The Libertarian Unknown: What People Don’t Know About The Movement
The Libertarian Movement is beginning to pick up steam the US after the devastating election of 2016 that left most of America shocked. While most Americans voted for the lesser of two evils, the majority were unaware that there were other alternatives for President. This gave the Libertarian Movement the opportunity to begin recruiting members from both sides. SFL, YAL, College Libertarians, etc began to take shape and people took notice. In the most liberal of colleges, Libertarian ideals began thriving and challenging the status quo. However, there’s a lot of people that are unfamiliar with the liberty movement and its associated groups. the entire purpose of this post is to enlighten individuals who are unclear on the principles of Libertarianism and the Movement itself.
So to start, we must look back to the founding of the Movement itself. Skipping the Early Period of Libertarianism, we jump two thousand years later into the twentieth century with the American New Deal set by FDR. These programs were met with great opposition mostly by three great idealist women. One of the more prominent was Ayn Rand. Famous for The Fountainhead, Rand established the philosophy of Objectivism, a philosophy some claim to be out of the mainstream. Objectivism basically states that “Reality, Reason, Self-Interest, and Capitalism” are the basics human life (Ayn Rand.org) . Focusing specifically on the idea of Capitalism, Libertarians believe in a “laissez-faire” economy, where the government stays out of the economy, thus allowing markets to regulate themselves. Objectivist Capitalists believe that the individual plays a huge part in this system (i.e individuals produce and possess the means of production free of government intervention). Free Market Capitalism became the cornerstone of the economic principles of the Libertarians. Free Market Capitalism also led to the emergence of the the Austrian School of Economics and the Mises Institute, which are dedicated to economic freedom and economic theory of Libertarianism.
Moving on to the social views of the Libertarian movement, Libertarians tend to believe in the more socially liberal spectrum. Libertarians believe that strict adherence to conservative social ideals weaken the Movement. The Conservative stance on social issues are regressive and degrade to minorities, which I consider offensive and completely opposite to the liberal stance.
While both parties are comfortable with government intervention based on their interests, Libertarians respect the right of the individual to intervene in his or her own life, as long as the individual has not violated another’s life, liberty, or property. For example, one can use and own drugs to make money or for recreational use so as long as it has not violated the rights to life, liberty, and property. Therefore, if someone wanted to use Cocaine or Heroin, they could for as long as it does not kill others, infringe on another’s liberties, or does not destroy another's property. Pretty basic principles right? Well there’s a little more to Libertarianism than just a set of simple questions that can easily determine a lot of the laws unconstitutional or constitutional or even set the laws.
Libertarianism is a mix of political, social, and economic philosophies developed over the centuries since the Enlightenment. It’s become a full fledged fight against the establishment. It is a voice of the real America-- the America of personal choice, economic independence, and so much more. Let us realize that the greatness of America rests in the People and their will to live free and work hard to be independent. Inside, we are all Libertarians and we should be proud.