“I don’t believe in black rights,” I told my friends. When they started to get angry at me I decided to explain further. “I also don’t believe in women’s rights or gay rights,” I told them.
Before my friends decided to kill me and dump my dead body in the Genesee River, I explained further that the only rights I believe in are human rights (also known as natural rights).
It doesn’t matter what: race, gender, religion, orientation, income level, age or any other demographic, natural rights are ignorant of the differences in societies, cultures and national borders. A human is a human and should receive the same treatment under the law as any other individual.
Libertarians see all people as equals under the law. If they are not, then the law affecting them adversely should be repealed, rather than creating a patchwork of ineffective laws to ensure rights to particular groups.
A libertarian’s foundation is based on the axiom that no person may aggress against another person or their property.
This is where the term liberty comes into play. A person has the absolute right to be free from aggression. This gives someone social or “civil” liberties such as freedom of speech, right to privacy, right to marry, and freedom of religion.
A libertarian would be opposed to the death penalty, and laws that prevent people of different orientations or races to marry, and would support freedom of the press. This could be considered as an extremely left-wing, or liberal, view.
A libertarian opposes the aggression of private property. The only exchange of property would therefore be voluntary mutual exchange (a free market) and not one of oppression (theft).
Therefore a libertarian would be opposed to government regulation, prohibitions and subsidies in the economy which both create perverse incentives and interupt the evolved processes of markets.
This is considered an extremely right-wing, or conservative, view.
Although this position seems odd — to have socially liberal views and economically conservative views — it is in fact the only consistent position for the liberty of every individual and one that the United States of America was founded upon.
The benefit of living in a libertarian society is that people can have many different beliefs and still live together.
For example, different religions comprised different beliefs and sects can coexist without imposing their particular religious beliefs on one another.
A person of some religious affiliation may be opposed to gay marriage while someone else of another religious affiliation would be completely accepting of gay marriage.
Therefore, in a libertarian society one group would not be able to impose their views on others. For instance, gays will be given equal rights under the law, including the ability to marry.
Another example would be a group of individuals who may want to organize themselves in a communal or a communistic setting.
Individuals and groups could live in a communistic environment as long as they all mutually agree to it and would not force others to live like them, participate in it or prevent them from leaving.
It irks me when someone says libertarians are nutty or crazy, when they don’t understand what Libertarians are in the first place.
If the term had existed in the 1700s and 1800s, the founding fathers and early presidents of this country would have proudly classified themselves as Libertarians and defenders of freedom.
As Thomas Jefferson once said, “the policy of the American government is to leave their citizens free, rather restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits.” So you tell me, are we really that nutty?
Updated: Edited to change all usages of the term Libertarian to libertarian, reflecting the difference between the creed and current Libertarian party.