Frequently Raised Objections

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What are the main objections to libertarianism, especially strongly libertarian, minarchist, anarchist, et c? Notable objections? Potentially entertaining objections?

What are some great responses to these objections?

Note that not everything is word-for-word from its credited source.


Q: But since libertarians don't like roads, there is no right to travel anyway. [Source: a Facebook comment]

Q: Men from the state with guns showing up at your house is enforcement of contract, not theft or coercion. [Paraphrased from the Non-Libertarian FAQ]

Q: Take them to a restaurant and see if they think it ethical to walk out without paying because they didn't sign anything. The Social Contract is valid. Pay up. [Paraphrased from the Non-Libertarian FAQ]

Q: Love it or leave it.

Q: Why should you be told what to do with your property? What makes you so sure it is yours? [Paraphrased from the Non-Libertarian FAQ]

Q: For a person to have a fighting chance of making it in the world, they need the right start. [Source:Strafio, My Objections to Libertarianism]

Q: Opportunities are limited. Career status is pyramidal and there will always be people at the bottom. [Source:Strafio, My Objections to Libertarianism]

Q: Without state laws, how will cheating and corruption be prevented? [Source:Strafio, My Objections to Libertarianism]

Q: But what about the roads?

Q: But what about the downtrodden?

Q: But what about the oligarchs?

Q: "There should be consumer protection laws" is the sentiment that I have gathered as being the libertarian norm. Anarcho-capitalists who wrongly call themselves 'libertarians' will disagree. [Jormungander's response to Strafio, My Objections to Libertarianism]

Q: At its heart Libertarianism is incredibly selfish. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: There are some societal functions that do not respond to markets. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: If markets are completely unregulated, then all market segments will naturally move towards monopolies. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: Libertarianism is cruel. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: When disputes arise, who decides? [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: Humans are not wired for Libertarianism. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: No Libertarian can make a coherent argument of HOW to get to a Libertarian vision. [Source: Why Libertarianism is Wrong by Alex Patton]

Q: You're just the cronies of the 1%.

Q: Your ideals fail in the real world.

Q: What we have works.

Q: If libertarianism was a good idea, wouldn't at least one country have tried it? Wouldn't there be at least one country, out of nearly two hundred, with minimal government, free trade, open borders, decriminalized drugs, no welfare state and no public education system? [Source: Lind, Michael. (4 June 2013.). "The Question Libertarians Just Can't Answer." Salon]

Q: Libertarians Are Huge Fans of Economic Coercion [Source: title of article by Matt Bruenig; in it he claims we're fundamentally coercive and should admit it]

Q: Libertarian economics gave us the housing bubble [Paraphrasing Alan Greenspan and the death of libertarian economics by Carl Packman]

Q: What happens when one of the inevitable downturns of laissez-faire sends it all into a depression and everyone's out of work? [Paraphrased from]

Q: Wouldn't children be ignorant without state education?

Q: Wouldn't our banks be unstable without government regulation?

Q: Wouldn't people be dying from poisoned food without the FDA?


Note that if we want to make a book from this (it could easily get long enough) we have some decisions about how far we're going to stretch fair use. Especially as most of the sources we'd be referencing aren't going to be happy about our book or being targeted by it. Especially as some sources have pretty much the entirety of their raised objections pasted here.


Might be good to organize by types of objection. Maybe use the books on Murphaen philosophy as a structural reference.

Possible sort categories?

  • Economic (probably too broad)
  • Social (probably too broad)
  • Obnoxiousness (the objection or our responses to it? Snappy Answers to Obnoxious Questions about Libertarianism? Or is Snappy Answers a trademarked term?)
  • Exploitation
  • Bad Manners
  • Messes
  • Responsibilities
  • Career Advancement
  • Death
  • Taxes

Sources of Objections