I am constantly amazed at how libertarians put unlimited faith in the supposed ego-driven autonomy of every individual without the benefit of any state or government. Putting aside the obvious excesses that our current regime is imposing on its (presumed) citizenry, this is no reason to throw out the very concept of the state. The state is essential to the survival and welfare of the citizens who compose that state.
If one wants to see the results of what unrestrained libertarianism looks like, look at the hordes of derelicts infesting the streets of California, Oregon, and Washington state. This is libertarianism writ large — a Libertarian Hellhole. People are not just individuals, they are members of a society. And if society fails to meet the needs of its members, leaving them at all times and in all circumstances to their own devices, and those people who for whatever reason cannot or will not manage their so-called private affairs in a legal way and in a manner that meets the bare minimum of what a responsible citizen should do, then the state has the right and obligation to intervene.
Drug addicts frequently if not always cannot break their habit on their own. Whether it’s liquor, or meth, or fentanyl-laced marijuana, or heroin the notion that addicted individuals can or will voluntarily kick their habit is fatuous at best, and destructive to society at large if ignored as the addicts commit thefts and other crimes in order to continue their habit.
Admittedly, we live in an era when global corporations and high taxes are driving the middle class into poverty and the lower class into bare subsistence. So not all homeless are there due to drug addiction. But for the latter, the best thing for them — as many recovering former addicts freely say — is to get arrested and detained where they have no choice but to kick their habit. Many ex-addicts openly declare that they would never have kicked their habit if they had not been arrested.
In former more civilized times, many locales had what were called County Work Homes where derelicts and addicts would be housed. They would receive room and board and some medical care and would be required to undertake socially useful tasks like hoeing fields until they could become useful members of society again. For many, this would be the best alternative to a short brutal life on the streets snared in a life of drug abuse and crime. But you won’t find any libertarians agreeable to this.
I recently made a comment that perhaps Texas should share its oil revenues from state-owned land with Texas citizens, as Alaska does. I was met with a storm of criticism from libertarians who remain opposed not merely to any form of “welfare”, as if state funds were not in fact owned by the citizens of that state, but to the very concept of a state. This is so wrong-headed that I can hardly believe anyone accepts this.
Of course, I am strongly in favor of Texas independence. But this is not due to any fantasy that once independent there will be no more state, and no more taxes like many local libertarians believe. On the contrary, if independence ever comes, the Nation of Texas will have to immediately institute a national income tax and its own Internal Revenue Service. County Work Houses and sharing of oil revenues would be good steps in the direction of a stable independent nation. My support of Texas independence comes from the unconstitutional excesses of the illegal regime in DC, not from some non-state non-entity that libertarians wish for which would only have the effect of bringing a West Coast Libertarian Hellhole to Texas cities.