...sorry to be blunt - I'm just being honest.
Along the same lines, I often get told that my view bears the burden of crony capitalism, and that my political economy isn't robust to men who are not angels.
I'm sorry - but for one thing I take a Jeffersonian, federalist, constitutionalist view that is designed not to rely on men being angels.
But if you insist that my view be judged by any scandalous real world problems that might arise (and God knows they do arise in the real world - I'm not denying that), then you have to judge your view of the world by (1.) how libertarianism is actually going to be implemented in the real world (i.e. - likely half-heartedly and with crony interests in mind), and (2.) the negative consequences that such a course of action might lead to (perhaps crony capitalists capturing the whithered government that is left and using it and growing it to their purposes).
This is rarely how libertarians judge themselves.
I acknowledge the requirement to demonstrate robustness. My personal institutional preferences are quite similar to the post-war United States. I'd change things here and there, but I'm basically quite happy with this political economy. I don't think we're on the road to serfdom. I think we've hit on something basically good. And yes, there's some crony capitalism in the post-war United States but it seems to me that we do a fairly decent job. Perfect? No. Robust? Yes.
What's the libertarian alternative? I'm never given an example (although I'm assured it's not Somalia even before I think to think "Somalia"). And that's fine. Maybe we don't have an example yet, just like Marx never had his worker's paradise except for a few fleeting moments in the Paris Commune. But don't paint your own theoretical alternative in rose colored glasses and ignore precisely the robustness and crony capitalism questions that you expect me to justify. I'm happy to confront those questions for my worldview. I'm happy to say "yes, some things suck about the post-war United States but all in all this market democracy I like does pretty well". It seems to me libertarians aren't even aware that the rest of us worry about even worse crony capitalism under libertarianism and wish that libertarians would speak more openly about this prospect.
UPDATE: Mike Kimmel once said "I'm not a libertarian because I believe in freedom and property rights". Until libertarians understand why people think this, they're not going to get it.
Thoma, Meet Hayek
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