Thank you Corwin for sharing your dad’s post. I want to be respectful here and clear as I can, but I tend to ramble on at times. Please excuse me.
I have read his points. I have to agree with him on a few of them, one point when he shows the great, I mean great aversion to coercion hit the nail on the head. This is a core thing within libertarianism.
There are things that he, and others who do not understand libertarianism, missed. This will be a long response, please bear with me.
It isn’t right to lump libertarians with conservatives or the right wing. It is quite accurate to say libertarians and voluntaryists, anarchists, and agorists fall more in a field straight out, but equidistant to left and right winged politics – we see it more of as a grid than a straight line. We draw heavily from both the left and right, not just in ideology, but our members come from both left and right winged thinkers who grew over time into libertarians – myself included. Many people are quick to regurgitate the old, “the Koch brothers created the LP” and it’s all about Rand Paul, Ron Paul, and Ayn Rand etc. No, no it is not. I’ve never finished reading Ayn Rand. I can’t stand her dry ass sense of “literature”. It isn’t for me.
What is true – The Koch brothers attempted to run for office through the LP at one point; they thought their money and influence could get them places in the party. It didn’t work. They left. The guys who did create and found the party in the 1970s did so in CO as an antiwar movement.
In fact libertarians have always been:
1. About peace, antiwar except in direct defense.
2. Against manipulating, controlling, or interfering with other nations. The leaders of other countries are adults with their own minds and abilities. We have our own nation to run.
3. Pro property rights, which includes your mind, body, and physical properties including your own labor which you can exchange at will for goods and services with those who are equally willing in those exchanges.
4. Always opposed to acts of coercion, force, and fraud whether it come from government, individuals, or companies– except of course to defend self and others during an initiation of force/coercion/fraud.
5. Always for ending the war on drugs. – It failed and it has incarcerated more nonviolent people than really anything else has in the “free” world. It has caused the deaths and destruction of nations, individuals both in foreign countries and in the U. S. Look no further than the drug war for why we have so many immigrants coming across the border and the highest rate of incarcerated people in developed nations. The violence and regime changes in South America are in part or directly caused by American involvement and should be criminal by any humane standard out there. Locking up poor, minorities for drugs which they choose to deal; use etc. is no one’s business provided those individuals are guilt free of violence or theft.
6. Against the death penalty – no one wants to orchestrate the murder of potential innocents and we know that many innocents have died due to it.
7. Always opposed to government involvement in marriage. What consenting adults do should be the business of consenting adults. It NEVER should take a law for people to live as they choose provided they are not coercing, forcing people by doing it.
8. Prolife – the LP itself isprolife, because family planning is up to the family. Also, laws have not worked to resolve this issue. We feel education and compassion are the key actions needed to save unborn babies and to help mothers. The legal system has not and cannot provide. It has served as a divisive tool in election cycles and has aided politicians in hiding their crimes.
9. Supports Indigenous land rights and civil rights all of the time.
10. Supports open borders. Immigrants come here for opportunity or refuge, who are we to stop them? Should they commit a crime, there is a process to provide justice.
The LP itself has a consistent foundation for these issues. I have seen over time that the democrats will support civil rights when it is popular enough. I have seen republicans turn into a party of statists who no longer care about personal freedom and property and are more concerned with lining their pockets.
If I personally were to create a coalition to cross party lines – I’d be more likely to seek common ground with Greens and Independents. I feel the Ds and Rs are lost causes.
A Note About Me:
I came from the left, I believed at the time or independent at the very least. I grew up in a single parent home, I am by all appearances a minority female, I am far from privileged. I have encountered and experienced a wide range of pains and horrors in life that I may never fully divulge to the greater public – but have discussed some of it among select friends/family. I still ended up libertarian. Here is why:
I have always supported the aforementioned list of items the LP has supported since its inception in Colorado during the 1970s. Those issues are very important to me.
To add to that list:
1. I oppose government corruption above all else in politics. It is far reaching, exists at every level within every department. Running for office and meeting so many people, I have been able to hear the personal accounts of government workers admit to a variety of actions, which would be criminal for anyone else. Many candidates reluctantly have come around to opposing Citizen’s United. For me, CU is a joke. It’s smoke and mirrors. Super delegates for Hillary was another bit of proof, but the reality is (and I know it sounds conspiracy) corruption exists within election law itself on a state-by-state basis and on a national level.
I oppose how officials have violated their own oaths to office and do not follow their own limitations and guidelines with the public completely complicit.
2. I have studied and seen how government has created market limitations through their meddling and bribery by select businesses.
These things are going on because of government. People blame corporate greed, but ultimately it is up to our elected officials who are granted the trust of the people to provide justice who are to blame. Why? They are trusted with the power to provide justice and instead of doing so – took bribes, created law to benefit themselves and certain others. Companies cannot do that – only politicians can. This is why I think libertarians are especially hard on government. They take taxes, through force, supposedly to serve us, but then they sell us out for their own gain.
Government has created stagnation in education, healthcare, energy sources, internet/cable, banking and more, all of that for the favor of companies able to pay them.
The result of taking so many bribes:
• Laws written to benefit only politicians and/or companies at the expense of individuals, competing business, or small business.
• The deaths and incarceration of Americans and individuals in other nations. (this makes me sick) It targets the poor and minorities most.
• The ignored crimes of U. N. officials who enjoy diplomatic immunity (the U.N. largely supported by the U. S.). Some of these officials have inflicted rape and oppression upon people in developing nations. (This makes me sick). It’s disgusting to treat people this way and we Americans have allowed and supported our government with our lives, properties, and liberties for this. The world has existed under U. N. nation control and action for far too long – needless war after needless war.
• Limitations upon personal choice. Without competing industry we have less choice for jobs, higher costs, sometimes choices are completely eliminated (look at healthcare and big pharma and big farming). It disgusts me that so much is allowed because of government, which has led to high costs, limited access, and at the extreme death. Who passed the bad laws allowing big pharma so much control? Who passed the laws granting select HMOs the right to “compete”? Pharmaceuticals and HMOs didn’t pass the laws, our officials did. Corn syrup and sugar doesn’t need to be added to everything, but it is because of deals made with politicians to save big farming.
• Interference in the housing market caused the crash.
• Interference and saving big banks – our dollar value declines – we have bitcoin now being traded for precious metals. Yay USA.
• Spying on the American people. It’s been going on for a long time, but it’s never been more clear.
• Civil liberties disrespected – black people shot in the street without due process, without justice. FYI, this has affected people with mental disorders and physical disabilities too. It’s not as largely publicized.
• Unelected committees and agencies driving policy and procedures unknown to the public, among them NSA, but not exclusively.
• They have done harm to our own soldiers. They have broken promises to care for them.
I could create a book long list and provide links and names of officials who have divulged information to others and myself about government operations. However, I have done that in small amounts for the last few years.
Libertarians aren’t offering a specific solution. I would say we are not offering utopia or an end to human suffering. We are simply asking for respect and maximum choice for the individual. We have no inclination to oppose communal efforts provided they are 100% voluntary and open to many options to resolve social and economic ills.
We simply are admitting our government is so messed up, so criminal, so liable for murder, oppression, bribery, waging needless war, so bankrupt, so bought out that education, assistance, and our current market are not good enough for us anymore. I cannot be bribed with tiny bits of stolen property to placate me with the knowledge I have of how truly awful our leaders are. They are murderers, they stand on the backs of the oppressed, and they work with nations, select (not all) companies, lobbies, special interests, and for some reason people think that a bit of bad education, a bit of assistance, and an occasional “we stuck it to the rich man” is makes it all okay. It doesn’t to me.
It makes me sick beyond words to see how badly people have suffered due to government action and I am not talking about the rich, white, business owner. I am talking the single parent, the homeowner, the taxpayer, the poor, the minority, nations all over this world, and our indigenous people.
Should we have any government at all – it needs to be strictly limited to providing justice against fraud, force, and coercion as well as a strong defense if our nation is attacked.
I can see a way to helping those in need in many ways. I cannot see a justification for supporting government that is murderous in nature, that steals, that commits fraud to do so.
I think that is where libertarians are at. This is where we are coming from.
We respect our inherent (not government given) right to defend ourselves, seek our own methods of legal restitution, we respect our own and others rights to this and personal property, bodies, minds, money, labor, lives, and liberties. We all exist in this world as it is currently.
Likely, we will have a type of governing system, but it doesn’t need to be so huge. It doesn’t need to have so much power and it certainly isn’t justifiable to grant them the ability to kill, steal, and enslave on our behalf. Seems like a cheap trade off to me.