Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Does Libertarian charity exist?

tomatosoupI had lunch with a good friend today. We talked libertarian nutballs for a few minutes and then moved on to discuss some of the pillars of libertarian theory. Take the pillar that states government welfare could be replaced by private enterprise if given an opportunity. We hear about it all the time. Ron Paul referred to it as the "generous society" during his failed presidential bid. It is a theory that states people, companies, and social organizations would step up to take care of those in need if government programs ended. Although the theory is a nice-to-believe libertarian staple, practical experience and world travel tells me that the absence of a government safety net results in anarchy, neglect, and death. Some people or organizations step up, but its never enough. People starve, or die from infections, or are victimized in some other horrible way. The world is a hard place. Survival of the fittest should not extend to human society. Social Darwinism is not libertarian thinking. It is a libertarian mental illness.

Enough of my ranting. My real question, and the subject of today's friendly lunch discussion, are there any well-known libertarian charity efforts? I thought long and hard about the questions and came up dry. In fact, I cannot remember charity being discussed in any group meeting or online forum except as something other people would do if needed. I realize I have a limited sample size, but I just don't know of many local or national libertarian charities or charity events. I certainly don't see it at the local or State levels. We don't eat our own dog food. How sad is that?

People, and by people I mean non-libertarians, would take us more seriously if we were able to actually help the needy. Hell, if we could just organize a quarterly food drive it would help establish the principle that we practice what we preach; but we don't. Instead, we preach as if charity happens by libertarian magic.

Do you know of a libertarian charity effort? Drop me a note in the comments. I'd love to promote it here on my blog.

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