For my own peace of mind, I've come to view a certain percentage of non-liberty (coercion) to be a sociological constant. (Perhaps even a spiritual one, but sociological will do here for sake of explanation.)
Like gravity, it's an immutable force with which we must daily reckon ourselves to. While it can be minimized and even temporarily suspended, it cannot be eliminated.
This is my theory, and I base it partly on the observation that nothing in life is 100% efficient. Even the best of race-car engines use at most 40% of their fuel's energy.
A perfectly libertarian world would have no, for example, economic "gravity"
(i.e., coercive misallocation) and hence is 100% efficient in that regard.
Even if we managed to reach such a height, I strongly doubt that it could be maintained over generations.
So, I've generally come to terms with our difficult world. There will be no perfect liberty, not soon...and not ever.
There will be no gold-backed money not interfered with by rapacious government. There will be no sovereign right to travel not hampered by the highway patrol. There will be no control of one's diet without interest by the FDA, DEA, etc.
Government is not the problem, as if some outside force. People are themselves the problem, and they make their own problems those of others'.
More people are willing to coerce (or indirectly employ coercion)than not.
Their system of coercion is deeply embedded, reliably funded, and popularly supported. It has acquired, effectively, the status of a force of nature.
Even if Mars were tomorrow colonized by 100,000 libertarians, I'd bet thatwithin just a lifespan or three it would devolve to a hybrid system similar to what we have today in America. Why? Because libertarianism, though a fine inter-personal paradigm, is notoriously lacking as an intrapersonal solution.
People will continue to be people. Thus, they will continue to avoid personal spiritual growth through a variety of well-honed techniques:
~ nondelay of gratification (i.e., pain avoidance)
~ nonacceptance of responsibility (i.e., pain avoidance)
~ avoidance of uncomfortable truths (i.e., pain avoidance)
~ inability to balance (i.e., pain avoidance)
People will often enough try to take the (seemingly) easier way out to avoid pain, even at the expense of others.
(M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Travelled is a superb work on this.)
People are people. Libertarians and Objectivists included . . . and sometimes especially.
There will continue to exist a sufficient number of people who will band together for successful systems of coercion. In America, we once had a very viable country, the product of freedom technology. And Americans messed it up.
Really, the only remaining question is how much non-liberty will you accept as a fact of life, in order to enjoy the balance of liberty you do enjoy? Railing against the state can become as fruitless as railing against the weather, or gravity.America will never become a libertarian utopia, and neither will NH or Wyoming.
We can, of course, help to improve things and reduce the overall weight of coercion, but we'll never totally free ourselves of that weight. Thus, the trick is becoming strong enough to bear it on our backs, and no longer notice it.
I do not notice the weight of my legs as I walk. We walk without conscious effort. We must become strong enough to make the omnipresent weight of government a unconscious matter.
The best revenge is not "living well" but living joyfully. Root out what attempts to steal your joy, for that is the real enemy of life.
Excessive dissatisfaction of the world and its institutions will steal one's joy.
Daily strive to:
~ delay immediate gratification for a deeper one later
~ accept responsibility
~ dedicate yourself to truth and reality, at all costs (change
your "map" when necessary)
~ keep all things in balance
...and endeavor to associate only with others who do. That done, the burdens and coercions and inefficiencies of this life simply must be accepted and thus ignored. But they cannot be made moot until you've first recognized them for their relentless existence.
And until one rejects utopian notions (either on this planet or on others) regarding essentially dystopian beings, one will continue to chew one's elbows over government, the police, regulations, taxes, and the rest.
Meanwhile, one's life passes by, second by second, frustrated and joyless.
No coercive system or their agents deserve such a thorough victory, so easily won by default.
Boston T. Party