Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Libertarian- the Definition

In order to avoid misunderstandings I feel it necessary to define the word "libertarian". Again. Too many people using too many words to mean too many opposing things make this imperative. So, in order for you to know what I mean when I use the word "libertarian", I will tell you what I mean and also what I don't mean.

First of all, when I say "libertarian" I am NOT referring to the Libertarian Party (LP) or any system of "politics". Groups or individuals who wrap themselves in the name "libertarian", such as the Libertarian Party, are only "libertarian" to the extent that they uphold the following principles;, and other people who may not like the word are still "libertarian" as long as they do live up to the principles. So, if the LP lives up to this definition, then they would be "libertarian", but if they do not I will judge them by their actions and principles without regard to what label they choose for themselves. I do this in every case with everyone who claims the title.

A libertarian is someone who abides by the Zero Aggression Principle, which includes not defrauding others (keeps his word), and not otherwise seeking solutions in coercion. Ever. Not even by using hired thugs wearing the silly hat of government. Self defensive actions are not "aggression" or "initiation" of anything other than self defense, but are a result of the aggression or deception of others. A libertarian does not wish to control others, not even "nicely" or for their own good. Instead he should mind his own business as long as no one is being attacked or harmed. Voluntary interactions between responsible people are no one else's business no matter how much their actions may offend you.

I recognize libertarian to be the same as anarchist to be the same as sovereign individual to be the same as "live and let live", and to be "the only true standard of consistently ethical behavior"; the only right way to live. If you hyphenate "libertarian" with something else that compromises the foundational principles in any way, however "minor", then you have negated the "libertarian" part of your name in its entirety. It is really much simpler than many people would have you believe. When a person fails to live up to this description in some areas, in those areas he falls short of all the above terms.

So there you have it. You may not agree, but at least you will know where I am coming from.