My economic/political/societal leanings explained, and why you should care!

6 06 2009

I figured I should get this out of the way before I get to many posts into this blog: if it hasn’t already become apparent, I consider myself a classical liberal, or as those are called today (sometimes derisively), a libertarian.

This would make a bitchn' tattoo.  Alternate version here.

This would make a bitchin' tattoo.

As in, “You heartless libertarian!  You’d get rid of public schools and libraries and fire departments and bow down before the fascist corporatocracy [no, I didn’t make that one up] and all you care about is profit and you’re just a mean person all around!”  Sometimes the criticism is more coherent and less whiny.  Only sometimes.

Ocasionally, the arguments against libertarianism have a grain of truth in them—like the part about public schools.  Yes, ideally, there would be no public schools (in the form that they exist now, at least).  But that only seems cruel and harsh because the same critics who are eager to scold me as closed-minded and heartless are totally unwilling to even consider any alternatives to the status quo that libertarianism can offer (fully read link for massive dose of irony).*

I believe pretty damn strongly in the value of personal liberty and potential of the individual to succeed when left to his or her own devices.  I believe, and history demonstrates, that societies and governments that protect this individualism are superior (I’m also not afraid use superlatives in a world fraught with relativism) to those that do not.  I also believe that all things considered, we have a pretty good thing going right here, in the United States (well, not so much now, but not because of libertariansm), and it can get even better it we don’t neglect the ideals this nation was founded on—since the ideals and ideas are what really matters.

Founding Documents!  Get excited!

Founding Documents! Get excited!

Enough about what I think—why should you care?  Well, from my perspective, a return to classical liberalism/libertarianism/individualism in this country, and the world at large, is inevitable.  People want to be free.  Most people do, at least.  We enjoy a pretty high degree of freedom here in the States, and I appreciate that.  But both the dominating political ideologies—conservatism and liberalism—are bastardizations of the classical liberal ideals that this country was built on.

All right, bastardization is kind of a harsh term.  But they are both offshoots that imperfectly reflect libertarianism’s core value, individualism; both have some hangup or another, as supporters of either ideology are more than happy to point out about the other.  Instead of choosing economic liberty (fiscal conservatism) or personal liberty (social liberalism), why not choose both?

It’s like conservatism, liberalism, and libertarianism are all modes of travel trying to bring people from poverty and oppression to prosperity and liberty.  Liberalism is like Amtrak; it seems like a good idea, but it breaks down frequently and never seems to deliver you, on time, to the final destination as promised.  Conservatism is…also like Amtrak, I guess.  Whereas libertariansm is like a zeppelin, crusing miles above ground on a tranquil current of intellectual consistiency and clarity.

That analogy was poorly though out and wasn’t really going anywhere, I just wanted an excuse to bring zeppelins into this picture.  So ride the zeppelin—it’s filled with helium this time.

Cocktails+altitude=megabuzz

Cocktails+altitude=megabuzz. Waaay better than Amtrak.

I didn’t really get into why I consider myself a libertarian too deeply, but don’t you worry.  I’ll do that tomorrow.

*This blog is partly set up to offer these alternative for your consideration.

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One response

7 06 2009
elizabeth anne

AHHH no way… my friend Ethan has a tattoo of that. NO JOKE!!!!! Its pretty badass.

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