What is a Libertarian?

January 17, 2007

       I have to answer this question frequently by those that do not understand, and claim concern for the "greater good". Aren't Libertarians just cranky and selfish people?

       I can clearly answer, no, they are not. The Principle under which the Libertarian philosophy is founded is thus --

No human being has the right -- under any circumstances -- to initiate force against another human being, nor to advocate, threaten or delegate its initiation. --The Zero Aggression Principle

       The Libertarian point of view is not about always getting your way. It is about the freedom to make your own choices, and to bear the consequences of those choices. That means you choose whether to go armed or not. You choose what drugs you ingest. You choose what activities, no matter the risk level, that you will do. You, and no one else bears the consequences for those actions.

       However, if someone else DOES bear consequences for those actions, then you indeed must take that into account. Driving drunk has a good chance of hurting someone else, you are not "free" to drive drunk. Smoking is a proven harmful activity. You may not smoke where those that don't wish to be exposed will be exposed.

       Likewise, if consuming resources beyond the means of the planet to support is a problem, then it is aggression to someone else to do so. The "free market" is not a be all and end all of Libertarianism. (incidentally there is more than enough food to feed everyone. Politics is the problem, not lack of food.)

       It boils down to responsibility. The Libertarian is a competent, responsible, and accountable person. Anyone that tells you otherwise is not a Libertarian, or does not understand the philosophy.

       As a competent and responsible person I do not need nanny laws to control my behavior. I will wear my seatbelt without a law to tell me to. (In fact I have and do) I will watch my own diet, and yes, I do. I don't need the government telling me I cannot eat transfats.

       I do not need the government telling me what drugs I can and cannot buy. If I wish to risk my health on recreational drugs, I will do so in a safe manner to others. If I need prescription drugs I will consult with a medical professional as to whether I need them, which ones and what doses.

       I do not need the government telling me what arms I can or cannot carry. I will bear arms in a safe and responsible fashion. I will understand them, and know how to use them. A gun or a knife is just another tool. I would no more pick one up without learning it than I would use a table saw without understanding it.

       And, should I fail to abide by these responsible rules, I will be accountable and pay the consequences of my actions.

       Laws have never protected anyone. The Columbine Killers broke 15 separate laws in their rampage. Not one of those laws protected a single person. However, one teacher with a firearm could have protected the whole school.

The Libertarian is a competent, responsible, and accountable person.

       "Your right to swing your arm ends at the other fellow's nose." --The Tao of Phoenix



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