Many individuals have a severe misconception of libertarianism. Many think it is all about anarchy. Others think that it is a belief that anyone can do anything he or she wants without any regard for another individual. Nothing is further from the truth. Libertarians embrace the “good neighbor policy,” a policy of non-aggression, self-government, and volunteerism.
Libertarians believe that each individual has the right to live their life any way he or she chooses as long as the individual does not initiate aggression, such as theft, fraud, or physical harm, against another. In other words the individual decides if he or she will use drugs, drink alcohol, or participate in pornography. The individual decides how much to pay for certain types of work, how much money to save, and with whom to do business. All of these decisions are made without coercive force.
Libertarianism means the individual decision making of life’s choices is the control mechanism that restricts or expands the amount of activity in any business by others. There are no liquor boards, no boards issuing building permits or business licenses. The military in a libertarian society is only used for defensive measures, not to instigate regime change. A libertarian foreign policy is one where all individuals are allowed to trade with anyone, anywhere, anytime.
It is only when blackmail, coercion, or some other type of force is used that government force is to step in and force the aggressor to adhere to the contract, restitute the wronged party, and/or penalize the aggressor. When someone threatens aggression, libertarians defend themselves with whatever force is necessary to stop the aggressor, therefore government officials are also allowed to use government force in similar situations.
Most individuals practice libertarianism when dealing with their neighbors. Most individuals do not steal from their neighbor even if they think their neighbor is spending his money foolishly or in a way that they think the neighbor ought to spend it such as for a favorite charity.
Yet, at the same time most individuals feel justified in going to the polls and vote for a tax so that their favorite cause can obtain funding whether it is education, roads, or financial security. When individuals go to the polls and vote for such causes, individuals are demanding government to take their neighbor’s money and give it to someone else based upon majority vote. In retaliation, others call for votes on other matters resulting in the type of society that exists today, one where individuals fight each other for their causes instead of trying to persuade them, certainly not a libertarian one of non-aggression and self-government.
The process of voting for causes whether it is education, a sporting event stadium, or health care is also extremely costly since individuals now lose close to fifty percent of their buying power by paying for the middle-man government official that must take his cut of the tax collection, regulatory enforcement, and/or other costs.
Libertarianism, governing oneself, in addition to honoring one’s neighbor’s choice, also allows for more efficient use of tax-supported government activities such as police, fire, and judicial services.
Libertarianism is not perfect since not all individuals are peaceful. However, it is a practical win-win solution to many of the economic and societal woes that befall everyone. The rub, of course, is that in a libertarian society all individuals are responsible for their own lives and must pay the consequences of their decisions and are not able to force others to pay for them as now exists through the myriad of government programs.
The founders established as close to a libertarian society as possible when they wrote the United States Constitution severely restricting the activities in which the federal government could involve itself.
A libertarian society is one where the maximum number of people obtain what they desire a great majority of the time with less antagonism and animosity.
December 4 at the Booth Machinery conference hall at 6:30 PM Dr. Earl Taylor, President of the National Center for Constitutional Studies, will discuss the applicability of the Constitution to many of today’s world situations.
The Rushmore Presidents come to Yuma April 29.