What Would a Free Society Look Like?

The Freeman
Feb. 04, 2013

From time to time someone asks me what I think a genuinely free society would look like. How would it be organized, and who, exactly, would build the roads? I know I’m not alone. My answer is always: I don’t know, and neither does anyone else.

In a sense, I’m a libertarian precisely because I understand why it’s impossible to answer that question any other way. I cannot accurately foretell what specific institutions, mores, and governance structure—let alone art and architecture—a free society would have. Will it be dominated by traditional nuclear families or same-sex marriages? Will its cities be monuments to mammon, or green and sustainable, or plain and ascetic? Will communities be small and gated or open and diverse?

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