The Failure of Libertarianism, by Francis Marion

There are many people, including libertarians, who are so strident, cocksure, and unwilling to listen, that they’re basically insufferable and hurt rather than help their cause. From Francis Marion of, via

I wrote this piece back in 2003. 

I’d change a lot of it now if I were writing it again but the core idea, that libertarianism, by and large, lacks a degree of common sense, remains intact. Today I am less optimistic (as in: have completely given up) in regards to converting anyone on the left as the liberal movement itself has moved even further to the other end of the political spectrum. Truthfully, I am convinced, now more than ever, that we cannot save the forest that is western civilization from the raging inferno that lies ahead.

I still hold the same principles near and dear; free markets, freedom of association and speech etc but have realized that we are a corrupted species living in an imperfect world and as such libertarianism is of little use beyond a few policy objectives politically. It will never be a successful movement because it believes too deeply in utopianism and has gone so far down the academic theory hole that, other than as a catalog of some of its core philosophical beliefs, it has little practical use to the world.

At any rate, although this piece is almost 15 years old and a lot has changed for me since I will let it stand on its own. Let the shit flinging commence.

As the crowd milled about the log hall I slipped quietly out the side door to catch a breath of fresh air. A close friend and I had made the long journey that day from the BC Peace River district to the busy streets of Edmonton to hear a handful of men speak on the importance of the fourth of July to Canadians. All the right names were there. Ezra Lavant, Vyn Suprynowicz, and others. My friend and I sat through the series of speeches and listened closely to what everyone had to say.

Of course, they said all the right things about liberty. What it is, why we don’t have it and why we should get it back. The crowd applauded, the speakers took their bow and other important people were thanked for coming to the event. Even my name was mentioned. I was very flattered. Such things are good feed for the human ego. At last, I was important.

To continue reading: The Failure of Libertarianism


One response to “The Failure of Libertarianism, by Francis Marion

  1. A different perspective on the “failure”:
    Why The Enemy’s Methods Won’t Work

    A philosophy of objective reason, individualism, freedom, and personal integrity cannot be spread by the methods used to spread socialism, collectivism, multi-culturalism, or even environmentalism. The reason is simple. An objective individualistic philosophy appeals first, and primarily, to the intellect. The socialist and collectivist ideologies (they are not philosophies) appeal first, and primarily, to the feelings and emotions.

    These ideologies, while they may use the rhetoric of reason, are essentially irrational, and must appeal to the feelings of people to be put over. All their methods are designed to excite people, to motivate them to action (not thought), to make them feel like they are part of something – something that “feels” important or noble.

    You can use propaganda, programs, seminars, and campaigns to convince people they have a right to their portion of a nation’s wealth, whether they make any contribution to that wealth or not. You can use rallies and pamphlets to convince people they have a right to an education, health-care, a job, and a “fair” wage. You can use rhetoric and sensationalism to convince people the rich are evil because they are rich and that the economy needs to be controlled for the “benefit” of everyone.

    These methods will never work to convince people they must be responsible for their own lives, that they are better off going without than having what they have not earned and do not deserve, that they are going to have to work and study if the want to be successful, that they are going to have to discipline themselves if they want to remain healthy and stay out of debt.

    Every ideological movement [and Abrahamic faith] regards individuals as part of something and makes their membership in their community, or society, or the world the end and purpose of their lives. Individualism regards the life of every individual sacrosanct and totally private, no part of their life is part of anyone else’s and no part of anyone else’s life is theirs except that which they willingly share with those whom they choose to their mutual benefit. [text in brackets added]

    — Excerpted from Ayn Rand’s Mistake.


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