Ron Swanson!

I started reading Charlie Stross's post refuting the idea of the singularity, but his commentary on economic libertarianism lead me to write this impromptu post!

What he wrote

economic libertarianism is based on the same reductionist view of human beings as rational economic actors as 19th century classical economics — a drastic over-simplification of human behaviour. Like Communism, Libertarianism is a superficially comprehensive theory of human behaviour that is based on flawed axioms and, if acted upon, would result in either failure or a hellishly unpleasant state of post-industrial feudalism.

What I wrote

I've heard all the arguments. Some of my closest friends are Libertarians. I listen to Frank Nora, and No Agenda with Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak. It's cool to be for people like Ron Paul. On one Political Compass test I took in 2008 I was rated as a Liberal Libertarian.

While I can sympathise with many (perhaps most) of their social positions, the key phrase Charlie used is over-simplification. Shrinking or removing government won't solve our problems in the same way having government running everything will. Only a mixed market economy delivers the freedom to pursue business and individual rights, while providing services where market failures exist. The system is corruptible, yes. And so is every other.

Libertarianism also places (what I deem to be a disturbing) priority on economic freedom, at the expense of others. For example, the freedom to make your own life choices and be healthy regardless of your income is ensured by universal healthcare and effective government oversight of advertisers, polluters, and the natural environment, all of which differ to various degrees with Libertarian ideology.

With governments bailing out large corporations for their own mistakes with money taken from the middle class, it's understandable why some view Libertarianism as suddenly more appealing, however the answer isn't no government intervention, it's transparency. The rest follows.

But that's just me.