Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Libertarianism starts with respect

Libertarianism starts with respect

(My Clovis News Journal column for August 25, 2011. As written, not as published.)

I sometimes hear people make the claim that libertarianism is "Utopian", just like communism, because "it sounds good on paper, but it will never work in the real world". Ridiculous! Communism requires the impossible- omniscient central planners- in order to "work". Libertarianism only needs YOU to not steal or attack; it places no obligation on others. Are you claiming that is beyond your ability?

Clovis is not perfect, but it is good, and can be better. There is no Utopia, but you can prevent a place from becoming a dystopia. Allow people to opt out of anything they don't want, never put your neighbor's inalienable rights or liberty to a vote, don't enforce laws that have no ethical foundation, embrace "live and let live", and respect the property and person of others.

As a corollary to that don't support, defend, nor turn a blind eye toward those who do steal and attack. No justification makes those things OK.

There wouldn't be any more arguing over which faction is allowed to make decisions concerning how to take your money and spend it on things you don't want. No one would be allowed authority to violate your property rights any longer for any reason. The silly youth gangs would face the reality of straightening up or being weeded out of the population quickly. I'm willing to bet this change would even improve the local economy. Why wait for someone else to go first?

Even if everyone in this area suddenly adopted libertarian principles, no place will ever be perfect. The weather would still be the same; like it or not. The same will be true of the people. People will always be people. If you don't like your neighbors now, that would probably not change. Some people can't seem to stop meddling and I don't expect that personality flaw to go away. However, respecting the rights and liberty of others, regardless of whether you agree with them or not, takes away the meddlers' power to ruin other people's lives.

Clovis has potential. It isn't up to any new "laws" being passed, old "laws" being enforced, or anyone else taking the initiative. It is, as it always has been and always will be, up to you. I'm excited about the possibilities. Are you up to it?