Ask a Libertarian 2012 with Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch: Has there ever been a libertarian government?

Welcome to Ask a Libertarian 2012 with Reason's Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch. They are the authors of the book, The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong With America, coming out in paperback with a new foreword covering Occupy Wall Street and more, on June 26.

In this first video, they answer the question:

"Has there ever been a truly libertarian government?" - sent by Walt Rollins.

Produced by Meredith Bragg, Jim Epstein, Josh Swain, and Tracy Oppenheimer with help from Katie Hooks.

To watch answers from 2011's Ask a Libertarian series, go here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Y||

    Could have kept the Titanic afloat with all those plugs for the book.

  • sarcasmic||

    No sense in promoting your book if you're not going to be shameless about it.

    Pimp it, yo! Pimp it!

  • Chloe||

    Buy my book, buy my book...

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    If the state subscribes to the notion of non-competing goods, can the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution be used to outlaw the foil hat that keeps the federal government from stealing my thoughts?

    And I have a follow-up question.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Depends on the foil.

    And the hat.

  • o3||

    we all know where there is a libertarian govt...say it, SAY IT...!!1!11

  • The Hammer||

    Estonia!!!

  • ||

    Somalia

  • ||

    No wait, Nazi germany

  • sarcasmic||

    Ethiopia? No, wait... Kenya? Djibouti? Damn... Somewhere around there.

  • CockGobbla||

    Yikes.

    Tell me, is there something statist about sucking in one's gut?

  • ||

    It looks like Matt's wife didn't tuck his shirt in well enough.

  • sarcasmic||

    Please tell me that tie is a Father's Day gift. Please....

  • Whiterun Guard||

    It's a Father's Day gift.

  • ||

    Is Matt a father? He doesn't look old enough.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not sure. I'm pretty sure Nick has a small brood of hellions, but I don't know about Matt.

  • ||

    Libertopia as Valhalla! Fight well brethren, slay your foes, die bravely, and the valkyries will take you up to a fruited plain of minimal taxes and no TSA pat downs.

    I see Mr. Welch has been reading the comments about libertarians all being vikings.

  • ||

    Nice Ron Swanson shot in the opener.

    "What I said was, "Give me all the bacon and eggs you have". Do you understand?"

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Do you dump wherever you're standing, or do you use toilets? Or do you use some magical Centaur toilet?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I'd like to ask Lucy Steigerwald some questions, if you catch my drift.

    Or that Shiva Crazy-name feminist chick.

    Or anyone, oh god I'm so lonely.

  • sarcasmic||

    Emily Ekins *drool*

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I might actually go on the Liber-cruise if the three of them were going.

    But if I'm going to spend a bunch of time being bored and not getting laid, I'm going to do it on dry land, thank you very much.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Where's the transcript?

  • np||

    American history has many examples of libertarianism, and we can say it was founded on the same principles, but as far as a single cohesive examples:

    The Icelandic Free State (lasting 332 years) before the tithe, is probably the most well known ancap example.

    Smaller periods here and there in various places. Ukrainian Free Territory unfortunately could not maintain their sovereignty, so lasted only 4 years


    The Bolshevik government in Petrograd initially allied with Makhno and considered allowing an independent area for Makhno's libertarian experiment. With all political parties banned in the Free Territory, the Bolsheviks increasingly saw the Makhnovists as a threat to their power, and restarted a propaganda campaign declaring the Free Territory to be a warlord regime, and eventually broke with it by launching surprise attacks on Makhnovist militias
  • np||

    Should also mention Celtic Ireland, before its conquest, similar to Iceland

  • ||

    Most hunter-gatherer societies were libertarian.

  • Killazontherun||

    However, all gatherer of hunters societies are socialist to the core.

  • ||

    you are both wrong.

    Hunter gather societies are families.

    Not really a governmental structure at all. More like a cultural structure that can't really be separated from itself.

    A government is innately different in that it can be separated from the people it rules.

    A king can be killed and replaced...a dad is always a dad a mom a mom a sister a sister an uncle an uncle and on and on.

    yes government tends to model itself after a family...of course an airplane is modeled after birds...still an airplane is no bird.

  • GILMORE||

    While only tested on film, I feel BARTERTOWN may qualify. At least we have something to aspire to.

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