Sheldon Richman on Alan Wolfe's Silly Jab at Libertarianism

A world "designed to work perfectly" was no part of major libertarian thinkers' intention.


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Behold Alan Wolfe's feeble attempt to critique libertarianism:

For libertarianism is among the most rigid of modern ideologies. The theorists who formulated its core principles were seekers after political purity. They created an ideal world designed to work perfectly — but only if human beings acted consistently. Society, to them, was like a Swiss watch: Let every part play its designed role, and the whole thing would run on its own accord.

This is pure polemics void of serious content, argues Sheldon Richman. It's just silly to say that libertarian theorists sought political purity as though that were an end in itself. What they sought was a world without aggression; where free and peaceful social cooperation (including but not limited to voluntary exchange in the market) was extended to all areas of life; where no one could treat others like property. The theorists sought to formulate a philosophy that consistently served that end, writes Richman. Anyone familiar with the major libertarian thinkers would surely know that a world "designed to work perfectly" was no part of their intention.