Leftist criticisms of libertarianism have surged lately, a phenomenon warranting explanation. We libertarians could justifiably find it all quite confusing. For decades we have thought our battle a largely losing one, at least in the short term. We are a tiny, relatively powerless minority. The state has raged on, expanding in virtually every direction, for my entire lifetime and that of my parents’. Yet nearly every week our beloved philosophy of non-aggression is subject to some progressive’s relatively widely read hatchet job. On the surface, it appears at least as misdirected as the rightwing hysteria about Marxists during the Cold War. But at least Marxism was the supposed tenet of the Soviet Union, a regime with thousands of nukes ready to launch. Why all this concern about little ol’ us?
We could go through all these critiques line by line and expose the many factual errors and gross misinterpretations, whether disingenuous or unintentional. But it might be more worthwhile to ask, Why all this focus on the supposed demonic threat of libertarianism in the first place?
It was not too long ago that the Slate’s Jacob Weisberg declared the end of libertarianism. Time of death? The financial collapse, which proved our "ideology makes no sense." Not three years later, the same web publication is exposing "the liberty scam": "With libertarianism everywhere, it's hard to remember that as recently as the 1970s, it was nowhere to be found."