The Question Libertarians CAN Answer!

Michael Lind over at Salon.com asked this question in his article published on Tuesday: “If your approach is so great, why hasn’t any country anywhere in the world ever tried it?” In asking this question, he believes he has done something clever.

He’s right that there are no libertarian countries and that there have never been any libertarian countries. The closest to a libertarian country that the world has ever seen was the Jefferson era, and even that era doesn’t qualify.

What Lind does not understand, however, is why this is true. He thinks it’s because … well, he actually doesn’t say why he thinks it hasn’t happened. So I thought I’d help him out.

Michael, the reason why there are no libertarian countries is that fiat money undermines liberty. So long as governments have the power to expand money supplies at their will, liberty must lose.

Expansionary money makes socialism look like it works. Expansionary money makes militarism look like a good investment. Expansionary money makes the welfare state seem like a good deal. Expansionary money makes interventionism seem like a good idea. Expansionary money makes protectionism seem like sound economics. Expansionary money makes big government look fabulous.

Take away expansionary money, and socialism fails very quickly. Without expansionary money, militarism cannot thrive. Without expansionary money, the welfare state quickly looks like a drain on society. Without expansionary money, interventionism looks mindlessly stupid. Without expansionary money, protectionism leads almost immediately to economic failure. Without expansionary money, big government looks much more like a threat than a friend to the average person.

You see, Michael, it’s all about perception. It’s about the smoke-and-mirrors. So long as politicians can continue to use expansionary money to make citizens believe that socialism is constructive, that militarism is strength, that the welfare state is good for us all, that interventionism is security, that protectionism is productive, and that big government is our greatest friend, then there will never be a libertarian country. Liberty and expansionary money are not compatible.

The reason for all this is that expansionary money hides the true cost of lost freedom. It makes lost freedom look like a good deal, because the average person does not connect in their minds the fact that expansionary money directly impoverishes them, that it takes away the value of their savings, that it drains most of the value they earn in their lifetimes.

So long as all that happens, then you’re right, Michael. There will never be a libertarian country.

Of course, expansionary money doesn’t last forever, and we’re in the end game with the current system. And that’s reason to pause and rethink expansionary money.


Walt Thiessen

As founder of nolanchart.com, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the website! My purpose with my column is the same as my purpose for the overall website. Libertarian ideas have been generally excluded from the public debate and ridiculed on those rare occasions when they have been included. This must change.

Rather than trying to force others to change their ways, I created this website to create an environment where all political views, including libertarian, could be expressed in a free yet respectful manner.

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