Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Libertarian

As I’ve become more and more disenchanted with organized anything – religion, movements, unions and maybe mostly, political parties, I’ve wondered what do I stand for? I finally figured it out – I’m a Libertarian.

The two main definitions of Libertarian are:

1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
2. One who believes in free will.

And what exactly is free will?

1. The ability or discretion to choose; free choice.
2. The power of making free choices that is unconstrained by external circumstances or by an agency such as fate or divine will.

Perfect. Keep those bureaucrats and clerics out of my life. So:

1. A woman should have the freedom to choose whether to have a baby or not.
2. A man or woman should be free to choose a mate of any gender.
3. Or any number for that matter. So we should have the right to practice polygamy or polyandry.
4. I shouldn’t have to pray or salute the flag or follow symbols others think are important.

And on and on.

Having said that, I don’t want to be so broad minded my brains are falling out. It is fine to have laws to protect us from those that would do us harm. So long as we have nation states there is a role for government. Citizens should expect support if circumstances they can’t control keep them from having food to eat, clothes on their back, a roof over their head, basic health care or an education.

I recognize that some will say I can’t have it both ways. I can’t stand for libertarian principles and still insist on state intervention in certain areas of our lives. I say, “Yes I can.” I’m arguing for libertarianism as a place to stand, a context, not as a new set of rules to replace rules I don’t like. I’m arguing for an organizing principle, not a new organization.

It’s fine for you to disagree. After all, that’s your right.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

Some Days your blog makes so much sense it makes me want to scream at the world and wonder why our tribe(s) seem so bent on ignorance and self-destruction. I guess that is why I struggle to remain an idealist -- even in the face of all this non-sense. As a friend of ours who spent 16 years in political isolation once said, "you have to create your reason for being" every day -- somedays it is harder than others.

Thanks for hanging in there !!!

7:36 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

I have struggled this year with my son Ben's choice of the Libertarian party (he is 14). As a democrat working in the human services, I fight his logic with what I sense is NEEDED for society. Yet last week I listened to disability advocate Tom Nerney speak on the history of nursing homes and Medicare and Medicaid and I stopped fighting and started listening. It may be true that government services are needed to fill the gaps in service that no private industry will carry, but at some point the system has become polluted and started maintaining industrial "services" that cause great harm while touting the need of our seniors and people of all aes with disability. I need to listen more closely I think, to individuals... including my son. ~ Megan

8:13 PM  

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