Whether you call yourself a libertarian, or simply identify with libertarian ideals, you’ve probably run into those situations where folks respond with a snide canned comment about supporting pot or prostitution, or how libertarianism would lead to highways crumbling into weed-choked dirt paths. So, in an attempt to bring a little more rational thought to some of those silly assertions, we thought it wouldn’t hurt to share some of the reasons why Libertopia Cartoons is inspired to help share a libertarian message.
The non-aggression principle: Is using force, aggression or coercion against those you disagree with (or voting for candidates who will do so on your behalf) really the best way to create a healthy civilization in a diverse community? One of the significant ideals behind libertarian thought is something called the non-aggression principle. As defined by the Mises Institute, the non-aggression principle “is an ethical stance which asserts that ‘aggression’ is inherently illegitimate. ‘Aggression’ is defined as the ‘initiation’ of physical force against persons or property, the threat of such, or fraud upon persons or their property.” (Note: In contrast to pacifism, the non-aggression principle does not preclude self-defense.) Learn more at the Mises Institute.
The Burden of Statism: Statism is pretty much defined as a political system that has centralized control of social and economic affairs. This is where you have a real problem because only those with enough money and connections will get what they want from the government. And that leaves everyone else in a condition of servitude to a government that cares nothing about them while micromanaging every aspect of their lives. And who wants to live in a place like that?
Crushing Economic Policy: Libertarian economics can help provide a path of freedom from crushing economic policies. As Peter Boettka notes in the essay, Austrian School of Economics, “The market economy develops out of people’s natural inclination to better their situation and, in so doing, to discover the mutually beneficial exchanges that will accomplish that goal.” Learn more at the Library of Economics and Liberty: Austrian School of Economics
Encouraging Personal Responsibility: Of course libertarians don’t support dangerous or immoral lifestyles, they simply believe that in a free society it is up to each individual to be responsible and self-disciplined with their own bodies. So long as our actions do not infringe on the rights of another we should be free to make our own choices. We don’t need government mandates telling us what we can and cannot consume. If someone does, for whatever reason, develop a drug, alcohol, food or any other life threatening problem, it is the place of that person’s friends, family, doctor or pastor to decide how to get them the help they need. Being kidnapped by agents of the state and locked in a cage simply for ingesting something the government forbids is not going to help them.
Wearied by Fear and Division: We’re not the only ones who are tired of all the division and fear being injected into our community because of the encouraged anger and hatred fostered amongst political parties (even though they’re usually more alike than they’d care to admit). Not to mention an increasingly hysterical media that seems to enjoy stoking the fires. It’s not healthy for people to live at each others throats, believing that a neighbor who may disagree with them on XYZ issue is somehow a threat. As individuals who identify with libertarian ideals, we may not all be best buddies – we may even disagree on issues. But we understand that we don’t want to be forcing our beliefs on each other through coercion and threats of violence. So that means we’ll either be interested in supporting a limited government approach, or just try to mind our own business (see the non-aggression principle above).
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