Libertarianism appeals to people who begin to see the flaws in the liberal edifice, but that don’t want to go through the pain of replacing its rotten core principles. They still believe in the most fundamental liberal myths, and the cracks in the foundation of their philosophy shows up in the deformity of their policy prescriptions. Chief among them is this:
all men(humans) are created equal
As this is clearly untrue, perverse effects flow from it. Libertarians find themselves attracted to doctrines that would wipe out libertarianism if implemented. In other words, they are suicidal.
Exhibit A is Bryan Caplan, and his influencees such as Don Boudreaux, who support unrestricted immigration from the third world. Some of us who enjoy a Western/libertarian lifestyle note that as the United States runs a democracy, and that third-world peasants tend to vote in un-libertarian ways. It’s a simple matter to extrapolate that the United States with the addition of a few hundred million third-world immigrants will have political institutions that mirror the quality of the third-world. But your Bryan Caplans of the world, again, believe that all humans are created equal, and that with a little education your third-world peasants will become Thomas Jeffersons and leave their current social and political pathologies behind.
Being pseudo-liberals, your libertarians are also dogmatic pseudo-puritans. Even if it is true, they argue, that third-world immigration will destroy the quality of life of the West, then we must go through with it because it is right. “Right” to a libertarian is a Christian/platonic ideal of righteousness, not the Confucian/Aristotelian concept which is synonymous with “wise” or beneficial. Libertarians see no contradiction in the “good” being opposed to good sense.
I am a Westerner and I like free Western society. But I do not believe that any principle is worth committing suicide for. Nietzsche is wise to counsel against conviction and in favor of pragmatism.
A mind that aspires to great things, and that wills the means thereto, is necessarily sceptical. Freedom from any sort of conviction belongs to strength
I commented at Bryan’s blog, my ideal model for preserving freedom was Singapore’s first president, Lee Kwan Yew. Yew outlawed communist party writings in the 60s and 70s. While neighboring countries fell to bloody communist revolutions, Singapore remained a relatively free and prosperous country. Moreover, it’s economic model served as an inspiration for Chinese ruler Deng Xiaoping in crafting an alternative to China’s failing Maoist totalitarianism.
Were the actions of Lee Kwan Yew un-libertarian? Certainly. But yet he preserved an island of liberty in the middle of a hostile world.
Blessed is the man ruled by a wise king, and woe to him ruled by a dogmatic libertarian!