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Rebuttal of Argument #1

Libertarianism is a form of Political Theory and, when translated to reality, it becomes a Political System. It is the politics of one. You, me and everybody else are independent states of one with full sovereignty. It is therefore appropriate to analyze Libertarianism for what it is.

Note: when we talk about Political System Change, we are not describing a mere change in government, but a complete and permanent switch to a different form of government, for example from Monarchy to Democracy.

Which Political System are we talking about?

Before we even begin the process of rebutting the Argument #1, we need to identify the political system that Somali people considered “current”. In our lesson Political Systems Lifecycle we clearly state that from a people’s perspective a Political System is the one they believe in, not the one it is imposed upon them. This is so because lasting Political System changes can only occur if the people support them. So, let’s analyze what were Somalis thinking.

Somalis had a tribal system (Sultanates) since antiquity. Those tribes were subdued by force by British and Italians. Later on, they were de-colonized and forced by the UN into a country. This country was taken over by force and became a dictatorship.

So, what was the Political System that Somalis had in mind throughout all those many decades? Tribal.

How do we know this? Because as soon as they were free to choose, they did revert to a tribal system. In their view, the tribal system was the current one. This was so because they did not outgrow it. They were not ready for change.

Was the fall of the dictatorship a Political System change?

No. Although technically they did indeed switch from a dictatorship to a tribal system, in their minds they only regressed to the point they left.

Was then a political system change viable upon government dissolution?

To answer this question we need to answer another one: what is the process for people to move from one Political System to the next one?

In or lesson The Three Laws Of Political System Change we stated that the requirements for people to change political systems are:

1 – There must be a state of bad economic conditions

2 – There must be a further sudden and large decrease in economic conditions

3a – There must be a new Political System promising significant improvements in economic conditions or,

3b – There must be a complete and total disillusionment with the current Political System

Let’s see what happened.

Rule #1: yes, there was a state of bad economic conditions as seen in the GDP graph between the years 1990 and 1991 (these years giving rise to rebel groups).

Rule #2: yes, there was a further sudden and large decrease in economic conditions, a seen in the GDP graph between the years 1990 and 1991.

Rule #3a: Was there a new Political System promising significant improvements in economic conditions and if so which one? In other words, was there a widespread knowledge of Libertarianism promising a brighter future? No. But there was a widespread knowledge of Democracy promising a brighter future.

Rule #3b: Was there a total and complete disillusionment with the current political system? No. Somalis believed as they believe today in the tribal system.

As you can see, three rules were satisfied and therefore the conditions were viable for a Political System change.

Which Political System took over?

In our lesson Political Systems Lifecycle we stated that the nature of the Political System people change into, is always transitional. What is transitional?

A transitional Political System is one that:

  • promises to generate better economic conditions AND
  • it is somewhat related to the existing Political System.

But if Somalis reverted back to a tribal system, where is the change? In order to see the change, you must look closer. Yes, they reverted to tribal systems, but these systems adopted some administrative structures, legal concepts and procedures from the Dictatorship, which were in turn leftovers from the brief previous Democracy.

And so Somalis transitioned into the only Political System they could transition into: a tribal-based system with democratic influences.

Was there any chance they could transition into Libertarianism?

No. Somalis consider their tribal system as their “current” one. Until they outgrow this stage, they cannot evolve.

Somalis evolved into the only Political System they could evolved into and it could not have happened in any other way.

Are Somalis stuck in their current Political System?

No. Somalis are simply going through their own stages of Political Systems at their own pace as with everybody else (we also pointed this out in our lesson Political Systems Lifecycle). Eventually, when they outgrow the last one, they will fall into what was predicted in our lesson When Countries Dissolve and they will start changing into Libertarianism and Austrian Economics, as it is happening today in Argentina (our model).

Is Argument #1 false?

Very much so. Just because a Political System is superior to anything else, it does not mean it will be adopted instantaneously. There is a gigantic inertia in people’s minds against change. Change occurs slowly and only when there are overwhelming reasons to do so and, when it happens, there are always leftovers from the previous system.

It is totally, completely and utterly ridiculous to insist that Libertarians must come up with a “Magic Process” that enables instant Political Change into Libertarianism. When this process does not materialize and the change does not take place, they take this as proof of error. The world does not work in this manner, it never did.

There is an old saying in Chemistry: Thermodynamics will tell you if a chemical reaction can take place and in which direction will it move, while Kinetics will tell you how fast.

The same principles apply to Political Changes. Libertarianism tells us that Political Systems will inevitably move towards it, but the Process of Political System Change will tell you how fast. People arguing in terms of the “Magic Process” are dismissing reality, plain and simple.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

Continue to Somalia - the great austro-libertarian failure? - Part 3


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