Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Should libertarians tone down the message?

Should libertarians tone down the message?

Those of us who are actively trying to spread the ideas (and ideals) of liberty walk a fine line. Should we tone down the message, or even lie, in order to avoid offending people who casually come across our words? Should we change the subject to avoid talking of certain topics that might be offensive to some? Or do we boldly advocate liberty, warts and all?

Some responses I received to my column on cannibalism surprised me. Let me rephrase that; the responses did not surprise me, but the individuals making some of those responses surprised me. In the name of "don't offend the newbies" I fear some may be turning away from the principles that actually make the difference between statists and libertarians. The principles that clearly show the difference between the two philosophies and which originally attracted me to the people who valued these things as I do.

Remember, "polite society" won't yet acknowledge that the Drug War is a disastrous failure (as prohibition always is) and that it should be dispensed with. "Polite society" may still be in denial that the freest and safest societies are those which are universally armed. "Polite society" still thinks theft, kidnapping, and mass murder are just fine as long as it is "their government" doing these things under the guise of euphemistic terms.

Should libertarians lie about those things in order to attract new adherents? Who would really be attracted to the cause of liberty in that case? More authoritarians who would explore no farther; that's who. Soon libertarians would find themselves in a similar condition to that which is killing the Libertarian Party: a difference which makes no difference is no difference at all.

I choose to continue to be different and stand up for liberty.