'To enjoy freedom or liberty presupposes a prepositional object. To be free from what? To enjoy liberty from what?
Thomas Hobbes understood liberty to mean "license" -license to do whatever one pleases. Hobbes found liberty- as he understood it- to endanger human happiness and prosperity. Without a strong, central government to forcibly limit our destructive whims at whatever price (including the destruction wrought by the government's own whims!), life would be a "war of all against all," rendering the average human life "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
Indeed the liberty to follow any whim or wish at anyone's expense, running roughshod over the lives of other human beings, would be a very dangerous kind of liberty. Who could have any liberty at all if anyone else who pleased could come along to rob, enslave, or even murder them? But there is another way to understand liberty: to be free- not from whatever principle, convention, or constraint impedes one's every terrible whim as Hobbes defines it- but to be free from aggression. It is in this sense that libertarians understand freedom.'
84. It's not a violation of your liberty because you had a chance to vote on it.
You will often hear some variant of this objection to libertarian ideas. Sometimes a critic will just say, "If you don't like it, you can vote to change it." The problem with this argument is the moral impotence of democracy. What makes government so special? And who says voters are so smart?
85. Government does do good things.
At what opportunity cost? With what unintended consequences? And are even the best-intentioned government programs the first step on the road to serfdom?
86. We have to give up some rights to get others as part of "the social contract."
Says who and by what special authority?
87. Libertarianism is adolescent. You'll grow out of it.
Smug condescension is sophomoric. You'll grow out of it.
Historical Objections to Libertarianism
88. There has never been a libertarian society.
Answer: "If I were arguing for the abolition of slavery in 1700, would you object by saying there has never been a slaveless society? No? See how that particular objection isn't relevant?"
89.How's libertarianism working out for Somalia?
90. So would you repeal the Civil Rights Act?
So would you force a black restaurant owner to serve a Klansman? Would you force a bartender at a gay bar to serve Fred Phelps?
91. Too many libertarians are racists.
What's racist about balanced budgets? Besides, too many politicians are racists... and too many journalists let them get away with it.
92. Libertarians are closet secessionists and neo-confederates.
If anyone makes this objection to libertarianism, RUN LIKE HELL. Get out of there before they eat your brains.
93. Libertarians are "crazy."
This is just empty name-calling. Ask your objector what they mean by that and press them until they stop using vague insults and make substantive criticisms. They'll likely make one covered elsewhere in this list.
94. Libertarians are all conspiracy theorists.
Remind your objector that a conspiracy theory is a particular view of history, a theory that a certain conspiracy has happened or is happening. Libertarianism is an entirely different kind of thing. While it draws on history's lessons to support its ideas, libertarianism is not a particular view of history, but a normative political philosophy that prescribes the best way for human beings to live and interact. If a few, or even if all libertarians happen to believe in certain conspiracy theories, whether those theories are true or false is a separate question from whether libertarian political and economic theories are true are false.
And conspiracy theories themselves are not inherently libertarian. The "birther" theory got started in the Democratic Party by supporters of Hillary Clinton's bid for the 2008 presidential nomination and spread to the Republican Party after the primaries where it is alive and well to this day. The 9-11 "truth" conspiracy theory is also as rampant if not more rampant among Democrats and the political left as it is among libertarians. Every major political group or school of thought is going to have its fringe members with odd ideas that are irrelevant to the school of thought itself.
95. Libertarians are mostly rich, white men.
Tell that to me (poor), Frederick Douglass (black), or Ayn Rand (woman). Libertarian ideas are not inherently modern nor ancient, neither are they inherently ethnocentric, neither are they inherently androcentric. They do not favor any specific class, which is plainly evident in their theory and amply proven by the record of their history. It's funny libertarians should always be slandered as stupidly wide-eyed idealists one minute, and totally self-interested pigs the next. Pick a lane, people! And oh yeah-- actually governments are mostly run by rich, white men. Just in case ya didn't notice. If you're skeptical of "rich, white, man bias," you should be skeptical of government... like libertarians.
96. Libertarians are heartless.
"What? I thought we were brainless idealists. Which is it?" (Then once again, ask your objector to be more specific, which will lead to discussions of substantive issues.)
And: assuming that statists have a monopoly on the golden rule just because they want to use the most coercive, inefficient, blunt-trauma institution in the world-- the US Federal Government-- to express their love is facetious.
97. You want things to go back to the 1800s?
You want your wealth and standard of living to increase by a factor of six??
98. We need a strong federal government to keep the states in line.
Thomas Jefferson best addresses this in the Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, explaining how we need strong states and a strong citizenry to keep the over-reaching, police state powers of the federal government in line.
99. Libertarianism got us into the Great Depression.
Not true! All kinds of massive government interventions preceded and caused the Great Depression.
100. Spending got us out of the Great Depression.
Wrong again! I'll let Hayek take it from here.