Monday, May 24, 2010

A Look At Libertarianism

      Because of the nomination of Dr. Rand Paul to be the Republican candidate for Senator from Kentucky, I have decided to take a closer look at Libertarianism. I must admit that on first glance it sounds appealing.
      According to the Libertarian Party’s web site, “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions. Essentially, we believe all Americans should be free to live their lives and pursue their interests as they see fit as long as they do not harm one another. In a nutshell, we are advocates for a smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.”
      According to Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz, “Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force - actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.”
      Generally libertarians also oppose any form of taxation or interference in the economic system.
      As near as I can tell, the role of government in a Libertarian society would be that of building highways, maintaining the Armed Forces, law enforcement, etc., but that brings up a few problems.
      First of all, it takes money, and government money comes from taxes of some kind. Second, who would decide where the highways should go? How would the necessary land be obtained? Or would highways be built by private enterprise? This is unclear in libertarian writings.
      Things like helping the poor or those without any property-rights would be on a voluntary basis. Although barring certain classes of people from your business premises would be allowed, no business-person would do so because he would be losing not only the business of the forbidden class, but also the business of those people who might not think it a responsible thing to do.
      But suppose all these problems could be solved, such a Libertarian Utopia would still be subject to the one problem faced by all Utopias: it would be inhabited by human beings. And human beings are subject to the seven deadly sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride.
      Let’s face it; in the beginning the United States came pretty close to being such a society. Fortunately, the Founding Fathers came along and wrote the Constitution with its wonderful Preamble, mostly ignored in the Libertarian philosophy: We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
      When the great boxer, Joe Louis, was asked about his decision to enlist in the racially-segregated Army in 1942, he replied, "Lots of things wrong with America, but Hitler ain't going to fix them."
      Neither is Libertarianism.
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      Working with language and logic, the Spirit could rearrange, combine, and transform the vast number of memories in the human brain to create wholly new solutions (and problems). The speed of creativity was increased by many orders of magnitude. Insights became possible. For the first time, a man could run through the streets screaming, “Eureka, I have found it.” He could also say, “If you don’t bow down before my god, I will kill you.”
      The Growth of Language – The Spirit Runs Through It.

The book and/or a free look inside is available in paperback or on Kindle at Amazon.

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