You’re arguing against success.
In terms of quality of life, of safety, of security, of prosperity, and of individual rights, what are the most successful nations in human history? The answer’s obvious: the first-world democracies.
And what do all the first-world democracies have in common? Two things: they are all democracies of one type or another…and they all are significantly socialized (including America), and have been so socialized for fifty years or more.
Go live in a third-world democracy for a while (as I have done), and you’ll notice that governments are much smaller, much less intrusive to the lives of people. Taxes are not high (and often not enforceable). It is true that one is in many ways more free in such places than in an first-world democracy…as long as one has money.
But you’ll also notice that there’s no minimum wage, or (thanks to how small the government is) the minimum wage is not practically enforceable. Business competition is more fierce than here in America, and so businesses cut expenses to the bone…and since there’s no minimum wage, the workers get paid a pittance.
And when it comes to those who work in engineering and construction, either there’s no safety regulations or they are not enforced, as I saw when they came to install the decorative bars on the windows of my house. The man doing the arc-welding wore flip-flops, shorts, a tank top…and that’s it. No gloves, no leather jacket, no goggles, no long-sleeved shirt or long pants, no safety shoes. And you know what would have happened if he’d demanded such from his employer? He would have found himself out of a job, for there’s many others who’d gladly forego the safety equipment just to have a job that paid enough money to eat.
In other words, living in a third-world democracy gives one a very clear idea of how libertarian theory works in the real world.
Given what I’ve seen there, I’ll take the kind of “collectivist” socialism that ALL first-world democracies have any day of the week.