Ten thousand years ago (or so), before the dawn of civilization, societies lived in libertarianism (is that true?): There was no central governance, no laws. And this led to where we are today: countries, nations, governments, regulations, etc.. And it led to this everywhere in the world.

Doesn't this indicate that libertarianism is flawed, since it is not sustainable?

  • What is your definition of libertarianism? Your question reads too broad or unclear. I don't understand your question at all.
    – Rathony
    Oct 15, 2016 at 12:06
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    This question does not deserve 5 downvotes. It only lacks strict definitions. People are allowed to make mistakes, misunderstand things, and even be totally wrong when asking the questions; that's what questions exist for. I saw similar questions many times (not only at SE), and I'm sure many people come here to get answers for questions like this. Check the excellent answer below to see why. @Lior, consider adding some context, and I will be happy to cast my reopen vote. Oct 16, 2016 at 2:04
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    @bytebuster This question deserves more than 10 downvotes and should not be answered because there is neither any answerable question nor research. Do you understand how SE works? If you want to answer this kind of question on other sites, feel free to go there and answer it.
    – Rathony
    Oct 16, 2016 at 18:51
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    @bytebuster - You might check out this SE blog post on "Good Subjective, Bad Subjective" blog.stackoverflow.com/2010/09/good-subjective-bad-subjective . I am voting to delete as this is a "bad subjective" question. Oct 17, 2016 at 18:19

1 Answer 1


Two thousand or so years ago, Rome was a democracy. Then it changed to an empire. Doesn't that show that democracy is unsustainable?

Ten thousand years ago (or so), before the dawn of civilization, societies lived in libertarianism (is that true?)

Libertarianism is not anarchy. Anarchy is what we had had prior to civilization, not libertarianism.

Under libertarianism, there are still "countries, nations, governments, regulations, etc.". It's just that there are fewer laws and regulations because libertarianism generally requires a higher bar than majority approval and is more restrictive of responses.

A lot of the problem with Roman democracy was that the state maintained large standing armies. This empowered generals (like Julius Caesar) to conquer Rome. A second problem is that many Romans found the society of the time rather decadent. Much of society was addicted to government spending on bread and circuses. Many Romans welcomed Caesar.

Note that a more libertarian Rome would have spent no government money on standing armies, bread, or circuses. Of course, it also would have been a lot smaller as well. And it might have been an easier target for other armies, although some would dispute that.

No form of society is inherently stable. Dictatorships tend to devolve into monarchies. Monarchies tend to devolve into democracies. Democracies devolve into dictatorships. Libertarianism is meant to knock off many of the rough edges of democracy. But it requires work to maintain. And people have to accept that not every result is going to be fair and good. Fixing those bad or unfair results moves us further towards tyranny, as the forces against fairness and goodness have as much influence as those for it.

Look at the gay wedding cake issue. Note that both sides feel that their position is right and equitable. But the two sides come to opposed results, even though they agree on many of the premises and data. Regardless of how it's handled, some group of people are going to be frustrated.

Governments are run by people. It's difficult for them to be more intelligent than the people that they serve. If anything, the tendency towards democratic compromise makes them dumber. A lot of libertarianism is about limiting the ability of the government to impose majority consensus on minorities. That's going to be resisted by those whose goal is to impose the majority consensus on some minority. I have the might therefore I have the right is a natural way of thinking. We've been doing it for tens of thousands of years.

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    I don't understand how you could answer this meaningless question and what your last paragraph means.
    – Rathony
    Oct 15, 2016 at 12:08
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    Who builds the roads tho? Oct 17, 2016 at 16:52
  • @hownowbrowncow Ever heard of a turnpike? Private enterprise can build roads. Maybe not all roads, but at least some of them.
    – Readin
    Apr 3, 2017 at 4:49

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