Libertarianism In a Nutshell (a really small one)

“If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.” ~Friedrich Hayek

So lately, people who know me have been asking if I could explain for them libertarianism. I feel flattered that people would come to me (of all people) for reliable information on the subject.

Since libertarianism is a philosophy for government, it has a different understanding depending on who you ask. Even for me, although I call myself a libertarian, there are many peers who can easily disagree with my personal views. For that reason, I will keep it as simple as possible here in this blog post, at least until I can find the time and courage to compose a full treatise that outlines my libertarian philosophy.

First, let’s start with a clip from Parks and Recreation:

The above video makes me happy. I love it, it’s so simple that a child can understand it. haha

A while back, The Washington Post with MENSA National asked readers to take any word from the dictionary and alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter and supply a new definition. Here is one of the past winners:

Intaxacation – The euphoria of getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize, it was your money to start with.

On NPR a few weeks ago, former NM Governor and current presidential candidate Gary Johnson plays the game called “Not My Job” (you can steam the full interview here), in which he gave some simple insight as to how you (yes you) can tell if you are a libertarian:

SAGAL: So a lot of Republicans seem to pick and choose their whole small government thing. Some areas, they’re for it; some areas, they’re not. But you’re like a libertarian all the way through. In fact, you even have said that you don’t believe there should be stoplights, in some situations.

Gov. JOHNSON: Well, you know you’re a libertarian when in the middle of the night, you pull up to an intersection, there’s nobody in sight, and the light’s red.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Gov. JOHNSON: So you know you’re a libertarian when gee, if I run this red light, am I really putting anyone in harm’s way? Aren’t I being completely safe? Hey, I’ve found myself in that situation and you know what, I’ve gone through that red light before.

SAGAL: Really?

(Soundbite of applause)

SAGAL: And about speed limits you said, quote: There are times and places where it would be perfectly safe to go 140 – that would be 140 mph – and there are others where it would be reckless to go 55 miles an hour.

Gov. JOHNSON: In that same space.

SAGAL: Oh I see. So you were saying that in any given stretch of road, there might be time to go slowly, there might be time to go quick. Can you tell us where and when the time was you went 140 miles an hour?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Gov. JOHNSON: Hey, Highway 50, going across Nevada – now, there is a stretch of lonely, completely desolate highway where you can see in places six miles ahead. So that’s a pretty fast stretch of highway.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SAGAL: All right. I just want to say, I’ve been thinking about this because you are instantly my favorite Republican candidate – because you’ve agreed to appear on the show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

I found these on one of pages:

*If you think that the problem with civil servants is that too many of them are neither civil nor servants, you might be a Libertarian.
*If you think taxes are ridiculously high, you might be a Libertarian.
*If you believe in the Bill of Rights, you might be a Libertarian.
*If you think the US Constitution is the only contract with America you need, you might be a Libertarian.

If I could add a few to that list it would say:

*If you think that you can govern yourself and your family better than a politician could govern you and your family, you might be a Libertarian.
*If you don’t like to be coerced into doing things you don’t want to do, you might be a Libertarian.
*If you believe in personal responsibility for all people, you might be a Libertarian.

Here’s my brief perspective/conclusion:

I believe that liberty is a necessary apart of any moral society. I believe we need it to make mistakes, learn from them, and grow as a people. I do not believe that morality is tied to man-made law. I believe that the success of any society is manifest through the choices of it’s people. And I believe that Love is at the center of true Liberty.