Why Libertarianism Doesn’t Work?

Why Libertarianism Doesn’t Work

Libertarianism is a collection of various political ideologies and philosophical theories. It seeks to promote freedom in the life of individuals. In society today, it is a fact that individuals always have conflicting views concerning how a government should operate. However, our concern is if Libertarianism is doing more harm than good to society.

The question is: why Libertarianism doesn’t work?

Our concern is whether Libertarianism works. Not just that, we also concern ourselves with how it is not working and why Libertarianism doesn’t work. Libertarianism seeks to encourage a system of government whereby individuals are free to make decisions as it concerns their livelihood, businesses, and property ownership. The fact that individuals are free to operate autonomously regardless of the adverse effects it might have on other citizens, and society is a significant reason that makes Libertarianism not to work.

What Is Libertarianism?

Libertarianism derives its origin from the Latin word “liber,” meaning freedom. It is an ideology that stems from the belief that citizens of a nation should be able to make decisions as it concerns all aspects of their lives without interference from state or private authorities.

Thus, libertarians are supporters of the notion that individuals should live their lives free from all forms of interference and autonomously. They are significant antagonists of state power and authority.

Regarding the functions of government and advocacy organizations, they argue that there should be the dissolution of these organizations that tend to dictate the rights of citizens and places limitations on how they should use their wealth.

Libertarians see personal property possession as a hindrance to freedom and liberty. It is their ideology that ownership of all properties should be by the state as this would afford the citizens equal rights to possess and use it.

Libertarians are against capitalist ideologies. The views of the capitalists oppose their view. It is because a capitalist believes that individuals should have private ownership rights to resources.

A Brief History Of Libertarianism

Libertarianism is an ideology that we can trace to the anarchists. It initially started as a system of left-wing policy. Thus, William Belsham was the first person to use the word “Libertarian” in 1789, when he was writing an article on Metaphysics.

However, majorly due to the influence of John Locke in the 17th century, there was the introduction of modern Libertarianism. The modern Libertarianism began to spread rapidly throughout North America and Europe during the 18th century. Thus, by the year 1976, the word “Libertarian” officially meant a staunch supporter of liberty and freedom.

The first political use of the word “Libertarianism” was by the French ideologist, Joseph Dejacque, and it was in 1857. However, Dean Russell became the initiator of the movement as political Libertarianism gained public acclaim in 1955.

In the United States of America, the original introduction of the concept of Libertarianism was in the form of liberalism, and later, the majority of Americans who subscribed to the philosophy of liberalism started to call themselves Libertarians.

In spite of all these, Murray Rothbard was the first to formally documents articles on the ideology in the 1960s.

Libertarianism In America

The practice of Libertarianism in America is in two forms. It can be either economic or civil according to the system of operation in society.

Economic Libertarianism

Another name for Economic Libertarianism is economic liberalism is an ideology. It is a principle that is conservative. It believes that individuals or groups should regulate the manufacturing of goods and services in society, and not the government or other organizations.

The system of economic Libertarianism encourages free markets. It concludes that there is likely to be more growth in the economy when citizens h the freedom to go about their businesses as they deem fit, and make decisions based on what they think.

It tends to frown at corporate bodies which seek to regulate and place limitations on the private ownership rights of an individual to his or her business.

Civil Libertarianism

It is a form of Libertarianism that stresses more on the relationship between the government and the citizens. It hinges on the notion that the government should play a minimal role in the lives of individuals, and any rules or laws enforced by the government should gear towards promoting individual liberty and freedom of livelihood.

Civil Libertarianism places more superiority on individual and civil rights over any form of authority or government. Civil libertarians often speak against the ban on hate speech; they believe every individual should have the liberty to voice out his or her opinions socially or politically.

The General Philosophy Of Libertarians

Libertarians often hold distinct beliefs regarding various issues. Thus, to differentiate them, we can classify libertarians into left-wing and right-wing libertarians

Left-wing and right-wing libertarians

Right-wing libertarians believe that the government should not interfere with the lives of the citizens and that individuals should be able to air their opinions and make decisions, regardless of if it might lead to the detriment of others.

Left-wing libertarians, on the other hand, place more emphasis on equality. For instance, in the case of social justice, left-wing libertarians presume that there should be the service of justice if an offense against society is committed, rather than to sit back and watch.

Right-wing libertarians affirm that the government should play a minor role in ensuring that business owners adhere to the rules and regulations as it regards the economic system of the government.

However, left-wing libertarians are of the ideology that individuals should have the freedom to go about the sales of their services and goods as they believe in the concept of free markets.

Right-wing libertarians may not be in total support when it comes to the question of whether the government should assist the minorities, in aspects such as housing or school busing

In contrast, left-Wing libertarians would encourage the government to support others. They emphasize the value of equality amongst individuals.

Controversial Libertarian Policies

Right to bear arms:

The issue of weapons has become a significant concern to the public. Pro libertarians believe that citizens should have the liberty to bear arms as a symbol of freedom and protection.

As a result, the crime rate increases, and criminals now have free access to guns. In return, it gives birth to increased violence in the states involved. Thus, Libertarianism has led to more bad than good in this aspect.

Open Borders:

The rate of homelessness in the world is rapidly growing. Studies show that in libertarian states, the open border policy is usually the norm with the government. The states generally have weak immigration laws, which have led to a high number of immigrants surviving on different streets without homes.

They have also been a major debate on the fact that open borders make it easy for the shipping of illegal products into the country


Libertarians believe, one should have the freedom to choose which sex with whom they want to enter into a relationship. The view causes major disagreement mainly across the religious population. It is because Islam, Christianity, and other religions frown at homosexuality and regard it as a sin against God.

Therefore, in cases where individuals of the same sex may want to get married, and a chaplain needs to do the joining, but he or she refuses due to her faith, it causes a public uproar. Not just that, it leads to violence among the pro-libertarians, and the chaplain attracts various sanctions from the police.

Assisted death or termination of life:

Libertarians are of the ideology that one should have complete freedom of life, and if at any point in time, an individual gets tired or bored of life and wants to die, he is free to end it. Thus, the government or society should not interfere. Again, such a person can even receive assistance on how best to take his or her life.

The ideology in itself devalues human life and fights against social equality and integrity. It is what also corrupts the medical practice because doctors entrusted with the job of preserving lives help to bring the option of easy death to their patients.

The Adverse Effects Of Libertarianism

Libertarianism is an ideology that tends to place great emphasis on an individual’s freedom. However, it contributes to a sense of lawlessness in society because people may tend to indulge in violent acts. For example, the issue of the legalization of abortion and prostitution in a libertarian system of government is a controversial one.

Libertarians believe that an individual should be able to make decisions regardless of who gets hurt in the process, even if it is himself. It is a practice that has led to the death of many unborn children and the devaluation of human life through prostitution.

Libertarians believe human life starts when a child is born, and not after conception. People no longer pay close attention to pregnancy prevention because they feel they can freely abort any unwanted pregnancy. However, it is a phenomenon that has led to many medical issues among women.

Also, in a libertarian system of government, there is a high percentage of the economy dwindling since there is no system put on the ground to help individuals make the right decisions regarding their businesses and the society.


In society today, we may address the question, why Libertarianism doesn’t work, because a nation can hardly achieve its goals in a system where individuals have the freedom to have unregulated conflicting interests. Where there is no commitment towards a particular vision, they can do nothing to actualize the vision.

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