Somalia as a libertarian paradise?

September 6, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Some are claiming that Somalia is doing alright without any elected government, thank you.  Somalian have access to fairly good cell phone service and one can hire private bodyguards.  Prevalence of AIDS is extremely low compared to many other African countries (though many attribute this to strict Muslim practices regarding sexuality).

As this same article points out, however, things are going so “well” that the Somali 2004 presidential election had to be held in Kenya.  Consider, also, the BBC’s 2009 country profile of Somalia:

Somalia has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. Fighting between rival warlords and an inability to deal with famine and disease led to the deaths of up to one million people . . . [Somalia is the] scene of arguably Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis: a third of the population is dependent on food aid . . .  No effective government since 1991.

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Category: Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Jay Fraz says:

    All undeveloped 3rd world countries are libertarian paradises, strange, it is almost as if you put their policies into place,it even results in a 3rd world country. My word I am a genius, 3rd world economic policies = 3rd world. Just don't tell the libertarians, they will have to justify their circular logic by pointing to an extreme example that has nothing to do with the situation.

    The ONLY thing Somalia has going for it with no government is cheap cell phones, to call your private security. Otherwise your only security is private security companies, I'll let you guess how they 'compete' over customers.

    Of course libertarians automatically dismiss all real world examples of their philosophy. In fact that will be the next post from one, how Somalia isn't libertarian, it is 'insert system' because property rights did not magically fall into place for everyone and all poverty alleviated under the extreme FREEDOM!!

    In fact the people like the economic freedom so much they are trying to instill a government if that tells you anything.

  2. Michael says:

    Clearly, what the linked article is describing isn't libertarian. While there hasn't been a central government since 1991 there continues to be tribal law. This amounts to numerous small fiefdoms, each with its own laws and rules. The description of inter-tribal relations in the article illustrates tribes that are collectivist. A collectivist local government run by an authoritarian war lord such as is described in the article is completely anathema to libertarian philosophy that includes individualism, private property and non-aggression among its core tenets.

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