Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Do Libertarians Have Any Chance of Success?


With another major victory for statism in the form of President Obama’s socialist and interventionist health-care reform plan, the obvious question arises: Do libertarians have any chance at all of attaining the free society?

After all, libertarians not only opposed Obamacare, they also favor, in a more fundamental sense, the complete separation of health care and the state. That would mean the repeal, not reform, of Medicare and Medicaid, medical licensure, and insurance regulation, which are the root of America’s health-care woes.

That’s not a moderate program.

For that matter, neither is the separation of the economy and the state, or education and the state, both of which libertarians also advocate.

For that matter, we also call for the repeal, not reform, of all welfare-state programs, including Social Security, SBA loans, education grants, foreign aid, corporate grants, bailouts, stimulus plans, and community grants, and the abolition of all welfare-state and regulatory departments and agencies.

We also advocate bringing all the troops home immediately, not only from Iraq and Afghanistan but also from the rest of the world, and discharging them into the private sector, and dismantling America’s Cold War standing army, military empire, and military-industrial complex.

We would abolish the income tax and the Federal Reserve, the twin jugular veins of the welfare-warfare state.

We would restore sound money to America by abolishing the Federal Reserve System and having a free market in money, instead of government central planning.

We would legalize all drugs, not just marijuana.

So, with another giant victory for statism on health care, it would be natural to assume that libertarians remain further away than ever from ridding our nation of the scourge of socialism, interventionism, and empire, and restoring individual liberty, free markets, and a constitutional republic to our land.

That would be a mistake, especially given the ever-growing number of people who are now joining the libertarian cause.

The investment guru W. Edwards Deming, who was the man responsible for the giant leap in quality in Japanese products in the 1970s, described the process by which a firm or business changes a philosophy or paradigm under which it operates. He said that at first a few people introduce the philosophy, and begin talking about it with others within the company. After a while, more and more people become interested in the new philosophy or paradigm. Then, once a critical mass of people is reached, which might well be less than a majority, the entire firm just shifts in favor of the new paradigm, overcoming the resistance of those who continue clinging to the old paradigm.

There is no reason to believe that that same principle doesn’t also apply to a nation. Once a critical mass of people who favor libertarianism is reached, which might well be below a majority, the entire society will suddenly shift, overcoming the resistance of the statists.

Thus, our job is not so much to convert people to libertarianism but rather to find the people who are naturally disposed to libertarianism and assist them to convert themselves. As the numbers of people embracing libertarian principles continues to mount, that gets us closer to reaching the critical mass in society that is required to achieve a paradigm shift, one that overcomes the resistance of the statists and succeeds in restoring a free, prosperous, moral, and harmonious society to our land.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.