Do Libertarians Hate The Homeless?

by Libertarian Country January 17, 2023

Do Libertarians Hate The Homeless?

In the time-honored leftist tradition, it's customary to accuse libertarians of hating the poor and homeless simply because libertarians are against government-run social welfare programs.

They're also against corporate welfare and big business bailouts, but the ardent leftist concentrates only on what can make the libertarian look like an inhuman monster.

Nothing new.

Observe Frédéric Bastiat's early 19th Century criticism: "Every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

Libertarians are against force and theft. If the government forces you to be charitable, it is not charity. The virtue disappears.

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The reality is that most people have compassion, empathy or sympathy for the poor and homeless. Moreover, most people--in some capacity--wish to help the poor. However, they do not want their donations to be extortion.

It's like a 15% gratuity being added to your dinner bill. You were going to tip 22%, but now that you've effectively been robbed, 15% will be just fine for tonight.

I can't say that there aren't libertarians who hate the poor. I'm sure they exist. But I've never met a libertarian who hates the poor. I've never met anyone who felt that way about the poor, to be honest, regardless of their politics.

What's essential to understand, though, is that it is irrelevant how a libertarian personally feels about a poor or homeless person. What matters most is the principles that allow them to, with integrity and authenticity, call themselves libertarian.

Vlad the Impaler (The Real Dracula) was said to have invited all the village's homeless, handicapped and sick people to a banquet. Once they finished eating, the doors closed, and the building was burned with them inside, unable to escape.

The idea that the poor and homeless are sub-human is a very real and horrifying thing that permeates the chronicles of human civilization.

The libertarian stands firmly against the notion that wealth is a deciding factor in determining individual rights. They steadfastly stand against any law or act of tyranny that subjects the homeless or poor to mistreatment or abuse. Inalienable rights transcend the socio-economic spectrum.

The leftist will interject to state that housing, healthcare, and food are human rights.

They are correct that everyone possesses the immutable right to obtain housing, healthcare, and food. No one has the authority to prevent an individual from eating, seeking medical attention, or buying property.

However, libertarians believe that the pursuit of obtaining housing, food, and healthcare must be executed in a voluntary exchange between all parties. Individuals can purchase these items for themselves, or someone may offer them as charity. The government should not be able to steal money from an individual to pay for these transactions for another person.

The principled libertarian stands for the inalienable rights of all people, and against government theft. For this, they are accused of hating the poor.

For more information, see What is Libertarianism?

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