If you reveal yourself to have libertarian tendencies eventually you will be asked the question “If libertarianism works how come Somalia isn’t paradise?” If you botch the answer statists everywhere will rejoice, your questioner will mock you and the freedom movement will suffer dearly. It’s important to understand how to answer such an asinine question.
Typically, the person asking this type of question is hostile to libertarianism. They can be part of the comic book right, but more often are part of the busybody left. Understand, they aren’t really looking for an answer. All they are doing is making a smug comment with a question mark at the end.
So, what’s our strategy for answering this common and otherwise loaded question? Do we sit down and research the entire history of Somalia? Not necessary, although it is extremely fascinating. It might not be a bad idea to at least have an elementary understanding of the country, but there is no need to write a doctoral thesis on the Gobroon Dynasty. No, our strategy is to answer their simplistic question likewise with an simplistic statement. See below.
1) If the State works how come North Korea isn’t paradise?
2) If a democratic State with a mixed economy works how come the United States isn’t paradise?
3) Libertarianism is a political philosophy, not a magic spell. Somalia is an ancient country with an ancient culture, one that is almost entirely void of Western liberal thought. In addition to the cultural hurdles libertarianism has been expected to clear, the country has also faced thousands of years of conquest, war, famine, occupation and intervention. The fact that a decade and a half of stateless rule has yet to produce utopia is hardly proof that a society based on limited government isn’t possible.
4) Despite no formal central government, intervention from other governments is still rampant. The UN, USA, EU, BRICs and a host of other African nations have their hands all over Somalia. The United States still provides hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid. Only in the mind of a smarmy statist could a society this rife with government be considered stateless.
5) There is no such thing as paradise. But as far as cell service goes, Somalia is as close to it as you can get. The average Somalia pays less for wireless than you do despite facing 50 continuous years of war. How’s your corporatist State paradise?