Libertarian Transitions Part I: The Frodo Myth

[Note: This post represents the first in a series that will deal with the problem of how to transition from the current political order to a more libertarian future. The topic of this first post is aimed primarily at younger readers, as they are generally the ones who most commonly adhere to the myth mentioned in the title. However, it never hurts to give a topic a second look, even if one has already arrived at the same conclusions for himself. There is always the possibility of coming across some small bit of nuance that may have been overlooked and from which it is possible to improve or broaden one’s understanding of a topic. The same goes for myself, of course. So, as always, comments are welcome. – Tormod]

Quite frequently in conversation with other libertarians I encounter a certain perception of the State, which I believe is misconceived. This view holds the State to be a more or less unitary entity, unalloyed in its composition and inflexible in its cohesiveness. The implications of this misconception are most apparent in a popular libertarian myth, which offers an attractive, but unlikely solution to the exercise of State power. I refer to it here as the ‘Frodo Myth’ for its similarity to the role of Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. As libertarians, I believe we would do well to dispense both with the myth and the false premise upon which it rests.

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Thoughts on Libertarian-Distributism

Not long ago, I came across a blog post by Keir Martland that I think deserves careful consideration. The article, “How Do You Solve a Problem Like the Proletariat,” points out that libertarians tend to have a blind spot when it comes to cultural and social concerns. He urges his fellow libertarians not to forget that issues of this kind exist and that they are not inconsequential. In asserting that some means of addressing such questions within libertarian parameters must be found, he calls our attention to the work of the Catholic Distrubutists, who have much to say on these matters. Martland observes that many of their insights are compatible with libertarianism and advocates that these be incorporated into libertarian discourse. If that were to happen, I believe it would be to the substantial benefit of our cause.

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