“Why I’m no longer a Libertarian”

eagle in flight

Sometimes someone puts your own thoughts so clearly that it would be plagiarism to try to rephrase them. With that in mind, I stand aside for John C. Wright:

I often introduce myself as a recovering libertarian. It is not an entirely serious introduction, but it is not entirely frivolous either.

Why “recovering”? Sad experience teaches that any ideology, even a sound one, like libertarianism, is intoxicating. The appeal of ideology is the appeal of elegance. Just as Newton reduced all motions from the orbits to apples falling to three expressions, every intellectual craves a simple formula to explain the human condition. Libertarianism is based on a single principle that limits the state’s use of force to retaliation against fraud and trespass.

Nearly all the natural moral rules all men carry in their hearts are satisfied by the simple rule that you may do as you like provided you leave your neighbor free to do as he likes. No neighbor may rob, defraud nor attack another.

For me, the intoxicating spell ended in three sharp realizations, each one as forceful as a thunderbolt.

Read the whole thing, as they say. The above is just a teaser.

I’m comfortable with where I stand, for it has come to me through brutal confrontation with the truth- truth about myself and those around me. I’m comfortable with the Bible, with G. K. Chesterton, with C. S. Lewis, with Rudyard Kipling- giants whose intellect would squash the tiny whingers of today. I accept my weakness and failure, because only that acceptance leads to truth.

Truth is in short supply today. Have any?