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Examples of Libertarianish Countries

June 20, 2013

A political philosophy is only as good as the outcomes in a country which models it. “It hasn’t really been tried.” or “It would work if the people implementing it believed in it more” are weak excuses. If you can’t find a country run by people who more-or-less follow your approach that isn’t a total hellhole, your political philosophy is nonsense. If you are a radical, countries closer to your ideal should be noticeably more pleasant places to live than countries further away from your ideal.

Here is a list of democracies (determined by a 1 or 2 ranking from Freedom House over the last 10 years), whose Heritage Freedom Index is at least 50. That is sufficient for me to deem them free enough that I would consider their political systems to be acceptably close to the libertarian ideal of freedom and democracy.
List of acceptable countries

Notably absent from this list is Singapore, which is not a democracy. Although it is only partly free politically, individual polices do not impose on its citizen’s freedoms nearly as much as other dictatorships. It is an exception which proves the rule that personal freedom improves aggregate outcomes.

Libertarianism’s critics cannot accurately say that it has never been attempted. Countries which are closer to the libertarian ideals are significantly better places to live than countries which are further away.

Looks like Michael Lind doesn’t agree with me

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Noel Lawrence permalink
    July 10, 2013 4:53 pm

    Anyhow, I digressed all over the place here. I think many European countries do enjoy more political and personal freedom than America. Persuade me otherwise. And if it is true, what does it mean?

  2. August 11, 2013 10:49 pm

    Yes, you’re right and Michael Lind is wrong. As a general rule, countries are good places to live in direct proportion to the degree that they are libertarian.

    So the best places in the world to live are: Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Canada, etc.

    Other than the fact that Canada is way too cold, and has winter days that are much too short, that’s clearly true.

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