One of the founders of the Libertarian Party, David F. Nolan, is credited with creating the Nolan Chart, which has been used ever since as a guide to understanding various political positions. Here are two different versions of it:
The higher you are on the chart, the more freedom you beleive in. If you beleive in more economic freedom and less personal freedom, you will be on the right (Conservative) side of the chart. If you beleive in less economic freedom and more personal freedom, you will be on the left (Liberal) side of the chart. Libertarians beleive in more freedom for both and Statists beleive in less freedom for both, while centrists have a mix of all positions.
The real problem with the chart is that it is misleading. I beleive in maximum freedom for individuals, both in their personal dealings and as small business owners. Sole proprietorships and partnerships should be as free from government interference as possible, the only exception being that anyone wanting to start a small business should be able to apply for a loan from the government, which they can pay back five or ten years later with interest (thus enabling the government to make a profit from helping establish the businesses).
So I beleive that governments should be severely restricted in how they can treat individuals. But for some reason, Libertarians insist on corporations having the same rights of free speech and property rights as individuals. This is unacceptable to me, since I see corporations as being more like governments than individuals. Corporations can have an infinite lifespan and can acquire an infinite amount of property and money. In a “free market”, small businesses with individual owners cannot withstand competition with giant corporations; it’s like a mouse trying to compete with an elephant. And when corporations become powerful enough, they are able to bribe or threaten the officials in the government to do their bidding by bailing them out when they face bankruptcy.
Bailouts and corporate mergers should be forbidden. Corporations, I beleive, should be treated the OPPOSITE of small business owners. They should be regulated and taxed heavily and never bailed out, but BOUGHT OUT by the government, which then may break up the corporation’s properties and sell to individuals who want to establish their own small businesses. Indeed, I would make it so that new corporations couldn’t even be established at all!
An industry with thousands of small business and no corporations would result in a far healthier economy than one dominated by a half dozen giant corporations, due to their being far more competition and less risk of massive economic damage from businesses failing. The thousands of small business owners would value their freedom and would translate that value into a classically liberal democratic government. But an economy dominated by giant corporations would consist mostly of people used to taking orders from a few powerful executives, the very essence of an authoritarian society.
And that is why Libertarianism is doomed to fail. It is absurd to put giant corporations and small businesses on the same playing field, for the corporations will inevitably crush them, just as giant empires tend to crush smaller nations. Quite simply, there is really no such things as a “free market”, nor will there ever be. The only true path to freedom and social justice is a Liberal or Centrist path. Not Libertarian. The very existence of giant corporations and their corrupting power makes Libertarianism a dream that will never become reality.