Libertarian Purity

Over the last year I have been blogging at a fairly rapid pace; at least for me. I write to educate myself as well as others. I enjoy putting into my own words the lessons that the great thinkers have passed on to all of us. One of the things that informs my opinions and writing more than anything is the non-aggression principle. It has been expressed many times and in many ways but essentially the principle is that I may not legitimately initiate aggression against anyone else. Therefore any individual or group of individuals that commits aggression is illegitimate; and yes, that means governments also. I am a radical libertarian and follow what Murray Rothbard once called “plumb-line libertarianism.” I see that initiating force is always wrong. I can not support initiating force or anything that will lead to the initiation of force as its logical outcome.

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I have tried to befriend all people who are liberty lovers as allies even if I think they are wrong on certain issues of concern to liberty and freedom. But I have to draw a line someplace and say that there needs to be a certain purity of thought and ideology in our philosophy and in our movement. We certainly don’t need opportunistic statists covering themselves with the label “libertarian” as they support large government. As an example, I was told the war-mongering Glenn Beck claims to be a “libertarian”. My god we don’t need his ilk using the label libertarian.

Anyone who opposes the rapid decent of America into a police state and calls for smaller and less intrusive government is someone I want to encourage and work with. But I don’t want to pull any punches even as I view that person as a prospective ally and certainly not as some sort of serious problem. I want to be clear about what I mean by radical libertarianism — no government at all and private protection agencies.

Libertarian purity has its place and is important. We have core principles that must be communicated and understood. We must champion the non-aggression principle at all times. Libertarianism is a radical ideology that can not compromise on the NAP in the least. The principle of non-aggression leads the libertarianism to see the world from a perspective radically different from the statists who want to maintain the status quo in the main and just change a few things along the edge.

As soon as you agree that we need to eliminate all aggressive force you have just agreed that government must be eliminated since government is always and everywhere pure raw aggression. China’s Mao once said that government flows from the barrel of a gun and he was absolutely correct on that score. Even the small government minarchist libertarians, to be consistent, must believe in a government that is dramatically smaller and less aggressive than any government that presently exists in the world. They must, to be consistent, call for a government that barely escapes being no government at all. Even then they are calling for an organization that funds itself via aggression and that maintains itself via aggression. I admit that a vanishingly small government would beat holy hell out of what we have now and I would be most pleased to get from here to there in my lifetime; but I would still have to oppose that small government on NAP grounds even as I appreciated it being a vast improvement. We are radicals for liberty and freedom.

We don’t have to believe that the revolution bringing radical libertarianism is coming soon to believe that the political philosophy of no aggression at all is the moral and ethical high ground from which to judge ourselves and others. We believe in what is right, not what is merely possible today.

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One thought on “Libertarian Purity

  1. Pingback: WeebulTree Blog » My Daily Four – February 15, 2013: Liberty Posts From Around The Web

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