An important question naturally arises: How do we achieve freedom given the current circumstances under which we are living in America? I think most every libertarian would acknowledge that when it comes to liberty, America is a seriously bad shape.
Moreover, both conservatives and liberals, as reflected by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden, are fiercely committed to the welfare-warfare state way of life, which is antithetical to the principles of liberty. And no matter how bad things get, conservatives and liberals become more determined to maintain the iron grip of the welfare-warfare state on American life, under the guise of protecting "freedom" and "national security."
Moreover, the libertarian movement is now filled with people who have made peace with either the welfare state (especially with respect to Social Security and Medicare) or the warfare state (especially with respect to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA) or both and have committed their efforts to reforming, not repealing, them. Moreover, in large part the libertarian brand has become nothing more than a libertarian-conservative hash, and the libertarian movement has become nothing more than a revolving door for conservatives who have become disenchanted with the conservative philosophy or the conservative movement
So, what hope is there for freedom under these bad circumstances? Should we all now just accept that freedom is impossible and become welfare-warfare state reformers?
One thing is for sure: the road to freedom lies not in reform measures, which necessarily leave infringements on liberty intact. The road to freedom lies in making the case for liberty, which necessarily entails repealing infringements on liberty.
In the late 1800s, Americans were living under a system that had no income taxation, Social Security, Medicare, welfare state, drug laws, Federal Reserve, fiat (i.e., paper) money, immigration controls, licensing laws, zoning laws, Pentagon, military industrial complex, CIA, NSA, indefinite detention, state-sponsored assassinations, secret mass surveillance, and other massive infringements on liberty that we live under today.
Now, whenever I point this out, reform-oriented elements within the libertarian movement go on the attack against me. They exclaim, "Jacob, you are saying that the 19th century was a libertarian panacea, which it clearly wasn't!"
So, let me make it clear (once again): I am NOT saying that the 19th century was a libertarian panacea. I acknowledge that it wasn't. I am simply saying that 19th-century Americans achieved a society without the massive infringements on liberty mentioned above that we live under today.
Why is that important? Because it shows that it is possible to achieve a society without those massive infringements! That's what libertarian reformists do not want people to focus on. They want people to believe that genuine liberty is impossible to achieve — that it is a utopia — and therefore that libertarians and others should simply settle for reform measures and call them "free market approaches."
So, that's the first point: Freedom is possible.