Editor’s note: The following is the opening of an article by Nathanael Blake at The Federalist that’s been on my to-read list for a while. Blake addresses an important point about libertarians, who I agree with on many things, especially economic and size-of-government issues. I bolded two sentences for emphasis:
In the end, the freedom to abandon family, faith, and community is the freedom to be insecure, insignificant, and alone before the Leviathan of government.
David Marcus, The Federalist’s New York correspondent, recently tweeted that he can’t make up his mind about whether he fears “the socialists or the libertarians more.” Robert Tracinski, an author and the editor of The Tracinski Letter, responded, “LOL. God forbid we should…leave you alone.” This was a good Twitter burn, but I suspect that for many people, that is precisely what they fear about libertarianism: that they will be left alone.
They have a point, insofar as libertarianism has become less about a commitment to limited government and more a philosophy of autonomous individualism. The latter is an ideology that undermines the possibility of the former, in large part because it really does leave people alone. Cordially leaving the two gentlemen to settle their dispute, I will attempt to elucidate this point.
Practical Libertarianism Requires Strong Institutions
. . .
Many libertarians appear to have forgotten or never learned this insight, as they now seem eager to condemn cultural conservatism as incompatible with individual autonomy. Such libertarianism is hostile to traditional forms of community, especially the family and church, which it sees as repressive and restrictive.
Read more: The Federalist