Libertarianism is brilliant. Some people think that it is not brilliant, but they are wrong. It is.
What Libertarianism is, is this: It is a philosophy of the world which holds that everyone should be allowed to do what they like without any interference from anyone else and so long as they do not hurt anyone else. Libertarianism should not be confused with Libertinism, which is what the Marquis de Sade, Bernie Ecclestone, and Silvio Berlusconi believe in. Libertinism is doing what you want regardless of the consequences to others. Look where that gets you.
Libertarianism also is not anarchism, which believes in the abolition of private property. That is just stupid. Libertarianism believes that everything without exception should be made into private property. That way, in a free market, all commodities will accurately reflect their true value and we will know what everything is really worth.
There have been lots of well-known Libertarians throughout history, ever since Adam Smith’s brilliant book The Wealth of Nations, in which he explained how free markets and the division of labour guarantee freedom and happiness for everyone. He also wrote the Theory of Moral Sentiments, but that was rubbish. Other Libertarians have included Mary Harney, Margaret Thatcher, and the beautiful Virginia Postrel, but not all Libertarians are women. There are also male Libertarians, although I cannot think of any at the moment. Adam Smith was one. Sometimes. Men who are definitely NOT Libertarians but who some people think are, are Bernie Madoff, Ken Lay, Jeffrey Skilling, Allen Stanford, and Alan Greenspan. They are definitely NOT Libertarians. They are just sociopaths who give Libertarianism a bad name.
Also, it needs to be made clear, not all women are Libertarians. Some people make the mistake of thinking that Ayn Rand was a Libertarian, but she was not. She was an Objectivist. There is a huge difference. Libertarians believe in freedom whereas Objectivists believe in Ayn Rand. And money.
Also you do not have to be a person to be a Libertarian. For instance, the Monsanto Corporation is a Libertarian. You can tell by the way it is trying to privatize Nature. And they are right, too. Only when the patents to the DNA of all the species on the planet are in the hands of private individuals and corporations will a perfect free market finally emerge, and if this means tinkering with their genome because governments won’t allow “naturally occurring” species to be privately owned (kuh!), then so be it.
Libertarians hate government.
Government is bad because it distorts the market and prevents us from knowing what things are really worth. This is a bad thing because it also applies to people, and this means that people are not priced according to their worth. For example, members of parliament and bureaucrats and civil servants and members of the public service industries such as teachers, nurses, soldiers, and so on are paid far more than they are worth because the government has a stranglehold over society and can bend the market in its favour. Because we have no choice whether we pay taxes or not (the government will use its monopoly over the courts and prisons and police to put us in prison if we do not pay), it means they can demand whatever they like from us and pay themselves huge sums of money while we still have to live at home and my Dad has to top up his income as a quality control supervisor for the gas board with cash-in-hand transactions involving stolen car parts and selling the odd bit of blow to schoolchildren. He is an extremely valuable member of society but he is not allowed to reach his potential because the private sector is deliberately discriminated against by government. Especially in a democracy.
Other things that Libertarians are against are trade unions, the professions, such as lawyers and doctors and surgeons, and cartels, which is when huge corporations combine to fix the price of their goods. This doesn’t happen very often, however, which is why you rarely hear Libertarians talk about it. Also they are opposed to monopoly. Not the boardgame. A monopoly is when an organization, such as the government, has control over an entire sector of the market and can therefore charge whatever it likes for its products. Have you seen how much prescription charges are now? If the health service was totally privatized, everyone could choose to pay as much as they wanted for their drugs, and drugs would be priced according to their effectiveness and not because the government had decided it needs more taxes to build more prisons to keep the Prison Officers Association happy.
The Prison Officers Association is a very bad thing.
There. I hope that you will all be Libertarians now that I have shown you how brilliant it is. And that is the end.
(Kevin MacPherson was chief economic adviser to Dr. François “Papa Doc” Duvalier between 1967 and 1971 and was the founder of so-called Voodoo Economics. He is currently in hiding at his mom and dad’s.)