As a libertarian, I’m often told, “You’ll never get what you want” and “You’re being too idealistic.”
It’s true, the likelihood that we achieve a society free from all harmful coercion and where all transactions are peaceful is very slim. But is arguing for that being “too idealistic?”
If I believe that it is wrong for the institution known as the state to force peaceful people to act a certain way, then I should consistently condemn all instances of it. If I think that the Federal Reserve and central banking bring the most benefit to the elites of the world at the expense of everyone else, then I had better speak my conscience. If I think that the police should not enforce laws where there are no victims when the law is broken, then I ought to speak out when they do enforce them.
I should argue that it would be most ethical if these ceased to happen.
Somehow, doing each of those things will label me as being naïvely idealistic or even an ideologue. Since they fall within the status quo, it would be more difficult for someone to attempt to prove my views incorrect than it would to casually dismiss them. After all, most people, for example, don’t think that central banking is a bad thing, so why would they put in the effort to engage in an actual debate?
But regardless of whether someone agrees with my views or not, to accuse me of being “too idealistic” is absolutely absurd. If I think that the police should only enforce laws that protect people’s property rights, I would never say, “For the sake of pragmatism, I am okay with the enforcement of bad laws sometimes.” If I hold one thing to be right and another to be wrong, my views are meaningless if they can be arbitrarily trumped by a desire to appear to not be idealistic.
If that were not true, consider the idea that murder is also likely to never completely go away despite nearly every single person in the world acknowledging that it is immoral. Using the logic used against libertarians, because it’s probably going to remain with humanity forever, those ideologues against murder should be confronted with: “Why are you against murder? It’s always going to happen.”
Self-reflection is hugely important and it is good to be wary if your views tend to be static, but what’s the point of believing in something if you don’t believe it fully?