I could see how a Libertarian society could work; I just couldn't see how to make it happen starting from welfare-state capitalism.
Then I realized, somewhere along the way, that it all has to do with habits of mind. When we habituate people to standing in line to receive government benefits that they haven't worked for, we teach them to be subservient, grasping, and dependent. Every time we inculcate our children with the idea of blind obedience to authority--
Wear your bicycle helmet or the policeman will get you or you'll fall, crack open your head and become a quadriplegic!
Good children color inside the lines!
Everybody deserves a medal because everybody tried real hard!
--we destroy a tiny bit of personal responsibility and independence.
I've come to believe that we only get so many of those independent brain cells to start out with, so every time we kill one it's an irreplaceable loss.
So here's my politically incorrect solution to passive societal dependence: raise your kids to question authority, to think outside the application form, and to be too damn proud of who they are to kowtow to anyone for a hand-out.
Let them learn that there are worse things than starving.
But try not to get yourself reported to the Division of Family Services for child abuse while you're at it.