Libertarianism, is a deceptively simple and promising doctrine of maximizing the freedom of the individual, absolutely and utterly fails to actualize any freedom besides a bourgeois conception of freedom, which, in reality, suppresses the individual in favor of capitalism. While there are left-wing socialists who are opposed to capitalism and take a more Egoistic approach to justice & economics (Bataille & Stirner), they are not as large as right-wing libertarianism which is the most popular & viral form of libertarianism; therefore, right-wing libertarianism, which includes all the way from the classical libertarians to anarcho-capitalists, and why their conception of freedom ultimately fails to be actualized & is actively counterproductive to any form of actual freedom.
The libertarian conception of freedom usually follows the simple formula of letting the individual do whatever they want without the interference or impediment of the State and people. On the surface, it is the most maximizing theory of justice: letting the individual do whatever they want without any intervention so long as it does not hurt or impede others. Yet this conception of freedom fails to live up to itself in two ways: the atomization of the individual and the negation of others and the role of society as a whole within its impact on the individual. Within the idea of libertarianism, everyone keeps to themselves, everyone is themselves, and every individual is free to do whatever and society cannot stop it. Yet even in the very idea that everyone is inherently separate from everyone else–is in itself a serville idea.
Within every individual, there is an individual Dasein that connects them to other Daseins and greater society (Heidegger, 1927); libertarianism negates this. Instead of affirming everyone’s Dasein and relation to each other, libertarianism completely neglects it and actively suppresses the unity of Dasein. Within Heidegger, the conception of Verfallen, which designates the inherent fallenness we as individuals face when quite literally thrown into this world, is the constant state that libertarianism is in. Instead of having a grounding to the individual’s culture, people, country, land, religion, etc etc everything that binds an individual to various things in the whole of life libertarianism violently throws the individual out of all of this. This has two major impacts: the failure to distribute justice based on things out of an individual control (i.e. centuries of oppression, slavery, poor family,) and the blaming of the individual for things out of their control. Take for example a poor person descendented from slavery: this person is not responsible for being poor, having a disadvantage of being from a long generation of slavery (this causes horrendous issues for descendents many many years down the line), having less access to public services that are available in richer neigborhoods, and even less access to education resources. For a libertarian, instead of correcting this injustice through the use of the State or public resources, the libertarian places it all on the individual. It is purely the individual fault, not society’s or history’s fault for them not making their own decisions. Rather than seeing humans controlled by desires out of their control–it instead posits a free-willing desire that everyone is in control of, instead of the other way around.
It is ironic that libertarianism is pro-drugs, something that oftentime causes people to be absent of so-called free-will, yet positing that allowing them to use such drugs enhances an individual’s freedom. When we strip a person of everything that binds them to others, we completely destroy any capacity for justice to occur. For justice is always depended on circumstances and if we posit every single individual responsible for their circumstances and actions, then we cannot distribute justice; what is distributed is slavery.
2 thoughts on “Libertarianism Critiqued by Jackson”
This post sums up much of my problems with Libertarianism as an ideology unworthy of being taken seriously. The Libertarians are unaware that their ideology deters them from realizing their conception of freedom is accompanied by a concurring conception of unfreedom. With so much emphasis being placed on the Self, it is not surprising that they would also view the Totality and the State (or the Society and the Parliament) as other individuals. Everything minus well be an “individual” and not for what they really are.
LikeLiked by 1 person