A True Libertarian Test

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Are you really a Libertarian? Your answer to the following question can help you decide.

Question: I believe the following should be prohibited on public and undeveloped property:

Giving birth, raising children, eating, cooking, sleeping, living, repairing cars, creating junkyards, building a shelter, panhandling, holding meetings, storing weapons, defecating, urinating, hiding from the law, evading creditors, abandoning your family to live elsewhere, having extramarital families, partying, doing drugs, being drunk, having sex, making noise, building a business, holding carnivals, offering services, hunting, farming, trapping, raising livestock, having pets, housing runaway children, selling your body, living under alternate identities, living without identification, being mentally ill, being sick, having a contagious disease, dying, burying friends and family.


With planning and mitigation strategies, none of the items mention need be prohibited. There are 830 million people worldwide mostly in major cities who live in this manner and have these freedoms to some degree. They are allowed to build shelters, construct utilities, barter and trade goods and services, and live their entire lives entirely off the national grid if they so choose. Freedom from the ruling state’s unnecessary interference is the cornerstone of all other freedoms.

Currently Western nations are the greatest threat to this liberty. The freedom Western Libertarians claim to value so highly is only a favela away. Making existing favelas permanent and better, and standing up to prevent the state from prohibiting independent living is the most important action a libertarian activist can take. Raging against the grid, or working to weaken and destroy it becomes unnecessary, if enough permanent liberty sanctuaries are built and defended.

All human accomplishments arise not from individual intelligence, but from the social networking of our minds into a collective brain. The key feature of trade is that it enables us to work for each other, not just for ourselves. An overbearing government results in attempts at self-sufficiency which are the fastest road to poverty. Total authoritarian top-down rule of everyone at all times is not the source of order or progress, but rather of decay, civil unrest, and extinction.

There have been four ages of man. The age of Hunting, The age of Shepherding, The age of Agriculture, and the Age of Commerce. A new age is emerging. It will be either the age of Heroic Favelas where we can live as highly or lowly as we are able thanks to the advancements our greatest minds, or an age of Controlled Grid Certainty, where we will have no real individual choice at all, and no greatness whatsoever.


  1. I view this as a fairly weak test. Now, I have no desire to prohibit any of the items here, of course. But I see it as a weak test because the issue is not really what centrally planned property philosophy you prefer, whether more or less restricted. The real issue is whether you support central planning at all. The real test for me is, does a person support public property as a concept?

    If the answer is no (We can make an exception for police, courts, and defensive military bases for our minarchist friends, even though minarchy is of course a compromise belief) I would consider the person saying so to be libertarian even if they prefer some restrictions on public property as a lesser evil. And while I certainly err on the “as few regulations as possible where public property does exist” side of things, I don’t think its possible to completely avoid such regulations on public property. Whether you like it or don’t like it (And I don’t really like it, to be clear), getting people to agree to remove traffic lights from busy intersections or to allow you to drive 80MPH in a developmental community is kind of fruitless and missing the point. Its not like any private road would likely do those things, and ultimately the real issue is that the roads aren’t privatized. So, for instance (going with roads) if someone agrees with me on private roads I would consider them libertarian even if they differ with me with regards to the “lesser evil” means of running public roads (Within reason… if somebody said that he wants the TSA to do full body pat-downs at every intersection as the best way of securing public roads, I wouldn’t consider him libertarian even if he preferred private roads. I know this is somewhat subjective and its up to each individual where he wants to draw the line. But, I would not necessarily say everyone who wants some rules on “public” property is not libertarian if he ultimately wants said property privatized.

  2. I love the fanciful thinking here. The only true test of a libertarian would be the answer to this question:

    Do you think powerful people should have unlimited power over weaker people, and are you willing to contort all logic to help those who have power oppress those who don’t?

    Remember, Libertarian ideals were invented as a response to the Abolitionist movement. The abolition of slavery was the ultimate anti-Libertarian act. Government stepped in and forcibly removed the property rights of slave owners. Libertarianism was invented so that slave owners would be able to claim that abolitionists were the enemies of liberty.

    Since that time, Libertarians have never stopped standing up for the rights of oppressors.

    • Are you out of your mind, ignorant or being sarcastic?

      No libertarian supports anything that you just wrote.

      Libertarians do not support the use of force against others who have done no harm.

      Where did you get this warped idea from?

    • TS,

      You’ve lost me on this on. Wherever did you get the idea that Libertarianism arose as a response against abolitionism? That is, as a defense of human slavery? Of the ownership as property of other human beings?

      Can you cite a source – e.g., reference the writings of a Libertarian philosopher or major writer so arguing – or this just your opinion?

      Libertarians believe in non-aggression as their first principle; that is, they are opposed in principle – as a question of fundamental morality – to the use of force against any human being except in self-defense.

      How does that comport with “standing up for the rights of the oppressors”?

      Libertarian ethics are the antipodal opposite of that.

      • Dear Brad, Eric,

        Apparently this clover doesn’t need to cite historical records or offer logical arguments.

        After all, his handle is “truthsayer.”

        He can appeal to authority. He can engage in “argumentum ad verecundiam.” He can lay down the law.

        Actually if this clover has followed any one of the threads on this forum, he already knows that support for slavery is the antithesis of libertarian thought.

        Libertarianism as libertarian Clint Eastwood put it so succinctly, is all about “Everybody leaves everybody else alone.”

        How is enslaving another person leaving them alone? It’s obviously the exact opposite. But this clover already knew that.

        This clover is trolling. He is being deliberately outrageous just to get a rise out of us. He already knows he can’t win on logic, so he has settled for making us mad, or trying to.

        What he doesn’t realize is that nothing is free in this universe. There is a downside to his tactic. He unwittingly bolsters the credibility of his targets because his ridiculous assertions discredit himself and demonstrate he cannot be taken seriously.

        • The internet troll is usually easy to spot. They rarely have a grasp of the subject. They make inflammatory statement simply to get attention or to disrupt a conversation or even an entire site. The point is that they crave attention and negative attention works just as well for them as anything else. They bait people hence the term “troll” It’s not someone who lives under a bridge it’s someone who fishes with bait. They gain a sense of control by forcing others to respond, disrupting websites, etc. Generally speaking they are immature people with a low sense of self esteem. Trolling gives them their only sense of control.

          I won’t make a judgment regarding “truthsayer” time will tell.

          As for web administrators, allowing trolls a limited voice is ok. Allowing them to become an internet stalker is not. This is when the troll decides to follow a poster around with the intention of driving them off a board. At that point they should be banned. I have had a few on-line stalkers, they are the worst, you can ignore them all you like but they keep coming back.

          • Dear Brad,

            Yeah. Some trollers are ideological. Some are not. Not sure which type is the more offensive. The ideological kind is deceitful. The non-ideological kind is pointless.

            But neither can successfully camouflage himself for long. I say “himself” because most women are too smart to waste their time trolling.

          • Clover fits the bill. He/she/it has been around for a couple of years now – and is apparently on-site constantly. And in spite of the fact that its posts are routinely shredded to pieces by the people here. It has been banned previously – and may need to be banned again!

  3. I believe your “question” is worded more as a statement. Perhaps it should read “Do you believe…..?” And, yes, none of those things should be a problem unless you’re a totalitarian control freak as so many are. I’ve also today hammered out two emails to prominent Libertarian writers and asked that they stop simply “writing” about the current mess and finally begin to band together and look into creating a new Continental Convention with the express purpose of separating free men from this present tyranny. Because if it was good enough for the founders then is sure as hell is good enough for us today. Unless, of course, our current rat bastards view themselves as even above George the 3rd and even more abusive. Which I have no doubt they are. Either we begin, peaceably, to make a move to cut ourselves off or the train of abuses will only continue. And, no, “education” can only go so far before you have to take action. There is more to say but I’m a bit tired right now.

    • Yore write MoT. It’s only after I right sumthang and send it that I real-eyes my errors.

      I knew the blurb was malformed, but couldn’t see a fix. Thanks for identifying it. I like the idea of a powerful libertarian pseudo shantytown. Maybe like that inhabited by the Prawns in Neill Blomkamp’s District 9.

      The more they herd everyone onto their trains of abuses into shiny joyfree workcamp cities, the less I am going to cooperate and produce for them; and the more I will divert my efforts into improving alternate communities.

  4. The only thing that should be prohibited is agressive and coercive force.
    Everything else leads to tyranny, it might not be an entirely new age, it might just cycle back around.

    • Well said, Willy P. Prohibited by mutual individual consent, in the areas where you and I choose to reside. I am highly optimistic that the best and brightest can be encouraged to become peaceful abolitionists.
      Abolitionists who succeed in abolishing force and coercion in even a miniscule area would manage to create a fertile Enlightment Zone where unimaginable prosperity and happiness could emerge; unleashing the full power of Total Spectrum Laissez Faire.


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