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COMMENTARY

Libertarian tendencies

Although it is clear that Somalis did not evolve into a Libertarian society, it is also clear that they evolved towards it. It is critical to note that Libertarianism is a way of life and therefore an E-volution. It is not a RE-volution. As with any other evolutionary force, political evolution does not skip major steps. To demand that Political System Changes skip evolutionary stages is as ridiculous as to demand that birds evolve from fish directly without the intermediate dinosaur stage.

Furthermore, it is to be noted that a tribal organization is, to a certain measure, a Libertarian one because it is small by choice. The smaller the organization the more power there is in the hands of the people. This principle taken to its final conclusion lead directly to ultimate expression of personal power and freedom which is Libertarianism.

Goods, services and businessmen

We consider Somalian business people the real heroes of this tragic historic chapter. They maintained as best they could, a positive economic activity which helped and supported Somali people through their terrible odyssey. Without them we know that millions of people would have died. They had to face warlords, criminals, armed gangs, warfare, skirmishes, blood feuds, economic devastation, government intervention, personal safety, and many other deadly risks. Yet they stayed, made profits but helped their fellow people.

Other events and conditions

As Libertarians we would never have brought up Somalia as example of Libertarianism and/or Austrian Economics. This is a superfluous trivialization of a horrific chapter in human history. However, since our opposition forced our hand, we were forced to respond in kind.

We have demonstrated the power of unhindered Free Markets through the GDP and the negative impacts on the same indicator through government actions.

However, we have to point out that Somalia’s history is so complex that none of our explanations are perfect or absolute. They are rules of thumb; however ones that tend to be fairly accurate.

Furthermore, we cannot discard that many other events and conditions may have had an unknown effect on our studies, but to the best of our knowledge, all major factors were taken into consideration.

War economy

It is also clear that Somalia’s economy is not a normal one, but one that mixes business with war since to a degree war is business in Somalia. However, we need to point out that the ultimate goal for business is to make a profit, which cannot be made without selling a product or service. Our analysis was performed from this point of view.

Obviously none of the economic conditions were perfect and many were far from ideal. Economic disputes were settled by force. Militia was seen as “employment”. Pirating, hostage taking and kidnapping was fostered, and so on. However, at the end of the day, it is to be noted that “traditional” or “non-war related” economic activities overwhelmed war-related economic activities. In so far this is taken into consideration, we believe our analysis is correct and adequate.

CONCLUSION

With this post we expect the use of the Somalian argument as a disproof of Libertarianism and Austrian Economics to be concluded, closed and buried. Alas, it won’t be. There will always be people out there who will be non-believers. To those with honest challenges, we welcome. To those with nonsensical arguments and ramblings, we ignore.

It is now time to choose. Make it a good one.

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

 

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