Why libertarians Fail to Gain Traction

While there seems to be an increased interest in libertarian values as of late, there is an inherent incompatibility with those values and its success in today's society.

Those who are Libertarians or have come to embrace libertarian values are faced with a conundrum. Libertarian values of self-direction, liberty, and accountability create independent people. People who realize that they, themselves, are or should be in control of their future.

In their independence they find a lesser need to form groups or coalitions whose goal is to organize and decide others' fate. Creating organizations whose cause is to control, determine, or repress another's actions is anathema to a libertarian's core beliefs.

Our political system has evolved (or devolved) into a contest between two groups, Republicans and Democrats, whose existences are derived from what they promise they can do for people through force or coercion of others, often finding common cause to prop up their organization's perpetuation.

Libertarians are able to rise to a cause when current directions of government attempts to restrict freedom and liberty reach a threshold unacceptable to individuals. Each individual's level of acceptance of these restraints and regulations differs, but as more are imposed the number of citizens embracing libertarian thought increases, as seen in the current political landscape.

At some point in time those in control of the political landscape and our lives come to the conclusion that they have reached a level of oppression that is unsustainable in the public eye as more individuals pull their support both monetarily and through the ballot box. The first more compelling to controlling parties than the latter. When this point is reached they will offer concessions to freedom, many times using false action or platitudes. When, with the help of media hype, they convince enough of us that they are again supporting our core values of liberty and freedom they put their ship back on the course of power, as many libertarian believing persons will find reasons to go on with their lives of perceived independence; their concerns satiated.

Creating an ongoing organization with enough critical mass to watchdog, if not lead, the efforts to provide protections for liberty continues to be elusive. It will remain elusive as long as individuals equate liberty only with how it affects their own personal liberty, not the liberty of all, as envisioned by several of our founders.

Self-determination in the sense of liberty does not relieve one of accountability or responsibility to others. Nor does it mean selfish behavior where one's liberty is at the expense of another's. Until the collective (yes, I used that word) consciousness reaches this conclusion libertarian beliefs will only be temporary aberrations of reaction and not a sustainable foundation for true change.