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Why am I a Libertarian?
Libertarianism is a political philosophy. It states that individuals should be free to do whatever they wish as long as they do not infringe on the same rights of others. Basically, what business is it of the government what I say, read, do or take into my body as long as I do not harm another human being in this planet? The main principle of Libertarianism is the recognition that people have certain natural rights and that deprivation of these rights is corruption. Libertarians believe that governments’ sole purpose is to protect the rights of the people.
Libertarians strongly oppose any type of censorship. They also oppose laws restricting consensual behavior, and of course, laws on victimless crimes. Examples of victimless crimes would be prostitution, drug use, gambling, etc. Citizens should be free to take risks even to the point of harming themselves, as long as it harms no one else.
There are some points on which Libertarians differ, such as income tax. Some Libertarians oppose income tax and others see it as a necessary evil for the purpose of protecting civil liberties, crime prevention, and property rights. However, most oppose programs that are seen by many as beneficial, such as social security and the postal service. They feel it should be privatized. Libertarians believe that government should be limited to the defense of its citizens and nothing else. Actions such as murder, rape, robbery, theft, embezzlement, fraud, arson, kidnapping, battery, trespass, and pollution violate the rights of others, so government control of these actions would be seen as legitimate. Most Libertarians feel that there is some need for government to deter and punish these types of actions. However, government control of human activity should be limited to the function of protecting people and their property from criminal acts.
Some views of Libertarians agree with Democrats and some actually agree with Republicans. For example, most Libertarians oppose gun control, as do most republicans, but Libertarians support the legalization of prohibited drugs, as do some liberal Democrats. Some Libertarian views agree with neither republicans nor democrats. For example, on the issue of gay marriage, where as Democrats say yes and Republicans say no, Libertarians say government has no business in our love lives. Marriage should not be a legal institution.
Libertarians view government as both the cause and the effect of society’s ills. Restrictive government causes crime and prejudice because it robs people of their independence and frustrates initiative and creativity. Our government here in America creates problems by depriving individuals of their natural rights. Then they attempt to help by limiting more of our natural rights.
A Libertarian style government does require tolerance on the part of the individual. But that is better than tolerating government restriction and control. You don’t have to like what other people do, but to live in a country where you are truly free is far greater for our society in every way. It doesn’t matter if something is unpopular or if the majority considers it in bad taste, a truly free country would not outlaw it. Unpopular actions and speech is vital to the health of our nation. Freedom is not just about individual liberty it is also essential to the quest for truth and therefore beneficial to society as a whole.
Libertarians are a diverse group of people whose diversity can make the term hard to define. In spite of the diversity, they share the belief that everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they do not infringe upon the equal freedoms of others. Libertarianism is about liberty and justice for all.