THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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Sinclair's Musings: The strange death of my libertarianism

Link: Sinclair's Musings: The strange death of my libertarianism.

This is an interesting post. Many of us are so accustomed to having the State to hand as the solution to our pet problem, that the idea of having no recourse to it is terrifying. In consequence, many of us are crypto-libertarians, i.e. we believe in liberty for ourselves and restraint for everyone else.

Matthew Sinclair is burning a straw man. A libertarian is not a person who believes in no state and no law. A libertarian believes that law is a bad thing and that we should only have as much of it as is strictly necessary to maintain order and protect property rights.

We are with Montesquieu, who said "If it is not necessary to make a law, it is necessary not to make a law".

A libertarian is not for no state, but for a minimal state with defence, police and judicial powers but precious little else. A state so small that post-war Britons would scarcely recognise it.

Nor is being a libertarian about being a libertine. Having been blessed or cursed (the jury is still out) with a rather puritanical upbringing, I am not psychologically well-placed for the Byronic life. Yes, I demand the freedom to do anything that doesn't hurt you or affect your right to free enjoyment of your property. But that doesn't mean I plan to do everything in that category! Sadly, life is simply too short.

Of course, life is also far to short to be consumed, as ours largely is, in working to fund a massive and intrusive state, answering the questions of its myriad servants and complying with its damn-fool make-work requirements.