The Free Market and the Afterlife

The cure for poverty is wealth. The free market is the best way of generating wealth. Therefore, the free market is the best poverty alleviation mechanism yet found. We know this to be true, several hundred million Chinese lifted out of poverty since the reforms of Deng Xiaoping in the 80’s, amongst other examples prove it without doubt.

But not all forms of human poverty are poverty of wealth.any forms of poverty are of the mind or of the spirit.  Libertarianism is often associated with atheism, and a lot of libertarians would be secular.   It’s possible that we underestimate the role religion can play in the minds of people.

If you are a person of faith, and of sufficient strong faith that you believe that what you do on this earth is but a prelude to the afterlife, and that the BEST thing you can do in this life is assure your acceptance into the next, the lure of the free market is not a strong one . What is promise of a life of abundance in the here-and-now compared to the supernatural abundance and supernatural joy of the yet-to-come? If liberty, peace and earthly pleasures are but a distraction on the steep and narrow road to paradise, then the free market is a source of temptation, not salvation

Image result for heaven and hell

Furthermore, if your belief demands that you crush all that is not of your belief, indeed, rewards you with a shortcut to paradise for making war on non believers, you are then thoroughly inoculated from any of the peaceful coexistence and understanding that the free market may bestow upon you as a corollary to your engaging in trade.

We as libertarians think that we can get along with all people once we remove government interference in the market, and that peaceful trade will smooth out the peaks and troughs of human aggression. But Libertarianism is a purely secular philosophy, with purely secular and natural rewards.  It will never compete with ideologies that reward on the supernatural level.

Humans are tribal, and they fear death. We generally will stick with those we feel share our values, and we will always hope that maybe death is not final. Libertarianism will never speak to these questions, it cannot.  Opening our borders in the hope that sufficient application of the free market will make our society perfectly frictionless is naive. Importing populations whose time horizons stretch to everlasting life and use violence as the means to achieve it will never integrate into a society which has only temporal and secular gains as its only advantage. The imported population may have its own plans, in any case.

Libertarianism in its most extreme form is as ignorant about human nature as communism.

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