The Problem with Libertarianism

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The Problem with Libertarianism

I call myself libertarian only because this is the modern label that is closest to my views.  But in fact I am not libertarian, I am Jeffersonian.  Thomas Jefferson's outlook has been lost in today's idiocracy.  Let's consider the modern misunderstanding of this line from the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

The modern idea that this supports egalitarianism is wrong.  The core point is that all men are equally endowed with certain unalienable/inalienable rights.  ("unalienable" is the same as "inalienable".)  But modern people don't understand what inalienable rights mean.

An inalienable right is a right that you cannot alienate, meaning give up, particularly through contract.  Libertarians fundamentally reject this idea and support all contracts.  This means that logically libertarians support slavery since people can sign a contract selling themselves into slavery.  By supporting inalienable rights, Jefferson was rejecting the libertarian position and insisting that people always have basic rights no matter what.  Many terms of modern employment contracts would undoubtedly horrify Jefferson since these terms alienate basic rights that employees should have.  But libertarians are fine with these contracts.

Libertarians claim to support the non-aggression principle.  But how exactly are contracts enforced?  By government aggression, of course.  The government uses the threat of violence to prevent people from breaking contract.  So contract enforcement is government coercion.

What is a contract?  In a contract, I alienate my right to not do X in exchange for you alienating your right to not do Y.  So contracts are fundamentally about alienating rights.  This is fine for some rights, but not for other rights which should be inalienable.  But there is an additional consideration.  Since the government uses coercion to enforce contracts, it should not enforce contracts that are contrary to the public interest.  For example, contracts that support monopolies should not be enforced.

A purely libertarian society would result in the rich oppressing the poor through contracts.  And libertarians, who claim to be against government coercion, hypocritically support the government enforcement of contracts that destroy liberty.  My position supports freedom and calls for even less government coercion than libertarians do.  Inalienable rights should be enumerated and codified into law, and any contract that violates these rights should be invalid and unenforceable.  In addition, contracts that are contrary to the public interest should also be invalid and unenforceable.

Of course this entire post is mental masturbation.  People today are too stupid to understand any of this.  But I feel I should clarify my position as a Jeffersonian and not a libertarian.

The Enlightenment wasn't the only time that inalienable rights were understood.  In fact the Old Testament also supports the idea of inalienable rights.  The idea of the Jubilee in Leviticus 25:13-17 means that people ultimately have inalienable ownership of their property.  Since the Old Testament is very supportive of freedom, this makes sense.