- Capitalism and Alternatives -

The key difference between a classical liberal and a statist

Posted by: Shannon Medlock on June 20, 1999 at 14:31:16:

In my opinion, the root of statism is born out of a contempt for people and the belief that they are inherently bad, whereas libertarianism is a political-economic belief on the assumption that people are essentially good. Totalitarianism, whether in the form of communism or despotism, begins with the presupposition that people are unfit to rule themselves, whether because of mass stupidy, immorality or whatever; and therefore need rules, regulations, bureaucrats and despots to be ruled by. Totalitarianism also believes that the interests of individuals are antagonistic when left to themselves and therefore need to be subjected to nationalistic objectives such as war.

On the obverse side of the coin, classical liberals, libertarians and supporters of a free-market begin with the assumption that people are inherently good and are fit to be the sole arbitrators of their own lives. They believe that the individualistic interests of people are naturally compatible. Libertarians generally like people and think the best of them.

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