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  • Writer's pictureAlan Stevens - AWAH - Libertarianism, Freedom.

Just Two Sets of Problems in the World

Freedom is the best way to cope with an unforgiving Universe.  It is also the way to eliminate the many problems caused by collectivist parasites.

There may seem to be innumerable problems in the world.  But they can be grouped into two overall sets of problems – one set reflecting reality and one caused by the state.  The good news is that Libertarianism enables humanity to cope as well as possible with one, unavoidable, set of problems, and eliminate the other set.


The first set of problems is that the Universe is a cold, dark place characterised by what economists call ‘scarcity’, where there is no natural abundance of the necessaries of life.  It doesn’t owe us a living.  Human beings have to work to get what they need to survive, like any other animal. 

Individual animals, and whole species, die if they can’t make a living – fundamentally, if they cannot extract the energy needed to power their lives.  Unfortunately, individuals eventually die anyway, even if they have been exemplary producers.  This is another hard fact of life.  Other hard facts include that men and women co-evolved to maximise reproductive success, not necessarily to be happy, and that some people are born unable to cope.

The only way for us to survive and reproduce is through cooperation with others.  Even then it may well still be slim pickings, at least until technology and capital accumulation can work their magic – and then only in somewhat free societies.  

Fortunately, human beings have evolved to be instinctive super co-operators. They love finding ways to combine different skills and aptitudes in specialised and sophisticated ways.  Over time, left to their own devices, people will create ever more intricate systems producing the goods and services needed to achieve and maintain peaceful and prosperous societies.  Such societies will also provide the charitable and mutualistic welfare, healthcare and education that statists wrongly assert only the state could or would provide. 

The most important systems which free societies spontaneously create are legal systems geared to just resolving disputes, (mainly) by compensating people whose persons or property have been injured or damaged.  The book ‘The Not So Wild Wild West’ illustrates how mining and ranching communities in the western United States territories created reliable independent common law style courts.  Effective protection of personal and property rights brought prosperity, as it always will. 

This is the libertarian insight.  Statists are desperate to conceal this truth from the public gaze.  But history, especially that of the comparatively libertarian English-speaking world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, shows that this insight is true.

Of course nothing can be perfect, even in a free society – that’s the nature of the Universe.


The second set is simply the sum of all those problems which are entirely or at least largely created by the existence of the state – unemployment, crime, congestion, inflation, falling living standards, homelessness, immigration, poverty, terrorism and aggressive war, deficient healthcare etc.

There are always people who prefer to live by stealing things that other people worked to create.  An effective common law system minimises the number of such people because they couldn’t afford repeated restitution awards made against them.  The current justice system subsidises crime by not making criminals pay restitution to victims, and providing free accommodation in prisons.  In a free society crime wouldn’t pay and honest toil would pay much, much better.

I am not going to explain here how it is that libertarian legal arrangements enable people to address the task of meeting all genuine human needs and aspirations.  Nor will I explain again why central planning, collectivism and other parasitic creeds can only make things worse, eventually a lot worse.  I have explained these things in a hundred posts available at, and on my Awah’s Libertarian Forum Substack.  


The state is an association of people who live by robbing and bullying people.  Most don’t want to get their hands dirty doing the thieving themselves.  They deform the legal system into something that won’t protect the individual’s property and person from their selfishness.  Justice comes to serve the rulers, their thugs, tarts, officials and dependents.

The state is a massive societal parasite which gets in everyone’s way and incentivises more and more people to cease productive effort.  In William McNeill’s magisterial work ‘Plagues and Peoples’, history is interpreted in terms of the interaction between impoverished and malnourished agrarian populations struggling to survive, and micro-parasites (worms and germs) and macro-parasites (states).  Both parasites extract energy and resources from people, often reducing them to misery, starvation and death.  Often human populations were unable to expand in the face of particularly virulent micro and macro-parasites.   

As far as micro-parasites are concerned, humans lived under intense evolutionary pressure to develop immunity to new diseases.  Fortunately, Old World populations, after thousands of years of plagues, developed inheritable immunity to serious disease (unlike New World populations which were accidentally nearly wiped out by Old World diseases from 1492 onwards).  Once the hydrocarbon-powered Industrial Revolution got properly under way, improved nutrition and sanitation hastened the demise of infectious disease as a killer.  

That leaves problems stemming from macro-parasites, in other words, states.  We have had thousands of years of repetitive and bloody, Game of Thrones style, history.  In all that time, elites struggled to extract food and resources from peasants achieving a bare subsistence. 

Extraction required stripping the populace of legal protection for their persons and property to make it easier to shaft them. The absence of legal protection perpetuated poverty.  Because of their own insatiable hunger, and refusal ever to relinquish any portion of their privilege, macro-parasite regimes collapsed anyway, causing disorder and more misery.   

Fortunately, the liberal (in fact ‘libertarian’) revolution which began with Britain’s Glorious Revolution in 1688 created strong protections for people and their property.  It enabled, indeed made inevitable, a steady increase in prosperity for the mass of the population. 

Argentinian President Milei explained this to the WEF globalist ghouls gathered last spring at Davos.  There was no improvement in general standard of living, certainly no mass affluence, until the advent of classical liberalism.  We owe Milei a great deal for explaining these facts.

The success of classical liberalism (small-state libertarianism) stems from its being a macro-parasite suppression protocol.  In its time, it got rid of many of the problems which macro-parasites create, and which they use to justify their self-interested meddling and theft.

Liberty works by establishing effective legal protection of private property, including property rights in one’s own person (freedom of speech, association etc).  It made innovation, saving and investment viable strategies for the general population for the first time (previously such activities normally led to repression and confiscation).  Hey presto, progress and prosperity ensued.  It’s a miracle!

The formula works as long as public opinion and constitutional arrangements uphold liberty.  Unfortunately, elites resented the rise of newly prosperous plebs.  They espoused collectivist policies of a generally Marxist hue to justify suppressing the populations’ right to liberty and property. 

It is a paradox of classical liberalism that economic freedom created the resources for its own destruction. Tax revenues went up.  Elites could pay for warfare against non-Western societies, and eventually against each other.  The debilitating results of two World Wars strengthened elite state power everywhere. 

The fatal flaw in classical liberalism is that a small coercive state apparatus is allowed to survive.  It eventually will feed off the resources created by affluence to restart cycles of war and mass impoverishment.  Davos and the Intelligence Blob are merely manifestations of this unpleasant fact.  The state tumour grows back.  Hence the need for no-state solutions. The prize awaiting humanity is world-wide prosperity and peace.

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