What are some characteristics of libertarian music

The libertarian utopia

Unfortunately, because of their analytical consistency and coherent logic, the libertarians are almost always terribly intolerant of other ideas, not least those of their liberal allies. Still, libertarianism should not be demonized.

For decades, left ideologues - who would naturally reject this characterization far from themselves - have been rioting against “neoliberalism”. The term is now almost thoughtlessly used for radical, exaggerated liberalism and market fundamentalism. Originally, in the period after the Second World War, he meant the exact opposite, namely moderate liberalism. In contrast to paleoliberalism with its laissez-faire, the neoliberals pleaded for a lean but strong state, for a social policy that would secure a livelihood, and for a competition policy. One result of this worldview was the upswing in Europe after the war, especially the "economic miracle" in Germany.

The state believers have now discovered the "libertarians" as a new enemy. The term has been used in the United States since the 1950s, when, in the wake of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, “liberal” increasingly stood for “social democratic” or even “socialist”. Supporters of a society based on personal responsibility and free contracts therefore had to describe themselves as classically liberals or liberals in the European sense - or as libertarians. Libertarians have a radical view of the economy and society. It is based on the philosophy of John Locke and the idea of ​​self-ownership, ownership of one's own body, which it is essential to protect. This results in the affirmation of the market economy and a completely "socially liberal" attitude.

Because state interventions, especially taxes, always affect this private property, a minarchist or even anarchist view of the state is derived from it. The pillar saints of the libertarians include above all the important representatives of the Austrian school of economics Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard. The great social philosopher Friedrich von Hayek, whom many libertarian groups carry on their behalf, is mostly too religious for them. So I remember a conference after Hayek's death, at which Hayek was insulted as a socialist by a prominent libertarian for approving building codes or systems of minimum social security in his magnum opus, “The Constitution of Freedom”.

Robert Musil writes in the "Man without Qualities" that nowadays only criminals dared to harm other people without a philosophical basis. Last but not least, libertarians see the concept of public goods and “service public” as a philosophical protective claim behind which life can be well hidden at the expense of others. That is why they strive for a society that is completely voluntary, comprehensive cost transparency and corresponding user financing, whether at universities, in traffic, in media consumption or in culture. From a liberal point of view, this is logical, but at the same time mostly quite utopian. In addition, because of their analytical consistency and coherent logic, the libertarians are unfortunately almost always frighteningly intolerant or at least unwilling to compromise towards other ideas, not least those of their liberal allies. Still, libertarianism should not be demonized. It can be used as a benchmark to see how far you are from the ideal in politics, and it is a stimulating intellectual thorn in the ideas of liberalism - no more, but also no less.

All previously published columns by Gerhard Schwarz can be found on our overview page.