How to Talk to Nonlibertarians
July 13, 2014
What libertarians have to explain to the politically disengaged and uninformed
If libertarians want to change how nonlibertarians think about government, they will need to understand how nonlibertarians think about government. By "nonlibertarians," I mean the majority of people who spend little if any time pondering political theory or what Murray Rothbard called political ethics. They may focus at times on particular government programs and actions, or on proposals for new programs, but rarely about government as an institution. This is not hard to understand. We all come into a world full of national governments that present themselves as providers of a social safety net, guarantors of products and services, protectors of workers, defenders of the national borders, and dispensers of benefits to an assortment of deserving groups (farmers, exporters, too-big-to-fail banks, low-income people, and so on). This is all represented as indispensable to the general welfare.