Sunday, June 07, 2009

Libertarian border disputes

Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner: Libertarian border disputes

I'm not talking about "national boundaries" in this case, but the edges of your rights. All libertarians pretty much agree on the basics. Where the differences tend to occur is on the fuzzy edges; the "borders". For example: Abortion- where does the mother's border with the baby lie? Libertarians disagree and can make very good arguments for vastly different positions. Concealed carry- where does your personal property give way to someone else's property lines? This has been debated right here in my column, with me holding the unpopular view. Proportional responses- When is fighting back against an attack "too much", and how far can you go before violating the rights of your attacker? I am currently engaged in such a debate on Opposing Views (although it has recently morphed somewhat).

Perhaps my eyesight gives me the illusion of clear boundaries in some places where no such thing exists. That could be the source of the disagreement. If you and I, or any other two libertarians, don't agree on a boundary, keep discussing it as long as it is instructive. We can all learn from one another, even if we don't reach accord, but don't let it make you lose sight of the real goal: freedom.

The borders are fine to discuss. I think discussion can help resolve some of these issues in our minds. I don't think it is a reasonable or constructive place to spend all your time, though. So much else is so clear, and we have a long road ahead of us before the borders become critical. I would say almost all liberty-lovers agree that the state is wrong when it kidnaps or murders people who are harming no one but themselves, so don't only focus on the instances where not all agree on whether anyone else is being harmed or not. It is a distraction that only serves the interests of the state.