investments, small businesses, and responsible use of materials? How would it remove corruption and greed from the corporations and government?

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3 responses »

  1. mpbulletin says:

    To answer many of your questions…. it doesn’t. Libertarianism, as an economic and even a social approach to governance is to adopt a “Free For All” or “Everybody for Yourselves” philosophy. While it may sound good initially, in practice it doesn’t work. Looking closer, it takes us back to the times of the Robber Barons, few workers’ rights and no concern or regulation to address the actions of the very few on the populous as a whole (i.e. public health, environmental health, financial regulation to prevent the mistakes of the few from detrimentally impacting the broader population, etc.)

    • I didn’t think so. The way my friend explained it, he made it sound as though Libertarianism were pro-small business, and anti-corporation, and I was like “Whaaaat?” Yeah. I’ve always had a problem with free market theory.

      I watched a movie recently called Zeitgeist. The economics and biology principles are all sound, it’s just all packaged in a gloom and doom, bandwagon style. According too that documentary, money is monetized debt. Because debt is stealing from the future, it doesn’t actually exist, and therefore if all the money in the world went to pay off all debts, there would still be an enormous amount of debt left.

  2. I’m not a libertarian, but as a sympathizer I’d like to take a stab at this. With the libertarian ideal of the night watchman, government does only what is minimally necessary to protect against violence and other bad behavior. Most libertarians want courts, police, and military, so it is not a lawless society.

    Questions of healthy investments, responsible use of materials and so forth are delegated to individuals, who are reasonable agents and best able to judge their own situation. As F.A. Hayek notes, government’s central planners tend to make investments and allocate resources poorly because they are far removed from the situations they are presiding over.

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