|Why someone might find this place in the universe of political reading material interesting, is a question I won't try to answer or even understand. Nevertheless, if my writing about what turned me onto Libertarianism stumbles upon an interested party, I'm grateful. What follows is what I believe, and why. If you have similar or contrary views and want to share them, click here.|
|The religious, according to their denominational organizations (churches), assert that the authors of their doctrines (Bible, Koran, what have you) were divinely inspired. That premise (in the manner of any superstition) circumvents the need to validate the morality of their teachings by logic or reason. My premise is that if their teachings are logical and reasonable, it doesn't matter whether they were divinely inspired or not. To Organized Religion, I'm missing the entire point. But actually, it's the other way round. If the gentle reader is confused, let them resolve to their own satisfaction the inherent contradiction of a teaching that is moral but unreasonable. Or that of an ethic that is both inspired and illogical.|
|If it can be shown that actions based on a particular moral code, consistently deliver the most good and the least harm in any given circumstance - that moral code may (or may not) be divinely inspired. But, given those consistent results, what pray - difference does it make? The Libertarian is required to be moral. Religion is an option.|
|Libertarianism and the Bible (one instance of documented religious doctrine) share the common goal of attempting to describe a philosophical precept that's morally sound regardless of its observational viewpoint or its unit of measure. e.g. Christianity, as described in the Bible, is a philosophy based on the precepts embodied in its two Great Commandments. As I recall, they are:
|The Libertarian philosophy is based on what I believe amounts to the same thing.|
|Libertarianism is based on the certainty that everyone possesses an absolute and unalienable right to freedom from coercive force initiated by any source using any means. For ourselves and for our neighbors alike. It's an all encompassing double sided shield as well as a double edged sword. We haven't any more moral authority to coerce our neighbors than they to coerce us. As the phrase " by any source using any means" implies, it matters not how many allies I've mustered to my cause, how many neighbors are involved, or their political affiliations. Initiating coercive force is immoral. Period.|
|Neither does it matter the methods we employ or the justifications we rationalize. Even if one or the other of our gangs label ourselves THE GOVERNMENT. Rights are vested in individuals. Not groups, gangs, mobs, unions, committees, political parties or their legislatures full of them.
So long as individuals do not preemptively lie, cheat, steal or otherwise initiate coercive force that compels any other(s) to act involuntarily, then their unalienable right to freedom from similar acts by others - is inviolate. It should seem blatantly obvious then, that at the moment when a single individuals all encompassing right is violated and allowed to go unpunished, the words "RIGHT" and "WRONG" no longer have any logical meaning. That may seem convoluted, but it is simple. If an instance of initiated coercive force is allowed to go unpunished, then by the governments inaction, that force has been implicitly sanctioned. How can ethical defensive, retaliatory or punitive force be justified against prior force that was legally sanctioned? If ANY initiated coercive force is deemed to be alright for any reason, then what is the definition of a "wrong" force? RIGHT and WRONG no longer have meaning.
|To preserve the meaning of those words - defensive, retaliatory and punitive force (reactionary as opposed to initiated) absolutely must follow, overcome and provide compensation for each instance of initiated coercive force, If one of your neighbors is allowed to coerce you into acting involuntarily, there is no logical argument they can offer to prevent your doing the same to them, or to any others.|
|The words in the United States Declaration of Independence are in my opinion as
divinely inspired as any on Earth.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
These concisely articulated ideas are not accidentally phrased.
Also self-evident is the fact that life and liberty include the responsibility and authority over one's life, labor and the fruits thereof. And to those for whom it is not self-evident, many of the same authors of this document went on to describe in detail how a government must respect the sole right of individuals to control the use of their personally owned property and that respect must be demonstrated by fairly compensating citizens for governments use or misuse of property. Its in the US Constitution.
|The founders of the United States of America authored a Constitution designed to blueprint a Libertarian government. In it's original form, it contained almost no coercive elements. Property was the province of private citizens. Taxation was illegal unless uniformly administered and strictly limited to funding only the most fundamental government need. Even funding an active military for more than two years was unconstitutional. One can only imagine the reaction those statesmen would have upon hearing our current crop of politicians who take some kind of perverse pride in pompously parading our nation as "The Worlds Policeman." How embarrassing.|