An Idea

Jun. 11th, 2009 12:35 pm
nightchrome: (self)
[personal profile] nightchrome
I've been seeing a lot of people ragging on libertarians (little l, the big L ones deserve it) lately and it got me to thinking a bit this morning. I thought I'd write down some of what I was thinking. The vast majority of people seem to not really understand libertarians, and lump them in a pile with UFO nutjobs, 9-11 truthers, and bizarre crackpots in general.

The way I see it, libertarianism is less of a point on the political spectrum and more of a philosophy or way of life.
An analogy I came to this morning was that as a libertarian, I'm a lot like a pacifist serving in the military during a war. I participate because I have to, but refuse to do what my conscience won't allow. As a practical person, I acknowledge that there's a war on, that there's going to be fighting, and that it is completely irrational to believe everyone will just lay down their weapons and be peaceful. But that doesn't stop me from refraining from violence myself, and trying to convince others that violence isn't the answer, and to stop as well. In that sense, it's more of an idealistic approach to things, but is no less important or valid because of it.

A lot of people who get past the caricatures and generalizations about libertarianism and understand the core principles wind up dismissing it because it's "not workable in the real world". Neither is pacifism, but that doesn't stop people from trying to be better human beings.
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June 2010

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