Where in history has libertarianism ever successfully been practiced? It seems a miserable failure in Somalia. What are the problems that you feel need to be "fixed"? I like much of what I read at the Mises site and other Libertarian internet gathering places, but I dislike and disagree with the majority of it. What would you call "socially progressive" and how can that be achieved through libertarian policy as opposed to our current system?
You’re right sort of. That is, if you define libertarianism as rothbardianism (anarchism) rather than Hayekianism (jeffersonian classical liberalism). Because the term ‘liberal’ was stolen by the progressive and socialist movements, the classical liberals adopted ‘libertarian’ under Hayek’d advice. The anarchists under rothbard adopted it as well, following the french tradition. (Realistically this division is a debate between the jewish and christian concepts of social order. and those two concepts are differentiated by the norms needed by land holding Christians and non-land holding jews.) At this moment, the anarchists and classical liberals are fighting over ownership of the self identifying label ‘libertarian’. This pair is, over the past two years, further breaking into ‘bleeding heart libertarians’ under the guidance of Horowitz, the Propertarians under Hoppe and people like myself, and the ‘libertarians" (anarchists) under the mises institute., and the more classical liberal republicans under the Cato institute, and the conservatives under the Heritage and other organizations.
So when you hear ‘libertarian’ most of the rhetoric on the web is driven the the Rothbardians under the Misesians. Because Lew Rockewell has succeeded in educating a legion of informed followers using the argumentative model developed by the marxists. That is why the ron paul effect is working. And the rest of us are trying to promote either private government that replaces political bureaucracy with private insurance companies, or some version of jeffersonian classical liberal institutions with updated principles that include libertarian economic insights – mostly those developed by Friedman, and legal insights, most of which are developed by Hayek and Sowell.
The conservatives meanwhile are relying on insights found from history that finally articulate the conservative position as something rational. These ideas are being provided by economic historians like Neal Ferguson, Religious historians like Karen Armstrong, and inadvertently by political historian Francis Fukuyama as well as hundreds of others. And then I’m in my little corner of the world trying to piece it all together as a consistent framework so that we can have rational rather than moralistic arguments.
So to answer your question: the reason you and I have the choice to argue about the ‘spoils’ of productivity from this classical liberal economy (libertarian economy) that we live in, is because unlike every other society on earth, we developed the rule of law (which means that the government is limited in what it can do by laws, it does not mean that we have to follow the laws). We developed rational debate, and the competition between powers in order to preserve that rule of law. And we developed the nuclear family in order to break bonds of consanguinity so that people would eschew corruption — something unique to the west — in order to be loyal to society and abstract rules, rather than family and tribe.
The trick in history it turns out is to produce innovation faster than the state and others can seek rents against that productivity. This feat is accomplished through property rights guaranteed by the rule of law.
So the answer to your question is that we live in libertarianism. It was successfully attacked by marxism, at the cost of 100M dead. It was attacked by socialism, at the cost of endemic corruption and poverty. It has been attacked by social democracy, which has played out as bankrupting the west. And finally it has been conquered through immigration.
The underlying question is whether we transfer from the productive who breed less to the unproductive who breed more. And that question has a dysgenic answer. That answer has resulted in the falling of westerners behind their ashkenazi peers. That is the best metric we use for a practical example of the result.