Friday, February 15, 2008

Why am I a Libertarian? Why arent you a Libertarian?

It started out Last Sunday as an an interesting debate and slowly turned in to rapid slapping of a 'certain cylindrical piece of anatomy' on the table contest. And then afterwards, I was asked the above question by two individuals with valid personal concern. Actually it went something more like this: What the hell! We know some of what you believe and stand for; so, why are YOU a Libertarian?

My response was simple, "I am not a Libertarian. I am a modern traditionalist philosophically; and because of that, I identify with and associate myself politically as a Libertarian."

After they recovered from the quantified paradoxical mental anguish in regards to my statements they proceeded to inquire further, "What the (edited) is a modern traditional idealist?" and "Why does that make you identify as a Libertarian?"

modern traditional idealist

The easiest way to explain it is by using the common definitions. I am modern because, I live in the this time and place, choose to examine my traditional beliefs (both secular and religious) according to contemporary philosophy, criticism, and historical writings; however I am traditional because, I give creed and deference to the derived traditions and historical doctrines of both cultural and religious practices and thoughts; but yet still I am a modernist because, I don't believe that all knowledge is derived from original Divine revelation and is transmitted by tradition alone. I am a walking, living, breathing, oxymoron which makes defining my idealistic tendencies so much easier to explain. My conduct is influenced by ideals that often conflict with societal considerations, I'm very much so the non realist but I can still be down to earth and occasionally practical (the modernist side), which in turn is a perfect fit for Libertarianism.

libertarian

Libertarianism is commonly referred to as "a political philosophy maintaining that all persons are the absolute owners of their own lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their persons or property, as long as they allow others the same liberty. Libertarians emphasize equality before the law rather than equality of outcome." While the political philosophy varies by which type and cast of Libertarian you speak with the core of individual responsibility and limited government still ring true.

President Thomas Jefferson once said, "...rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others...." as the primary purpose of government to protect it.

my personal thoughts

Taxes: Lord Joshua-Emmanuel of Nazareth asked one of his disciples "(paraphrased) Whose image is on this coin? Then give to Cesar what is his and return to your GOD what is HIS." Now of course, why the government thinks they can get anything more than ten percent of your income off the top is beyond me but what is even more erroneous is that the People have allowed the government to take more than GOD requires from a tithe and offering combined on a weekly basis. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

Marriage: The covenant of marriage was not declared a Sacrament of the Church until 1215 AD at the Fourth Council of Lateran Basilica (articles 50-53) because it prefigures and preordained the Church and existed before as an act of joining between both gay and straight partners. A traditional covenant being formed by: the tearing of flesh, shedding of blood, and a mutual exchange of privilege and rights, with the parties involved. How the government is to declare something an institution when they only started regulating it in the 1880's to stem the tide of interracial marriages and deny the citizens right to freely choose whom they choose to spend the next five or fifty years of their lives with? It is none of the governments business in the first place except the People let it happen. All applicable laws should have been repealed by the Civil Rights Amendments to the Constitution. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

Religion vs. Politics: The rule of law is sovereign in this country and trumps my pulpit or your pew every time but that isn't why I am a Libertarian. On the third of January, 1797 the Treaty of Tripoli was signed into law and has the same force of precedent as the Constitution which states in Article Eleven, "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries." So much for the War on Terror, except the People let it happen by not controlling their government. ... That is why I am a Libertarian!

I will shut up now and give everyone else time to respond to the question "Why are/aren't you a Libertarian?" or feel free to berate me for my answers, politely of course.

10 comments:

Endiana.com said...

Fozy,

• Call the clerk's office at the county courthouse and ask when the first marriage license was issued. I think you will find the 1880 date may be a little late. (My understanding is that the state issued licenses in the early 20th century.)

http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/in/allen/vitals/marriages/marralle.txt?cj=1&o_xid=0001177077&o_lid=0001177077

• Gay marriages were commonplace before 1215 AD?

• Oops! You forgot to mention the Treaty of Tripoli was written in Arabic, not English. When delivered Article 11 was omitted. Wonder why?

http://www.tektonics.org/qt/tripoli.html

Phil Marx said...

Here is the fundamental flaw in the Libertarian philosophy: Libertarians believe in the autonomy of the individual. When taken to it's extreme, this means we are a world of six billion independent nations, each having as much right to declare war on the other as our capabilities will allow us.

And as anyone who studies history knows, international "law" is really a misnomer. The only law which exists is that which is established by force. Libertarianism, in it's extreme, advocates for total anarchy.

I think if we handed the Libertarian Party complete political control for ten years, this nation would be ruined. Of course I feel the same way about Democrats and Republicans.

I am very supportive of the Libertarian party for the pressure that they might exert against our currenly flawed system. But I do believe that they are as extreme in some areas as either of the two major Parties.

Great post though, a lot of good ideas for thinking about. And I do hope you wiped down that table after you finished slapping it.

Robert Fuller said...

Good post.

Robert Enders said...

Phil,
No political party has ever had complete control of this country for any length of time. Argubly, the country would be ruined if any party did have complete control for just four years. But hypothetically, if a Libertarian president and Congress actually governed as Libertarians, then the country would be better off than it is now.

No Libertarian has ever asserted a right for a person to declare or wage war against another person. What you have discribed is anarchy, not libertarianism. The difference between a libertarian and an anarchist is that a libertarian acknoledges the role that government plays in protecting individuals from other individuals.

Phil Marx said...

Robert,

Of course no party will ever rule completely. That's because most voters realize that every ideology can be taken to the extreme and become harmful. And that's the point I was making about myself. I frequently vote Libertarian now, as a balancing mechanism against the two major parties. In this respect, I could vote green or independent and send the same message. If they ever actually get elected, then I would have to base my next vote upon how they actually performed.

I can not agree with your asessment that things would be better under Libertarians. There is actually quite a divergence of opinions on many issues for them, so we really can't know how they would rule until they do.
__________________________

On that last, and most important, point, I believe that you are solidly mistaken. The Libertarian advocacy for Individual sovereignty is their hallmark.

If a country goes to war, but any one individual citizen can not only opt out of that war, but choose to ally themselves with the other side, that is anarchy. And that is Libertarianism.

Should an individual state be allowed to secede from the United States? If you answer no, you are not a true Libertarian. Go a step further and ask why an individual city should not be able to choose independence or to realign themselves with another country. The final step in this process is the sovereign individual, and that is what Libertarian philosophy fundamentally rests upon.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

Okay I am actually going to clarify something on the back and forth between Robert and Phil:

True Libertarianism within this country is not anarchist. As Libertarianism has developed outside of the United States, as the country of origin, it possesses a streak of anarchy in its establishment and that is because it does not have the beauty of the DOI or the COTUSA to guide the principles of its establishment in other countries nor the root of freedom and liberty and the fundamental ideal that all men are created equal either. When missing the foundations of establishment the building is always going to be skewed one way or the other.

Governance

If Libertarians ran the country......blah. It isn't that we wouldn't have problems its that we would have different types of problems.

The sovereignty issue is to the individual first but only until it touches or violates someone else's sovereignty.

The difference between Libertarian practice and that of Anarchy is simply put as the rule of law is soveriegn over the individual and group.

If Congress legally declares war, it is to the Citizen to answer their own call through representative government to arms and common defense. If a person has a conscience objection to violence, then they should still serve but in a non combat role, that is a reasonable accommodation to the duties of citizenship. There is always the Peace Corps, Ameri Corps, and the Coast Guard.

I am a pacifist, but I come from a long line of proud veterans and also love a man in uniform; and when it comes down to me and someone else trying to take one of the men I love, by damn you better believe their at least getting their leg blown apart or cut open with a knife! The same is true with this country.

We forget so easily that it isn't just about rights, liberties and freedom but our duties to protect that which we do so treasure "for our posterity" (COTUSA). Maybe we need another Amendment to the Constitution: "The List of Citizens Duties", or is it already in there? Have The People forgotten about the other side of the coin since we are still wrestling with the first ten amendments, 225 minus some odd years later?

Phil Marx said...

I want to clarify my own position. I am not trying to trash the Libertarian philosophy or the Libertarian Party. If this were the case, I would simply stop visiting your site and not attend your meetings.

I think the Libertarian philosophy is valid because it counters the sometimes overly restrictive tendancies of our current system. I think the local Libertarian Party is interesting because they offer a credible challenge to the duopolistic political structure that maintains this restictiveness. And I respect many individual members of the local Libertarian party for their willingness to engage in fair and open debate about the issues.

What I was writing about refers to the furthest extensions of their philosophy. I could be equally damning of the Democratic and Republican ideologies as well.

I will say this about the local Libertarians. Many of them admit to having at least one major issue where they do not agree with the mainsteam Party line. I see this as common sense, others might view it as selling out.

But strictly speaking though, the Libertarian philosophy is the same as anarchy. If you doubt this, look at their own famous political quiz. That top corner where the Libertarians reside is represented by COMPLETE economic freedom and COMPLETE personal freedom. - That is anarchy!

My comments were about the Libertarian philosophy which, if left unchecked, would lead to anarchy. My thoughts about the Libertarian Party is that, while I believe that most of it's local members want less governmental involvement in both economic and social issues than currently exists, all of the ones who I know personally hold views on most issues that I consider to be within the bounds of reasonable debate.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

Phil

I understood that and I wasnt chiding you for that at all. Also let me say personally that I enjoy your perspective that you do bring to the conversation and you will always be welcome at our business meetings and party events.

Now as far as what you said in the last post: That is always the difference between philosophy and application. Philosophy is meant to be idealistic and then tempered when applied to reality.

Libertarian philosophy left unchecked will lead to anarchy and that happens a lot outside of this country and happens inside this country when people take on the philosophy without the practical application of reality and the bounds established by the original movement to the rule of law being primary over all else.

I hope that shows where in the realm of ideas we agree.

Fr. Fozy Bear said...

BTW it would be independent nations so much as it would be corporations eg: Phil Marx, Inc.; Robert Enders, Inc/dba/ Vote For Bob; which the right of self incorporation is a legal application under the law.

Ooh! that just gave me a great idea of how to incorporate a group marriage or multiple partner relationship under a different business model, sweet! Thank you Phil!

Robert Enders said...

"But strictly speaking though, the Libertarian philosophy is the same as anarchy. If you doubt this, look at their own famous political quiz. That top corner where the Libertarians reside is represented by COMPLETE economic freedom and COMPLETE personal freedom. - That is anarchy!"

Phil, the Nolan Chart puts our ideology at the top for propanganda purposes. Since it is a small chart, it is poorly equipped to differentiate between, say, libertarianism and anarchy or communism and socialism. The chart is useful for communicating a simple idea to philosophy novices. It is not useful for coffeehouse debates comparing Rand and Rothbard.

Yes, we hold that soveriegnty rests with the individual. Just as a soveriegn nation can enter into a treaty with another soveriegn nation, an individual can enter into contracts with other individuals. You can think of your US citizenship as a contract with all other US citizens. Which brings up the issue of seccession. Sure, under a libertarian society you could theoretically set up buy an acre out in the middle of nowhere and call it your own country. As long as you do not hurt anyone else, who is to say that is wrong? Still, I think most people would choose to retain US citizenship in a libertarian society. The way I see it, if you forgo paying taxes, you forgo police protection.