The Privatization of the Public Commons

 

Libertarians like to complain about the critics of libertarianism with “muh roads.” To them, the argument defending public infrastructure is absurd because private companies are incentivized to be more efficient. If that’s what you really think, I’d like to direct you to the F-35.

While the Libertarian Party is an irrelevant parody, libertarian arguments have made great strides within both parties. One of the primary pillars of libertarianism that has been making great strides on both the left and the right is that of private property. One has to ask oneself what exactly changed since Masterpiece Cakes?

It might not seem obvious to the casual observer that the Democrats have embraced private property rights. After all, the left isn’t exactly consistent in its embrace of any principle. Almost as if it has no principles and makes no bones about it, so consistently criticizing their lack doesn’t get us very far. I’ve just found the phenomenon of Silicon Valley private property rights to be a very interesting forum to observe the left’s incursion, corruption, and convergence of the Right’s institutions (specifically, Private Property) to be very educational.

I should think Silicon Valley’s collusion and censorship should throw up massive red flags on the libertarian arguments about privatizing everything. The question should be popping up about whether there is any place for a Public Commons if every soapbox is privately owned. Yet I have not seen anyone ask this, to me, very obvious question: Can you have free speech in a libertarian society where all property is private property?*

This should open a door to a dozen thoughts on the nature of government. What is government, exactly? What is our relationship to it? We seem to take it for granted that Twitter, Google, and Facebook are not “government”. But Company Towns existed before, couldn’t Company Counties exist now? What about States? Countries?

While the Supreme Court has defended free speech in company towns, has our philosophy of government evolved to the information and internet age? Can government be more amorphous than a governing seat tied to a physical location?

Our concept of the population’s relationship to their government has been an evolving thing. In Ancient Times, rulers were gods. In Medieval Times, rulers were divinely appointed by God. The reformation was just one more shift in our concept of government that government was at the consent of the governed, ultimately resulting in a very strange concept that WE are the government. I’m not entirely certain modern Americans have any idea what that actually means anymore. And the ones that do understand it likely really liked Andrew Breitbart and are some of the prophets going around preaching the sky is falling as our culture embraces privatized authoritarianism.

Question is, are we going through another evolution of government? From gods to godly appointed, to selected by us, are we now approaching government by purchase? Can one buy their own country and assert their sovereignty and jurisdiction on those who willingly engage with their product? Inquiring minds would like to know.

* There is an argument here that if everyone owns private property, that people can still freely speak. But I find that the concept of everyone owning their own property may be far more complex in a capitalistic and debt-riddled society.

Published in General
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 32 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    There are no network effects or natural monopolies in ancap-istan.  Economics ended with adam smith.

    There was a senator who said something during the sherman anti-trust act debates (while the law itself is a god awful trashfire) to the effect of “we didn’t fight a revolution to sell our freedoms to corporations.”  Which is not dumb.

    Salvation is found in the parts of the constitution that conservatives hate.  The postal clauses.

    • #1
  2. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    There are no network effects or natural monopolies in ancap-istan. Economics ended with adam smith.

    I don’t know if this is a useful observation or something we simply will never be able to prove. AnCap is so unstable it would scarcely last 5 minutes… just long enough for the first guy to put the crown on his head.

    • #2
  3. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Great post Stina. There is an inherent tension which, for me, means that both collectivism and anarchocapitalism are incomplete responses. As messy as it is, the answer is procedural as the best balance is inherently subjective and contextual, and that’s a difficult proposition to accept for someone like me who values objectivity and certainty and who seeks Truth. This is why conservatives favor government to be as local as possible with the biggest and most controversial issues to be addressed locally where responses can be most customized and citizens can participate most. 

    An anarchocapitalist might respond that nothing can be more local than privatization. What they miss, I think, is that there are fundamental principles that transcend ownership. Right of egress is one. Little thought of, yet with implications that are far reaching. This concept alone almost guarantees a physical commons. Is there an equivalent concept for speech especially online or within other media? I don’t think it’s as clear. The practical equivalent to a commons might be a government web platform. Yuck! Perhaps cable access stations or radio bands. Ok, but there’s gatekeepers and not just anyone can get on the air.

    Also, thinking about an actual commons, it’s still not “anything goes”. Community standards are a thing along with the clear speech restrictions like incitement, fraud, defamation, libel. Who decides what is incitement or fraud, let alone “community standards”? It’s messy all the way down. The traditional conservative response has been to retreat to the local level to let actual communities and neighbors sort these questions out amongst themselves as is also a fundamental right (self government). But what does that look like for the internet? There is no such thing as “local” online, and there will either be no standards or there will be standards imposed by whatever administrator of whatever platform with little say from the community (largely because there is no such thing as a community online). 

    Ricochet has had many great threads (frustrating, actually, but clarifying nonetheless) on libertarianism and anarcho capitalism and even on the nature of government. I’d also suggest browsing some of that history.

    • #3
  4. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Stina:

    I should think Silicon Valley’s collusion and censorship should throw up massive red flags on the libertarian arguments about privatizing everything. The question should be popping up about whether there is any place for a Public Commons if every soap box is privately owned. Yet I have not seen anyone ask this, to me, very obvious question. Can you have free speech in a libertarian society where all property is private property?* …

    To some extent, the practical ability to communicate with large numbers of people has always depended on someone’s private property.  Even in 1775, you had to buy paper and ink and the services of a printer to get your pamphlet, or whatever, produced.  Even then, for better or worse, if you wanted to print something beneath what was considered acceptable speech and thought, you were going to have a hard time doing that. 

    I suppose things could theoretically get to the point where some monopoly on internet content truly threatened fair competition in that marketplace, but I don’t think we’re there yet.  The internet is vast with vastly more opportunities for people to communicate than they could have imagined in 1776, and that’s with Facebook and Twitter monitoring their content.  And by the way, I see a ton of conservative, right-wing, content on both of those platforms.  If their intent is to shut down that kind of commentary, to prevent the spread of conservative ideas, they’re doing a terrible job of it.  That’s not to say shutting down a particular individual here and there is fair, but just to say it may not indicate a broader, more sinister, motive to control speech.

     

    • #4
  5. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    That’s not to say shutting down a particular individual here and there is fair, but just to say it may not indicate a broader, more sinister, motive to control speech.

    How about the systematic shutdowns of stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop…to take just one example?

    • #5
  6. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    I suppose things could theoretically get to the point where some monopoly on internet content truly threatened fair competition in that marketplace, but I don’t think we’re there yet. The internet is vast with vastly more opportunities for people to communicate than they could have imagined in 1776, and that’s with Facebook and Twitter monitoring their content. And by the way, I see a ton of conservative, right-wing, content on both of those platforms. If their intent is to shut down that kind of commentary, to prevent the spread of conservative ideas, they’re doing a terrible job of it. That’s not to say shutting down a particular individual here and there is fair, but just to say it may not indicate a broader, more sinister, motive to control speech.

    While I think the Internet issue is an interesting jumping point into some defense of protecting public commons, I’m not interested in limiting the thoughts to the internet.

    But as for the internet, I am a Luddite. I see technology as having alienated us from our local communities and broken down infrastructure physically near us for things far away and unknown and often fake. The internet Information Age, especially where the most accessible sharing sites are engaging in censorship, is creating balkanization. Where my neighbor and I should be able to have a conversation about our local school board where we disagree on some things and agree on others as we are privy to the same facts, we jump online and engage in hate filled rhetoric fueled by carefully curated facts, where neither is privy to all the facts and the other side’s facts are “fake news” and misinformation. And it’s not like my neighborhood got burned down, yet we are fighting over whether minneapolis got burned down or not.

    It is not healthy for Americans to only be engaged in half of the facts and Silicon Valley is pursuing censoring an entire oeuvre of facts just because it infringes on the narrative they are selling.

    It isn’t healthy and it is a reality that is dangerous and potent. As far as this goes, it should not be pushed aside as if artificially Balkanizing the American populace even in their own neighborhoods is something we can wave aside as not a big deal.

    It is why free speech is such a big deal. The Left can not be allowed to think there are no arguments on the right without challenge. If we do allow that to persist, it won’t go anywhere good.

    • #6
  7. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Stina:

    This should open a door to a dozen thoughts on the nature of government. What is government, exactly? What is our relationship to it? We seem to take it for granted that Twitter, Google, and Facebook are not “government”. But Company Towns existed before, couldn’t Company Counties exist now? What about States? Countries?

    While the Supreme Court has defended free speech in company towns, has our philosophy of government evolved to the information and internet age? Can government be more amorphous than a governing seat tied to a physical location?

    I’m glad to see  the concept of the company town coming in to this discussion.

    As to taking it for granted that Twitter et al are not “government,” that changed under Obama when they became willing partners of the Obama government in crafting narratives to fight “terrorism.” If we had been paying attention to what happened after 9/11 or after Oklahoma City, we would remember that they define the most dangerous terrorists as us.  

    • #7
  8. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Stina: private companies are incentivized to be more efficient. If that’s what you really think, I’d like to direct you to the F-35.

    The F-35 is a poor example for a private enterprise.  I assure you that when it comes to extracting money from government, there is little incentive to be efficient.   Should I keep reading after that statement?

    • #8
  9. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    The end of the Fairness Doctrine ended the idea of the public commons in broadcasting, and I don’t see the internet or cable news as being any different.

    • #9
  10. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    Stina: I should think Silicon Valley’s collusion and censorship should throw up massive red flags on the libertarian arguments about privatizing everything. The question should be popping up about whether there is any place for a Public Commons if every soap box is privately owned. Yet I have not seen anyone ask this, to me, very obvious question. Can you have free speech in a libertarian society where all property is private property?*

    The problem with free speech these days is that the largest platforms have effectively merged with one of the political parties which happens to run the federal government.  That is classic fascism and is the opposite of the libertarian idea of private property.  Think back 10 years ago, when Google, Facebook and Twitter were tiny companies; did free speech feel inhibited by Ask Jeeves?   Nope. 

    We need a Teddy Roosevelt to bust up some trusts and drive a wedge between big corporations and government. 

    If you accept my premise that Oligarchs and government Leftists have merged, then I implore you to see that as our biggest problem in America today. 

    • #10
  11. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Hang On (View Comment):

    The end of the Fairness Doctrine ended the idea of the public commons in broadcasting, and I don’t see the internet or cable news as being any different.

    Does that mean someone would be acting within their rights if they use the airways to block these transmissions?

    • #11
  12. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    We have to stick to the simplest basics I think. Everything is corruptible and will be corrupted if it’s in important interests for long enough.  Corporations added a new dimension to private enterprise.  They worked well when run by their owners.  When professional managers took over they began a slow process of corruption.  A new phenomena has arrived with the digital age.  The giant ones have gone back to being run by their owners who also manage them.   The biggest ones enjoy a new phenomena, infinitely falling costs and these won’t  rise until they own so much their own corruption or eagerness diverts them.  We have to come to grips with these new realities.  We can’t act like they’re just private companies that should be left alone.  They must face anti monopoly regulation and how isn’t obvious, conceptually politically or legally. 

    • #12
  13. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    Stina: private companies are incentivized to be more efficient. If that’s what you really think, I’d like to direct you to the F-35.

    The F-35 is a poor example for a private enterprise. I assure you that when it comes to extracting money from government, there is little incentive to be efficient. Should I keep reading after that statement?

    You should. I don’t think your observation detracts or contradicts anything I bring up.

    • #13
  14. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I think of the earth as the “public commons”. Real estate as “private property” is a complicated concept. The real estate “owned” by private parties in America is at best a joint venture between the private party and the state government. Private ownership of unimproved property presents problems.

    • #14
  15. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    I Walton (View Comment):
    We can’t act like they’re just private companies that should be left alone. They must face anti monopoly regulation and how isn’t obvious, conceptually politically or legally. 

    My instinct is to go after the thought-behind before you go after the action. I fear I may have that backward. Like gardening, you can get quite far just simply be doing and then learning the theory born out of experience can help reap bigger rewards.

    I want the consistent political thought before we attempt to tackle the problem. I think many conservatives feel the same way. But much of conservatism (at least at the voting level) is experience driven, not theory driven. It should work practically to have any benefit theoretically.

    We need some balance, but lack of theory on Distributism, anti-trust, and diversification should not be the reason to avoid trying it. And we should not be so reluctant to accept that some theory isn’t working practically even if the theory makes logical sense to us.

    We are stuck with government. We are stuck with trade. As long as the two involve humans, power and greed will feed off each other. We can not keep caveating Capitalism as not involving government, because sufficiently successful men without scruples will inevitably leverage government to benefit themselves. And sufficiently powerful men in government without scruples will inevitably sell themselves to the highest bidder to benefit themselves. To attempt to define practical systems that deny those realities creates useless theories and nothing else.

    • #15
  16. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    There are innate individual rights for every human being to access and use of the natural environment. That result can be achieved through force and the use of power or through agreements reached among any contending parties. Private ownership in real property originates with improvements, development, and use for production. Communism in practice is the use of force and power under the guise of an agreement among the contending parties. It is a big lie. We are seeing an effort at work to move America in that direction. 

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Much to chew on here, Stina. Thanks. And welcome back.

    • #17
  18. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Hang On (View Comment):

    The end of the Fairness Doctrine ended the idea of the public commons in broadcasting, and I don’t see the internet or cable news as being any different.

    I’m not so sure that is the same thing. My understandinf bbn of the fairness doctrine is that if one viewpoint is presented then an opposing viewpoint must be pressured too. There are gatekeepers to this though. Wouldn’t a commons allow all comers and users, provided they follow community standards and didn’t cause danger or obstruction?

    • #18
  19. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Wealth does buy you power.  I would have to agree with that.  But it always has.  Still the Constitution is the same.  We still vote people in and out.  I don’t think we are changing the structure of government.  But it’s something to keep an eye on.  Interesting post, Stina.

    • #19
  20. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    The big, “private” companies that “own” the internet public square operate the way they do by Government Sanction.  Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act defines the platforms as “neutral” and not liable for anything posted by their users.  That makes them, in a way, arms of the government.  They are thus subject to lawsuits for breaking the rules under which they operate, like openly removing content they don’t like.  They should be sanctioned by the government for breaking the rule that Section 230 establishes.  And they should be sued by any organization or entity they de-platform.  Far too many people and businesses have just rolled over instead of responding with class-action lawsuits for their behavior.

    • #20
  21. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    There is a libertarian conceit that private companies would respond to their customers not wanting to be sold like cattle, or censored, but the reality is that the vast majority of people just don’t care.  We crave convenience in our tech, not confusion.  Why is Amazon.com so popular?  Because it is so easy to use and you can purchase almost everything from one site without having to guess if the website is even legit or not.  I bought something once from a FB ad and what I got was nothing like what was offered and I was unable to get a refund.  Amazon has never had that problem for me.

    But, do companies really respond to the pressures of the market and people?  Yes, and no.  We see the deplatforming of Parler as an example of them responding to pressure…but…was it really pressure, or was it what they wanted to do and some Twitter complaints gave them the cover to do what they wanted anyway?  

    • #21
  22. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Dbroussa (View Comment):

    There is a libertarian conceit that private companies would respond to their customers not wanting to be sold like cattle, or censored….

    Another conceit is that absent government and regulation, the methods of advancing the interests of the company and the owners would be adequately constrained by having to align with the interests of paying customers. 

    I disagree, and that’s before we consider how power can mold and shape what people view as their interests in the first place. That doesn’t therefore mean I favor unconstrained regulation. Here again I think procedural checks are the solution; subsidiarity, federalism, due process, elections, etc. with most regulation happening as locally as possible. 

    • #22
  23. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    For Google and Facebook, Users are NOT Customers.  Advertisers are.

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Privatization may be a passe concept.  In the olden days, a man need a few basic pre-made tools, a water source, a forest and a few animals, and he could house, feed and clothe his family. He also needed unowned land, trees and rocks, and free access to get to his land; and a culture or agreement with others, that allowed unowned land to be owned and cultivated.

    And anyone could produce, and travel anywhere and barter or buy and sell as one wanted.

    As manufacturing and technology have increased, a single man could no longer make most things, but he could understand them. Now, technology has progressed to the point that no one can even understand the workings of most things.  And ownership of these things is becoming questionable: e.g. smart phones, cars and energy to heat a home may be turned off at the pleasure of the manufacturer or provider, and there is usually no legal way to replace these necessities, to put in a fireplace, or gather firewood, or even grow a victory garden or raise chickens.

    And we all, essentially, live at the pleasure of larger legal bodies, including corporations. In the past some towns were owned in common, others were owned privately. And the law adapted to this.

    But we are faced with a new type of “governmental power” and a new “economy”. If Klaus Schwab is correct regarding the Great Reset, the world will be changed to a large company store. Government, money and old freedoms as we know them will not exist. And jobs will not exist, being replaced with AI and robotics. Corporate mandates in culture, personal thought and actions, will be mandated by corporations, as we see happening now. Money as we have historically known it will not exist, but will be digital ledgers, so to speak. And jobs won’t exist to earn money, but rather people will be given a certain stipend in corporate chits, which will be used to pay for housing, food, clothing and entertainment, that corporations will provide. If Schwab is right, the world will essentially become one world-wide company town.

    Again, we will be living at the pleasure of larger, monopolistic corporations. Most interestingly, Schwab says that profits will still be made. But who will make these profits? And from whom will the profits be paid? And what will constitute wealth? Especially when the global economy consists of ledgered accounts, and scrip is issued for free by those corporations that create it? (I think wealth or profit will be measured in personal power to get what each person wants.) And what incentive will corporations have to feed and house people who don’t directly benefit them?

    We are well on the way to the One World Order (now dubbed the New World Order) prophesied two thousand years ago in the Book of the Revelation: One World Government, One World Economic System, and (a credible yet deceptive) One World Religion.

    • #24
  25. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Stina, given that the governor of Nevada has turned to the bigger companies inside Silicon Valley in hope that their business ventures all end up inside his state, you bring up some very important questions.

    It is quite likely that the Silicon Valley companies, at least many of them, will go off to Nevada, as that state doe snot have the high taxes California does.

    Also given that when the Supreme Court heard the case of a lower income bracket home owner who  did not see why “eminent domain” would apply to a country club, to strip her of her home for the sake of rich golf and tennis players, she learned a major lesson. As the SCOTUS members immediately sided with the big money interests, and that was the end of her home ownership.

    It is very scary to be be lower middle class. Anything a person has or owns can be appropriated for someone with a better understanding of legalities than that person. My HOA has been known to seize the home of an elderly person who doesn’t keep their lot up to par, as fees per day can make it exorbitantly expensive to pay those off once they have accrued. So someone who has kept a tidy yard for 70 years, finds that when they get out of the hospital and rehab center that their home is gone. That HOA law was originally put into place to help the community avoid having scofflaws who didn’t bother to keep their yard tidy. But vulture capitalism is not a pretty thing, and it has caused far too much suffering in the USA.

    • #25
  26. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    David Foster (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):
    That’s not to say shutting down a particular individual here and there is fair, but just to say it may not indicate a broader, more sinister, motive to control speech.

    How about the systematic shutdowns of stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop…to take just one example?

    And the ability of the big corporations to prevent a startup or some existing business – perhaps competitor – they don’t like from getting paid for their services using the most common means.

    • #26
  27. Mike H Coolidge
    Mike H
    @MikeH

    Stina: Can you have free speech in a libertarian society where all property is private property?*

    I think the answer to this is something like, “nothing is guaranteed in a libertarian society.” Do we really have “free speech” now other than as a noble aspiration? It’s an open question if we would have more or less if everything was privately owned. I could see it going either way.

    While there are a lot of reasons to expect a lot of better outcomes in a libertarian world, there would almost certainly be aspects where, if you had a choice between the status quo or how things would work, one would prefer the status quo version.

    When it gets down to it, the correct argument for a libertarian world is that it’s a consequence of common sense morality. One example being that private property rights, while by no means absolute, are certainly strong rights that should be given the benefit of the doubt. If the outcomes of a “stable” libertarian society would be devastatingly terrible, then that would be sufficient to override the common sense moral argument in its favor, but this turns out to not be nearly as obvious as most people seem to think it is as first blush.

    By “stable,” I mean that proper expectations for how others should act would have to be in place before it might work. We’re currently no where near that, and it’s likely society will never reach such a point, but that doesn’t then justify all the anti-libertarian things that occur under our current system. One can still look at what individuals (and the state) do on a case by case basis, and rightly judge them based on the same common sense morality that otherwise leads to libertarianism.

    • #27
  28. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    One thing that needs to be pointed out is that libertarian-ism is quite appealing in concept.

    However when a party gains traction, it is co-opted.

    Judging from the one very popular libertarian I follow on FB, in Florida the party is totally run by the corrupt political hacks that seem to appear the moment a movement is set to take over. Since 2018, this man has been throwing up his arms over how he spent a dozen years helping build up a movement that when reaching a certain level of momentum, was then shifted out and away from under him and the other libs.

    Americans can’t have populism as long as political hacks can instill ownership of politics to the One Big Money types. Sad but true.

     

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    When I think of the perfect society, I think of a Libertarian one.  Functionally, however, I think of Libertarianism as woefully inadequate: there is no mechanism advocated for controlling man’s lesser instincts.  Libertarianism survives if everyone follows the Golden Rule, and this is marvelous, but there is no mechanism for either inculcating nor enforcing the Golden rule; and there is no way for interpreting the Golden Rule; and the Golden Rule is really a form of “rule”.  (Anarchocapitalism is completely foreign to me, as unworkable and self-contradictory; but that is, and has been, a subject of other posts.)

    As civilizations go, the prime fault of communism is summed up in the failures of the Plymouth Colony; and the rectification of its Communism, being private property and individual responsibility, is what we would today call Capitalism.

    And if you allow me a Biblical reference, when I think of Sodom and Gomorrah, I think of the ideal Libertarian cities.  People did as they wanted, and were prosperous; but morally failed, as God said (I paraphrase): Though you had prosperity you didn’t care for those who were unjustly treated or impoverished.  From a superior view, freedom expressed itself as selfishness and ultimately moral depravity.

    And in fact, Libertarianism relies upon an undergirding presupposition of order, one that is simplistically stated as Do no harm, but is devoid of agreed-upon forms of personal conduct and corporate civility.  Government is a necessary evil, and should be limited in its power and scope, but some form of corporate coercion is necessary to maintain the peace, and to ensure the least aggressive and the most fair, uniform and predicable application of justice.

    And beyond all this, Libertarianism does nothing to promote altruistic social functioning.

    • #29
  30. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    Libertarianism is so popular that – let me see – not a single politician of either party runs on a Libertarian platform. In the history of the country you could count on one hand how many real Libertarians have been elected.   Libertarianism will never win over the electorate because Libertarianism is the absence of values.  People ultimately vote on values.  Libertarianism is moral relativism.

    • #30