Liberal ideas were vital for theideals that shaped America and many other revolutions around the world becausethey successfully challenge the status quo. John Locke is one of the firstenlightenment thinkers, he believed that people flourish when they are free toperuse life, liberty and property without the government. In the government, someabuse power while others receive rent and government contracts at the expenseof taxer payers. Taxation is involuntary and theft of property. Forcing yourbeliefs onto others has always been questionable. Therefore, I believe, trueliberalism supports Voluntarism or Anarcho-Capitalism, is the best path tohuman flourishing. Kings believed they had the divineright to be king during the enlightenment era in the early 1700s. Locke,however, suggested the metaphor “white paper, void of all characters” whichgoes completely against the divine right of kings or queens to rule other freeindividuals.
If everyone was equal when they are born, then God could not havegiven certain people the right to be king. Locke went a step further to saythat all individuals are all born with permanent natural rights to life,liberty and property. Locke’s view of the original state of humankind is,according to him, violent, brutish and short. Therefore, we instinctively revertto authority to form a defense system. Locke suggested the separation of powerto those who make the laws and those who inforce it.
Lock says that we creategovernments to protect people’s natural rights; the public always maintainsovereignty over the state, and we can overthrow it if it steps outside its limitedpowers. Locke heavily influenced the U. S. Declaration of Independence, writtenby Thomas Jefferson a few decades later in the 1750s. FredricBastiat, another classical liberal writer, later stated that law would alwaysbecome corrupt, bigger, and evil. Bastiat says; “Government isthe great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense ofeverybody else”.
He goes further to say that those in the government are likethose on welfare, both live on the expense of taxpayer. Bastiat says, “Everyonewants to live at the expense of the state. They forget that the state wants tolive at the expense of everyone”. Taxation and vast government regulationsmakes doing business harder and, according to Bastiat, when people cannot tradeor find a job they turn to violence. He famously said; “When goods do not crossborders, soldiers will”. Therefore, concentrating power in the hands of the fewindividuals who would profit off the public money. This would come in the formof ever-rising taxes in the name of public good, which is not much differentfrom absolute monarchs who lived lavish lifestyles, at the expense of citizens.Today, governments lie about spreading democracy and protecting nationalsecurity by invading poor nations and killing millions of civilians.
They dothis by fear mongering, often in the form of made up terrorist groups. Kings alsoused this strategy by using their religion to justify their divine rule and toexcuse their taxation of your money or property. Anarcho-Capitalism replaces the governmentwith the free market and is an extreme form of liberalism.
This ideology hasbeen more popular among millennials than any other generation. It has become amajor ideological rival to the more dominant form of Liberalism, which is ClassicalLiberalism. Classical Liberalism advocates for the limited role of governmentin protecting private property. Anarcho-Capitalists are working to replace allgovernment services with the private sector to establish a completelaissez-fair economy. Anarcho-Capitalists believe free-marketcapitalism is consistent with human nature and natural law. This belief isconsistent because it leaves individuals free to reason and act productively inorder to sustain ones’ life and experience happiness. OutsideAnarcho-Capitalism, there is a tendency for people to use government to forceothers to pay taxes towards your unemployment benefits, or buy your healthinsurance where your company is the only health insurance provider so you cancharge whatever you wanted to. Instead, liberalism or Anarcho-Capitalismcreates opportunities to help you help yourself.
Therefore, individuals arefree to work, produce anything they would like and exchange it for what theywant. As a result, the natural laws of economics will play its “invisible hand”of the market to bring social order and public good. Besides voluntary exchange being verypractical, it is a moral system. When we participate in a voluntary exchange,we have true freedom. We have a moral right to the freedom of choice when it comesto our own property. The freedom to choose how we lead our lives, and what todo with our own property are moral necessities. This allows people to takepersonal responsibility when they make rational decisions; they can engage in amutually beneficial exchange, at their own risk. Costs or benefits of theexchange goes to the two parties, they have be careful where they invest theirown money.
Whereas it not the case when you spend the public money. There areno penalties for the bureaucrats to cover the costs. Using coercion to exploitharmless individuals who cause no physical harm to other people or their propertyis morally wrong, evil, and nasty to say the least. U. S. President Ronald Reagan and U. K. PrimeMinister Margaret Thatcher feared how democratic governments will alwaysincrease its central power to advance its’ inherent tendency towards socialistpolicies.
Reagan famously said that the loss of our liberty is only onegeneration away. Thatcher said she steered the “rudder” of the ship ever so slightly,which greatly changed the direction UK toward a more free market economy. Reagan’slegacy was for getting the “government off the people’s back” and Thatcherargued, “That there is no such thing as society and she wishes to roll back thefrontier of the State”. Famous authors like Albert J. Nocks and Friedrich A.Hayek also warned us about the danger of collectivism in their writing OurEnemy The State and The Road to Serfdom respectively. Collectivismgives rise to military despotism that leads to military industrial complex,increased centralization, bureaucracy, fear mongering and political control ofthe market.
David Friedman and Murray Rothbard, heavilyinfluenced by their skepticism of big governments, started writing about the abolishmentof the State. Many very strong arguments are proposed on how free-market is thebetter replacement for government services. For example private police, privatearbitration service, private road system and private health care have provenmore efficient, affordable and with a higher quality than that of thegovernment’s.
Experiences and historical facts have shown that private systemshave proven to be more innovative and the biggest contributors to humanprogress and wellbeing. Eliminating the State through politicalprocess has produced very little results. Murray Rothbard established theLibertarian Party and many libertarians like Tomas Massie, Ron and Rand Paulhave run for the Senate and have made little progress. Mainly because there isa lot of lobbying in Washington D.C. that gave rise to military industrialcomplex and crony capitalism, making it very hard to abolish the FederalReserve or cut government spending.
Now the question becomes how we can create avoluntary and non-coercive society, given the power of government as it istoday. The answer to that lies in the private and independent city-state. RobertNozick the author of State, Anarchy and Utopia suggests forming anindependent city-state, organized according to the inhabitants’ preferences. Headvocates for capitalism for just entitlement of property because individualscan acquire and transfer wealth justly in the absence of force or fraud.Otherwise, force or fraud will arbitrarily taxes and redistribute the wealth ofthe capitalist for them. Under no moral reason, human liberty compels anyone toredistribute wealth to correct market forces.
Nozick, therefore, accepts thecapitalist maxim “for each as they choose, to each as they are chosen”. In conclusion, early Enlightenment liberalismrecognized that humans are born with inalienable rights to life, liberty andproperty. However, the systems we put in place to secure those rights haveevolved from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy or separation ofpower, and modern day democracy.
What the future holds is hard to predict butmany millennials are leaning towards market-based society – towards private andindependent city-states. A true lockean believe of liberalism and true humannature leads to anarcho-capitalism, which explain truly how people and societyfunction best in the absence of government. I genuinely believe independentprivate city-state that maximizes freedom, eliminates taxation, and regulationswill lead to the greatest human flourishing.