Friday, February 8

What is a Libertarian?

On this post yesterday, a commenter wrote that she was a Libertarian. I really don't know much about the libertarians so I decided to do a little research and find out about one of our nation's third-parties. Here are several definitions I found on the web:

According to Wikipedia, "the term libertarianism usually refers to a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, as long as they allow others the same liberty."

Another source said "Libertarians are frequently characterized as conservative on economic issues and liberal on personal issues."

This site defines it as a belief "that each person owns his own life and property, and has the right to make his own choices as to how he lives his life - as long as he simply respects the same right of others to do the same. Another way of saying this is that libertarians believe you should be free to do as you choose with your own life and property, as long as you don't harm the person and property of others."

A commenter on a Google message board offered this clarification, "It is not true that all Libertarians are against the use of force... Liberterians usually accept the authority of government, but only as long as it acts in a legitimate way and at the appropriate level. Authorities and overseers have their limit. Any ideologies that take away the right of an individual to free will and independent action, such as communism, oppose Libertarianism."

Okay, so how does that play out when it comes to issues? This site lists these issues as basic Libertarian policies:

"Most libertarians support: legalization of drugs, legalization of all consensual sexual acts between consenting adults (including sodomy and prostitution), abolition of government censorship in all its forms (including restrictions on pornography), free trade, noninterventionist foreign policy, abolition of rent control, abolition of the minimum wage, abolition of farm and business subsidies, abolition of arts subsidies, privatization of Social Security, abolition of welfare, and drastic reduction of taxes."

Now the mom in the comments who classified herself as a libertarian said she considered herself a "Libertarian with more conservative leanings on social issues." Knowing her personally, I'm pretty sure she doesn't approve legalizing drugs, all sexual acts or p*rn. I think these definitions might fit her better,

"principled advocates for individual freedom and responsibility - and the pure free-market private-enterprise economic system..."

"...status quo in America today is the semi-socialist, semi-fascist mixed-economy welfare-state - a system inimical to personal freedom and responsibility. Libertarians do not support such a system, and oppose any and all measures to expand it while favoring the total repeal of interventionist laws and regulatory agencies."

Please feel free to correct me, 2 Boys' Mom, if I'm misrepresenting you.

You'll find a quiz here to help you determine if you are a Libertarian. Also, although Ron Paul is running for President as a Republican, there are many who would like to see him run on the Libertarian ticket. We'll have to keep our eyes on that one.


2 Boys' Mom said...

You did not characterize my position incorrectly. I am definitely a social conservative. I do NOT believe in drug use, alcohol use, p*rn, or sex between those of the same gender. I Do believe that we are a Republic and not a least that is what the founding fathers intended... and as such we should have a free-market with private companies. The government should not be involved in all aspects of our daily life. Quit all the programs and go back to families taking care of families then we would not need the majority of the social programs we have today.
I think people should remember how we were founded and try to stay true to the Constitution. The Federalist papers would be good reading for anyone who truly wants to know the mindset of our founding fathers.

Ron Paul would definitely be my pick but he doesn't stand a chance. =(

The Gang's All Here! said...

I like 2BoysMoms' definitions of her personal stances. I am wondering, how does this differ from the official platform of the Independents? I've never done the research till this conversation today!

It's sooo interesting to see how far we've all come from the original founding fathers' blueprints, both good and bad journeys!

Anonymous said...

By saying you don't believe in drug use, alcohol, "p*rn", or homosexual behavior, are you suggesting that the government should insert itself more into personal matters? I have a hard time understanding how one can take the position that we should end all federal social programs and yet be more intrusive in private matters. It's like saying, I'm a Liberterian, except in cases where I want the government to enforce my personal morality on people and things that offend me. In the case of alcohol, are you advocating for a revival of the 18th Amendment? Maybe you're not saying this.

2 Boys' Mom said...

Dear anonymous,

I didn't say anywhere in my statement of what I believe that I am avocating taking away anyone's right to do what they want to do....that is the lovely thing about being an American. I personally am NOT a proponant of any of those things.

One thing that is amusing is that people feel there has to be a label put on everyone and then you must fit into that precise category. There are a lot of people who are Democrats but support the war, there are people who are Republicans but believe in abortion. I happen to think I'm more Liberitarian and have a conservative viewpoint on social issues. So yes, I think you were jumping to conclusions.

Anonymous said...

A description of Libertarianism I often use is this one from the 2004 Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Michael Badnarik.

"Libertarians are fiscally conservative, socially tolerant and constitutionally proper."

Additionally, a view of Libertarianism can be found when the question is asked, "Since people within the Libertarian Party sometimes differ on individual issues, are there no absolute truths in Libertarianism?"

The answer provides insight into the Libertarian philosophy and party ... Libertarians do share an absolute truth and it is "People have the right to control their own lives as long as they do not initiate the use of force or fraud against others."


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