Monday, April 13, 2009

Libertarians can be staid

Libertarians can be staid

Libertarians, in the eyes of a lot of people, are the "party crowd"; the "If it feels good, I will do it ... as long as no one else is hurt" people. While some undoubtedly are that way, it isn't necessarily the case. Libertarians are not usually "libertines", although we will defend the right to be one.

Libertarians can have very staid personal lives. It's not all "burn gunpowder at the backyard range, smoke a joint, and then head off to the orgy". Some have very deeply held moral beliefs which may seem very familiar and traditional, and while realizing that we have no right to tell others how to live, we know that some choices are not right for us.

The difference is that we should know enough to not interfere with the non-coercive behavior of others even if we personally find it disgusting, as long as they are harming no one else. We understand there is no such thing as "harming society" because apart from individuals, "society" is meaningless, and that if no individual is harmed, no one is harmed. Being offended is not the same as being harmed. We understand that our personal idea of "immoral" shouldn't equal "illegal" nor form an excuse for punishing people. Possibly most important of all, we understand the value of minding our own business as long as behaviors are voluntarily engaged in.

There is something to be said, however, for being a libertine on occasion.