One thing that’s sort of fun to do, is to apply basic economic concepts to states.
For whatever reason, economists will apply lots of concepts to individuals and companies but not to states.
For example, the invisible hand is the theory that: “individuals’ efforts to maximize their own gains in a free market benefits society.”
Applied to states instead of individuals, the invisible hand argues for citizenism.
Libertarians, instead, tend to be global utilitarians. Frustratingly, they refuse to explain why they believe it’s positively good for individuals and companies to pursue their own interests but bad for states to do so.
It’s likely the libertarians would reply with statements like “governments use force” and so they’re bad, or something like that. But let’s look at the actual consequences of global utilitarianism at state level.
The Soviets, for example, undoubtedly believed that all their actions benefitted the future of the world. In the process, they killed millions. On the other hand, Lee Kuan Yew was just trying to stabilize his own unstable country. To do so, he blatantly pursued the interests of his own people over those of other peoples nearby. The result was one of the best places to live in the world.
Examples abound. It really shouldn’t be surprising that pursuing your own, more narrow self interest is always better than trying to save the world. The latter claim justifies any heinous action. Further, the knowledge problem makes it impossible anyway.
In general, the good old lessons of economics seem to have a lot going for them when applied to governments. If only someone would tell economists . . .