Nuggets of Wisdom

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I’m Libertarian Because I Care

I'm Libertarian Because I Care by BlameThe1st on deviantART

Libertarianism is often marginalized as “I’ve got mine, screw you!” Libertarians are accused of being selfish and greedy individuals who only care about themselves. This simply isn’t the case! To the contrary: I’m a libertarian because I care about other people.

As a libertarian, I believe that other people should freely live their own lives provided they harm no one else. Sadly, our modern society does not permit people to freely live their lives, and they often find themselves harmed by other people—and more often than not, they are harmed, either directly or indirectly, by government.

Government has been the oppressive force most responsible for human suffering throughout history. Government kills people through wars, robs them through taxation, subjugates them through laws, imprisons them through the legal system, spies on them through surveillance, brainwashes them through schooling, and silences them through censorship.

Some would argue that oppression stems from other institutions such as religion or corporations. But how far would those institutions be able to carry out their oppression were they not assisted by government? Would the Catholic Church had been able to wage the Crusades had they not been supplied with armies by the European monarchs? Would the robber barons had been able to exploit the working and lower classes or monopolize their industries were they not facilitated through government cronyism? If either religion or corporations oppress, it is only through the power granted to them by government. Without it, they are powerless.

It’s solely because of the harm caused by government that I consider myself a libertarian. My libertarianism is not merely a political or legal position. It is a moral one. I’m not a libertarian because I care about only myself. I’m a libertarian because I care about others and do not wish harm on them. I have seen the suffering that government has wrought, and it is because of this suffering that I oppose it, and as long as government continues to perpetuate this suffering, I will ever oppose it.

If you support government, by association, you also support the harm that it has caused. You may argue that government has done much good, but your argument would be facile. Historically, the vices of government far outweigh its virtues, and what little virtues it has practiced could have easily been accomplished without it. Good people do not need government to do good, but for good people to do evil, that requires government.

Government is the only institution permitted to utilize force and coercion within society. The end result of force is trauma, and the result of coercion is exploitation. Both actions inevitably result in harm. Therefore, the end result of government, regardless of its intention, will always be harm. Even if government manages to benefit one person, it is only through the harm of another. As two wrong can never make a right, whatever “benefit” government provides can never be justified as morally right.

You claim I only care about myself because I call myself a libertarian? No. You are the one who cares not for others because of your support for that ruthless tyrant, government. If you support government, you are the one harming people.

If you think the key to world peace is to bomb innocent poor brown people in other countries, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think airline passengers should be forced to choose between a virtual strip search or a genital fondling before boarding a plane, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think the only way for people to remain safe from terrorists is for the government to spy on their every electronic communication, from e-mails to text messages to even World of Warcraft data, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that a whistleblower like Chelsea Manning will spend the rest of his natural life in prison for exposing the war crimes committed by his military, while the members of the military who committed said war crimes continue to walk free, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that a whistleblower like Edward Snowden will remain on the lam as a vagabond away from his country of birth simply because he exposed the size and scope of his government’s surveillance on civilians, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable for local law enforcement to be armed to the teeth with military-grade weaponry and vehicles while politicians advocate to ban civilians from owning assault rifles, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think the solution to mass shootings is stricter gun control, even though most shootings have occurred in places with the strictest gun laws, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think police officers should get away with a slap on the wrist for strangling an asthmatic man to death, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think the best way to teach people that killing is wrong is to kill people in turn, especially in the most barbaric manner, YOU'RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that a college student was left alone in a holding cell for four days without food and water, forcing him to drink his own urine, and leaving him on the brink of death, all for the sole crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a drug raid, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that most of our prisons are filled with people whose only crime was smoking a harmless plant, especially when overall violent crime has experienced a sharp decline in past decades, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think a wall should be built along the Mexican border because immigrants are forced to immigrate illegally into the county because our convoluted and overtly-bureaucratic immigration process prevents them from entering the county legally, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think other people should be prevented from marrying their significant other for no other reason than because they share the same genitalia, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that our county pays more for education per student than any other country in the world, and yet keeps graduating students who require remedial college courses, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think a woman should be forced to commit perjury in order to send her child to a public school outside of their school district, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think Americans should be forced to buy health insurance or else pay a fine—excuse me, a “tax”—while countless other Americans simultaneously lose their health coverage, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think young people should be forced to pay for the entitlement programs of senior citizens when these same young people will never see a single dime from these programs by the time they reach retirement age, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable for our government to print money from thin air, thus devaluing our currency and causing prices to skyrocket while wages deflate, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think it’s acceptable that Americans on average pay more in taxes than they do for basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!

If you think that the only way that a civilized society can operate is for its citizens to be constantly threatened to behave at threat of violence at gunpoint, YOU’RE HARMING PEOPLE!