Fundamental question; do Libertarians think it will be good or even useful for British ones to have political power?


This is the Boromir Question. Ought we to gain and use the political power lying around a modern state in order to limit and contain that state’s power, and hopefully reduce it long term?

Or the flipside is this; ought we to simply persuade “intellectuals” to persuade everybody else (including statists) that the right course is to let the existing machinery of tyrannisation, as used by statists, fall into disuse?

Will the Hog be persuaded to slaughter itself?

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3 responses to “Fundamental question; do Libertarians think it will be good or even useful for British ones to have political power?

  1. Why assume that we have to choose between either strategy? Why not try to persuade intellectuals whilst also trying political action?

  2. Turn it round, would it be better for everyone that the power of State was in the hands of people determine to use it to advance themselves at the expense of everyone else, or if it was in the hands of people determined to curtail it now and for the future ?

  3. I don’t understand the question :(

    What reason is there to think that the machinery of tyrannisation will fall into disuse? I see no reason to expect that.

    Just as the communists waited, and those remaing still wait, for capitalism to spontaneously combust and the phoenix of socialism to burst forth from the ashes, I’m inclined to think that libertarians who wait for statism to collapse on its own will have a very long wait indeed.

    Statists have spent well over a century slowly, and patiently, building their edifice on a multitude of fronts; in governments, NGO’s, “charities”, grass roots movements, supranational bodies, in academia and the student body, etc. They’ve done this not so much by conspiracy as simply selling their ideology as a belief system; once converts sign up to it they’ll go out and implement and promote it on their own. That’s why, even when they sometimes lose political ground e.g. in the 80s, the movement carries on growing. Like the internet, it routes around failure.

    Any political idea has to be a successful meme, I think. It needs to self-replicate. Socialism does that. Greenism does that. Christian Conservatism (American variety) does that. Islam does that. Libertarianism needs to do that too. Currently, it doesn’t.