Trends and Libertarianism

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Elements of Human Nature work against libertarianism; indirectly though, globalization and the arch of Whig History will be what drags societies into more libertarian outcomes.

Submitted: November 14, 2015

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Submitted: November 14, 2015



Trends and Libertarianism

Libertarianism, the Uphill Deterministic Battle.

Libertarianism: The belief that individual sovereignty should be maximized and the State/cohesive force should be minimized.

Whig history: Whig history presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment (Urquhart).

Using these two definitions, the case will be made that the long march of Whig history and progression to a more libertarian humanity are inevitable. However, libertarians will be surprised by the course societies take towards libertarianism and the form’s these “libertarian” societies will take. Several more essays will come in the future, further analyzing topics discussed in this paper and proving the overall thesis this paper makes. This paper analyzes certain aspects of “human nature” how these aspects work directly against libertarianism. However, what will be argued is that technology and current projections will end up being the tools that allows Whig History to produce ever more increasing libertarian societies.

Thesis: Elements of Human Nature work against libertarianism; indirectly though, globalization and the arch of Whig History will be what drags societies into more libertarian outcomes.

Section 1: Human Nature against Libertarianism

Human nature consists of both selfish characteristics and altruistic characteristics, with each human having different combinations of these characteristics. Differences in IQ, strength, fertility, and other factors due to genetics, social, and environmental factors also apply to humans. This makes human nature hard to generalize, analyze, and interpret. In defining human nature, this paper will look at mainly IQ and fertility to analyze the relationship between libertarianism and human nature.

Higher levels of IQ correlate strongly (though not exactly) with neither conservative nor liberal policies, but instead, with libertarian policies (TNS). A study by Noah Carl, an Oxford sociologist, concluded that although religious belief correlated with a lower IQ, republicans still scored higher on verbal intelligence, with the data showing that individuals that were more socially liberal and classically liberal on economic issues scored higher on the verbal IQ test (Carl). Individuals with an IQ three deviations above the average IQ tend to have more libertarian leanings than the general population (TNS). High incomes also correlate with higher IQ, though higher wealth does not necessarily correlate with higher IQ (Wade). Higher education and IQ also correlate strongly with a reduced fertility rate (Epiphenom). This correlations worldwide and within societies, and seems to suggest that human evolution and human nature seem to be pitted against libertarian societies developing. High IQ individuals tend to lean libertarian, higher levels of IQ also lead to greater wealth, but lower fertility. Global IQ has declined by over 2 points from 1950 to 2000, suggesting the world is becoming less intelligent (Lynn).  Individuals that lean away from libertarianism will produce more offspring and thus in a democratic society, outvote libertarian parties and polices. Undemocratic societies tend to be more authoritarian (small political bodies such as Hong Kong and Singapore are exceptions to some degree), which would lead to the conclusion libertarian experiments would be short lived ones unless there were strict fertility and/or immigration rules (defeating the point of having a libertarian society).

Section Two: The Trends

Global trends in economic and political freedom, along with lower fertility rates, religious rates worldwide, and with increased globalization and economic prosperity, seem to suggest that global civilization is being more interconnected and libertarian. Economic growth and wealth is generated via productivity gains (technology and science). Economic productivity leads to increases in supply, leading to higher wages and profits, which lead to higher standards of living and more investment in technology.

The patients, copyrights, and inventions for these technologies come almost exclusively from nation-states with greater economic freedom (and also political freedom). The improvements in standard of livings and greater quality of life reflect directly the fact these nations have more economic and political freedoms. Fortunately for libertarianism, economic freedom is on the rise the past 20 years worldwide. It seems as if the trends are beating human nature.

Economic freedom has increased from 57.6 in 1995 to 60.3 in 2014 (Miller).


Greater economic freedom also leads to more democratic governance, political freedoms, and social progress (social liberalism). Countries with higher levels of economic freedom experience higher levels of per capital income (Kim).


The global trends in both poverty and per capital GDP have correlated with the rising levels of economic freedom, increased international trade, and political freedoms. However, the short term bias of populist sentiment against both social liberalism and fiscal conservatism is still a strong factor worldwide. Nationalist, ethno-centrist, xenophobic, socialist, and populist platforms gain appeal during global downturns or periods of increased regional or local chaos. As can be seen from the economic freedom graph cited by Miller, global economic freedom declined during the recession, only making a significant gain in 2014.

Fortunately, despite what the news may portray, global conflict is down and has been decreasing steadily and predictable the past several decades. MID’s (Militarized Interstate disputes have declined drastically sense the 1960’s (Palmer), with the intentional deaths of civilians declining sense 1989 as well. The number of ongoing civil wars has also decreased drastically sense 1990 (Dobbins). Global trade has also increased from 20% of GDP in 1990 to 33% in 2008 (Mandel). Global trade, prosperity, economic/political freedoms, a decline in interstate warfare, civil war, and death of civilians has all correlated and gone hand and hand to some degree, sense World War Two, but strongly over the past two decades.

Section Three: The Future?

 The decline of global IQ, religious rates, fertility, and warfare, along with the increased economic and political freedom, social progress, interconnectedness, and economic prosperity generally point to a more libertarian future on a global scale and in the long run. Whig History once again is proven! However, the idea of a global libertarian paradise is currently farfetched and given current trends, not the likely outcome over the next several decades.

United Nations membership and “observer” status membership has gone up drastically sense its inception, with 51 members in 1945 and 190+ today (worldometers). Two trends can be observed. One, nation-states (especially ones that were under European colonial rule) will continue to break up into smaller countries. Two, more (European Union, African Union, Asian Development Bank, League of Arab Nations, etc) observer statuses will be granted to international organizations. As nation states break up and the world becomes more and more interconnected, international and transnational entities will gain more power, leading to the loss of sovereignty to a “regional” or “continental” entity in order for some nation-states to compete and maintain/expand the standard of living for their citizens. The European Union is an example of an attempt to establish a semi-sovereign regional political union. With the recent secession attempt of Scotland also gaining much traction (and almost passing), the idea of first world nation-states granting their provinces and local states more sovereignty will become more and more popular as well. Due to the economic success of mini-states such as Luxemburg and Singapore, and the success of small states that become interconnected with the global economy such as Switzerland, South Korea, Taiwan, etc, is appealing. The Regional unions provide both external security, political power, and enforce a common market and common economic laws/norms among its members. The nation-states/mini states thus, experiment with different economic tax codes and strive to maximize economic wealth and growth, maximizing political freedom and social progress as a result. At the end of the day, the winners are the masses and libertarian ideology.

The trends towards loss of nation-state sovereignty to regional political and economic unions, international trade treaties, and the increasing fragmentation of nation-states (more so in developing countries than developed countries) all serve to move a more global society to a more libertarian future. Regional Unions will develop standards that all nation state members will have to abide by to attract international capital and trade (and thus power). The higher the economic freedom index and more politically stable these member nations in the union are, the more international capital will be attracted. More wealth will lead to more social progress and more political freedoms. The international trade and capital flows serve as a major deterrence for countries to fight each other. Rogue regimes, such as North Korea, face the MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) doctrine from both the United States and other regional powers (China), deterring major conflict or disruption in the international system.


In this the increasingly interconnect global society, global capitalism is driving power increasingly towards entities that are the most efficient, profitable, and productive (regions such as East Asia, nation-states, localities, businesses, and individuals), and away from stagnant forces, violence, and totalitarian regimes/policies. No libertarian Utopia is on the way and the forces of populism, both left and right continue to push back against globalization. Thus, it is important that libertarian groups don’t take a passive or pessimistic approach, but rather, do exhibit strategies in order to continue to push back the populist authoritarian policies, both left and right. In the United States, it is especially important libertarian organizations and individuals do network and employ an “all of the above” strategy (discussed in an upcoming paper). It is important we do realize that progress is slow, but we also achieve and implement a sense of realism in our efforts.



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FRED. (2015). Federal Reserve Economic Data. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Economic Research. Retrieved from

Kim, Anthony. (2007, September 28). The Link between Economic Freedom and Human Rights. The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved from freedom-and-human-rights

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Palmer, Tom. (2013). Peace, Love, & Liberty. Washington D.C. Jameson Books, Inc.

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Wade, Lisa (2008, February 6). Correlations of IQ with Income and Wealth. The Society Pages.   Retrieved from

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