Texas Proves Libertarianism Doesn’t Work

Of course Ted Cruz left for Cancun: when government fails, it’s party time for libertarian Republicans!

Thom Hartmann
10 min readFeb 20, 2021


Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Here’s the one question that always stops libertarians dead in their tracks when they come on or call into my radio/TV program to proclaim the wonders of their political ideology:

“Please name one country, anywhere in the world, any time in the last 7000 years, where libertarianism has succeeded and produced general peace and prosperity?”

There literally is none. Nowhere. Not a single one. It has never happened. Ever.

If it had, that country would be on the tip of every Libertarian’s tongue, the way Democratic Socialists talk about Scandinavia where the full-on Social Democracy and regulated capitalism experiment has succeeded for generations.

Doing my show from Copenhagen a few years ago, I had one of that nation’s top conservative politicians on. “So, you’re one of the nation’s leading conservatives,” I said. “I guess that means you want to privatize Denmark’s national healthcare system?”

He blinked a few times, incredulous, and then said, bluntly, “Are you crazy?”

There are, of course, examples of governments that intentionally or unintentionally operate broadly along libertarian lines. Back in the 1980s when I was setting up international relief projects with the Salem organization based out of West Germany, I worked in several such countries.

They were places where the government’s only real function is to run the army, police and the courts, just like libertarians say America should be run. No social safety net, no Social Security, no national healthcare, no or few state-funded public schools, no publicly funded infrastructure of any consequence.

Back in 1981, I went to Uganda to set up a program that still runs there. This excerpt from my diary, later published in my book The Prophet’s Way, gives a glimpse of what we found in a country with a government whose only function at the time was police and the army:

Kampala, covering several square miles, is built on seven hilltops. Before its destruction, it must have been one of the world’s most beautiful



Thom Hartmann

America’s #1 progressive talk show host & NY Times bestselling author. Thom’s writings also appear at HartmannReport.com.