Libertarianism is both a philosophy and a political view. The key concepts defining Libertarianism are:
Individual Rights as inherent to human beings, not granted by government
A Spontaneous Order through which people conduct their daily interactions and through which society is organized independent of central (government) direction
The Rule of Law which dictates that everyone is free to do as they please so long as they do not infringe upon the rights of others
A divided and Limited Government, checked by written constitution
Free Markets in which price and exchange is agreed upon mutually by individuals
Virtue of Production whereby the productive labor of the individual and any translation of that labor into earnings belongs, by right, to the individual who should not have to sacrifice those earnings to taxes
Peace which has, throughout history, most commonly been disrupted by the interests of the ruling class or centralized government.
Libertarianism is both a philosophy and a political view. The key concepts defining Libertarianism are:
This post was written by Ricky, a long time Left & Right Politics reader. We’re happy to share his thoughts here.
As a libertarian, I feel that there is much to be done for America, particularly with regard to the central banking industry and the corporate welfare that we have been promoting with all of the big-bank bailouts. It is alarming to think that as a country we will accept the fact that we could let our government spend more than $100 billion to save companies that are using practices that do not work. This simply has taught the banks that they are too big to fail and that they can never do wrong and will always be propped up.
What does this tell them about how they should conduct their business? It tells them that they don’t need to change any policy and can participate in any business that reaps the fastest short term benefits imaginable. Companies that function on a short term profit model will always fail if they are not going to be considering what kind of incentives exist for the employees. The incentives need to be for rewarding long term growth options and not simply what looks the best for one year’s balance sheet.
If it weren’t alarming enough that we are subsidizing one set of the economy, we are currently planning on taxing another side of the economy by imposing artificial cap and trade incentives to actually not produce anything! A cap and trade law designed to limit carbon emissions to attempt to address the “global warming” that is being plastered across newspapers and media to distract from the serious issues affecting our economy. If there is in fact a global warming problem, companies will be jumping at the opportunity to create a solution as soon as it becomes economical for them to do so; not based on punishing them for their industry but rewarding them for their creativity in solving a problem.
The reason why there aren’t any companies at the moment addressing this issue is that it has not been sufficiently proven to be an economical detriment to our society yet the sentiment is that something must be done and it will be our industries that take the hit while our over-seas competition gets the advantage of unimpeded production. Lastly, the issue of the drug war that is costing our country billions in prosecution has done nothing but create criminals out of people that are doing something that has no victims except themselves. While many of the problems with drugs are societal involving addiction and poverty, the violence that is associated with the illegal trade would be quickly nullified if we were to legalize drugs.
As a stepping stone, the simple legalization of marijuana, a non addictive substance with less harmful side effects than alcohol, and free up millions in resources that could be used to reduce tax burdens on small businesses and actually create taxable industry within the united states by licensing marijuana growers, distributors, and retailers.
WASHINGTON – Libertarian Party (LP) Chairman William Redpath issued the following statement today in response to President Barack Obama‘s State of the Union address:
“Tonight’s speech was a reminder that, for decades, the policies of Republicans and Democrats alike have failed. Libertarians are asking people to take matters into their own hands. Instead of just complaining, we’re encouraging ordinary Americans to step up and run for Congress on the Libertarian Party ballot line.
I can say exactly the same thing about President Obama’s speech tonight that I said about George W. Bush’s State of the Union speech in January 2008: ‘Tonight’s State of the Union address went much as expected. Instead of calling for a more limited role of the federal government in American society, the President laid out plans that would only increase the government’s intervention into the realm of economics, health care, education and foreign policy.
I am weary of the President’s unspoken premise that only government–indeed, only the federal government–can accomplish good in our society.
President Obama seems to be totally blind to the concept that government can cause problems rather than solve them. His speech was filled with ‘More’: more handouts, more spending, more programs, more bailouts, more regulations. We Libertarians want less government, not more.
Not to be outmatched by the Democrats, the Republican Party conveyed its lack of seriousness in addressing this nation’s government spending problems by having Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor for eleven (11) days, deliver its rebuttal to the President. If they were really serious about addressing the dire fiscal circumstances of this nation, they would have had Paul Ryan, a six-term congressman from Wisconsin, who has proposed the most serious plan of anyone in the two older parties to keep us from going off a fiscal cliff.
Last week, Alan Auerbach, Professor of Economics and Law at UC Berkeley and US government fiscal policy expert, said that the Democratic and Republican parties are in a ‘death embrace’ with their government spending. The only political party that is rationally and forthrightly addressing the need to cut government spending and end our culture of ever expanding entitlements is the Libertarian Party.
As Americans lose hope in Obama, we Libertarians are warning voters against running back to the Republicans who got us into such big messes in the first place. Republicans started the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Republicans made the false intellectual case for bailing out banks and car companies. Republicans argued that deficits don’t matter. Republicans gave us the giant Medicare expansion bill.
The President’s suggestion of a ‘spending freeze’ was especially ludicrous and insulting to the intelligence of Americans. The amounts involved are minuscule, and Congress won’t accept them anyway. Will Obama sign the spending bills that ignore his ‘freeze’? You bet he will. Instead, the President should demand across-the-board cuts in all areas, including entitlements.
The President talked a lot about jobs. Unfortunately, the policies he supports are responsible for most of the unemployment we see today. High taxes, minimum wage laws, hiring regulations, firing regulations, mandatory unemployment benefits, and other government interference make it much more difficult for businesses to hire and keep employees. As expected, the President’s prescription is to increase the dosage of this government poison.
While our nation is declining dangerously right now, a turnaround could be straightforward and simple with steps like these: 1. Bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan; 2. Stop rewarding failed companies with bailouts; 3. Cut taxes and spending and let the free market work.
Finally, on the matter of political rhetoric, I call upon the two older parties to stop spoon feeding politics to the American people as if we are a bunch of overgrown children. These are difficult times that call for more than rhetorical flourish or positioning a group of diverse people around a politician. Older party politicians need to be specific about their proposed policies, as Libertarians are.
And, I know I’m probably just wasting electrons, but can’t we go back to the days in which the President sent a copy of his speech to Congress and left it at that. The speech last night took 1/7000th of an entire year. I think the vast majority of the American people would agree that we have better ways to spend our time.”
William Redpath has served as the Chairman of the Libertarian Party since 2006. For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets and civil liberties.
I received the following in my inbox from Advocates For Self-Government and wanted to pass it along.
Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions? Several years ago, Harry Browne — 1996 and 2000 Libertarian Party presidential candidate, world-renowned libertarian speaker and writer, and very good friend of the Advocates — made his. The result was a compact how-to of effective libertarian communication, by one of history’s most persuasive advocates of the ideas of liberty. I would like to once again share these resolutions with you. If you’re like me, you’ll find them inspiring and uplifting. I hope you will add them to your own resolutions — and share them with other libertarians.
A Libertarian’s New Year’s Resolutions
by Harry Browne
1. I resolve to sell liberty by appealing to the self-interest of each prospect, rather than preaching to people and expecting them to suddenly adopt my ideas of right and wrong.
2. I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates. My purpose is to inspire people to want liberty — not to prove that they’re wrong.
3. I resolve to listen when people tell me of their wants and needs, so I can help them see how a free society will satisfy those needs.
4. I resolve to identify myself, when appropriate, with the social goals someone may seek — a cleaner environment, more help for the poor, a less divisive society — and try to show him that those goals can never be achieved by government, but will be well served in a free society.
5. I resolve to be compassionate and respectful of the beliefs and needs that lead people to seek government help. I don’t have to approve of their subsidies or policies — but if I don’t acknowledge their needs, I have no hope of helping them find a better way to solve their problem.
6. No matter what the issue, I resolve to keep returning to the central point: how much better off the individual will be in a free society.
7. I resolve to acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American. Any plan for improvement must begin with a recognition of the good things we have. To speak only of America’s defects will make me a tiresome crank.
8. I resolve to focus on the ways America could be so much better with a very small government — not to dwell on all the wrongs that exist today.
9. I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness. Such things steal time and attention from the work that must be done.
10. I resolve to speak, dress, and act in a respectable manner. I may be the first libertarian someone has encountered, and it’s important that he get a good first impression. No one will hear the message if the messenger is unattractive.
11. I resolve to remind myself that someone’s “stupid” opinion may be an opinion I once held. If Ican grow, why can’t I help himgrow?
12. I resolve not to raise my voice in any discussion. In a shouting match, no one wins, no one changes his mind, and no one will be inspired to join our quest for a free society.
13. I resolve not to adopt the tactics of Republicans and Democrats. They use character assassination, evasions, and intimidation because they have no real benefits to offer Americans. We, on the other hand, are offering to set people free — and so we can win simply by focusing on the better life our proposals will bring.
14. I resolve to be civil to my opponents and treat them with respect. However anyone chooses to treat me, it’s important that I be a better person than my enemies.
Harry passed away in March of 2006. If enough of us follow Harry’s advice, we can make 2010 the best year yet for the libertarian movement. There could be no greater tribute to Harry — and no greater gift to America! Happy New Year to all our friends, readers and visitors. 🙂
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