I Am a Libertarian

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I am a libertarian. I am not Democrat or Republican. I am not liberal or conservative. I am not left or right. I am not moderate or progressive. I am not a Libertarian. I am not a fusionist. I am not a constitutionalist.

I am a libertarian. I am not thin or thick. I am not brutalist or humanitarian. I am not holist or solipsist. I am not moralist or consequentialist. I am not open or closed. I am not a modal, cosmopolitan, cultural, regime, sophisticated, or Beltway libertarian. I do not have a bleeding heart. I am not a neo, second wave, or millennial libertarian. I am a plain old libertarian, one who needs no labels, issues no caveats, and makes no apologies.

I am a libertarian. Libertarianism is a political philosophy concerned with the permissible use of force or violence. It is not a political philosophy that says limited government is the best kind of government. It is not a political philosophy that is socially liberal and economically conservative. It is not a political philosophy that says government is less efficient than the private sector. It is not a political philosophy that says freedom can be achieved by promoting some government policies over others. It is not a political philosophy that is low-tax liberalism. Libertarianism is not the absence of racism, sexism, homophobism, xenophobism, nationalism, nativism, classism, authoritarianism, patriarchy, inequality, or hierarchy. Libertarianism is not diversity or activism. Libertarianism is not egalitarianism. Libertarianism is not toleration or respect. Libertarianism is not a social attitude, lifestyle, or aesthetic sensibility.

I am a libertarian. I subscribe to the non-aggression principle that says, in the words of Murray Rothbard: “The only proper role of violence is to defend person and property against violence, that any use of violence that goes beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that everyone should be free of violent invasion, should be free to do as he sees fit except invade the person or property of another.” I am concerned with actions; I am not concerned with thoughts: I am concerned only with the negative consequences of thoughts. I believe that the non-aggression principle extends to government. Libertarians should therefore oppose or otherwise seek to limit the domestic and foreign meddling and intervention of governments, which are the greatest violators of the non-aggression principle.

I am a libertarian. I believe in the golden rule. I believe in live and let live. I believe that a person should be free to do anything he wants, as long as his conduct is peaceful. I believe that vices are not crimes.

I am a libertarian. Our enemy is the state. Our enemy is not religion, corporations, institutions, foundations, or organizations. These only have power to do us harm because of their connection with the state. And since war is the health of the state, the state’s military, wars, and foreign interventions must be opposed root and branch.

I am a libertarian. I believe in laissez faire. Anyone should be free to engage in any economic activity without license, permission, prohibition, or interference from the state. The government should not intervene in the economy in any way. Free trade agreements, educational vouchers, privatizing Social Security, etc., are not the least bit libertarian ideas.

I am a libertarian. The best government is no government. That government that governs least is the next best government. Government, as Voltaire said, at its best state is a necessary evil and at its worst state is an intolerable one. The best thing any government could do would be to simply leave us alone.

I am a libertarian. Taxation is government theft. The government doesn’t have a claim to a certain percentage of one’s income. The tax code doesn’t need to be simplified, shortened, fairer, or less intrusive. The tax rates don’t need to be made lower, flatter, fairer, equal, or less progressive. The income tax doesn’t need more or larger deductions, loopholes, shelters, credits, or exemptions. The whole rotten system needs to be abolished. People have the right to keep what they earn and decide for themselves what to do with their money: spend it, waste it, squander it, donate it, bequeath it, hoard it, invest it, burn it, gamble it.

I am a libertarian. I am not a libertine. I am not a hedonist. I am not a moral relativist. I am not a devotee of some alternative lifestyle. I am not a revolutionary. I am not a nihilist. I neither wish to associate nor aggress against those who are. I believe in the absolute freedom of association and discrimination.

I am a libertarian.

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