Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I am Striving For

While I am a huge libertarian, the truth is I am actually more apolitical when it comes the issues of the day than anyone else.  It is not that I do not care about the issues of the day, but that I tend to look at them in a much different way than most other people.  Then again, most libertarians tend to do this as well.

I could say that my political leanings are libertarian but only because my own personal philosophy reflects that.  I do not believe that government should be a part of my life anymore than a total stranger should be.  I believe that my life is, well, mine to live how I see fit, provided it is honest and peaceful.

To that end, my view on several issues is not as libertarian as some may believe.  On the contrary, I believe that every individual is their own person and the choices we make, regardless of government intervention, are ours alone.  You always have a choice, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what force is being applied to you.  True freedom is being able to say no to the man with the gun to your head.

Take abortion for example.  Now, I am a big pro-life person and I do believe that abortion is murder, regardless of the circumstances of the pregnancy.  But I do not go out marching in the streets calling for bans on abortion.  Frankly, I do not care whether or not the government bans it or upholds it.  This is because I know I will never support anyone else’s abortion and I will always encourage women I know to seek better options.  In my view, it does not matter what the government does with regard to abortion because I will not support any such morally reprehensible behavior.

The same can be said for gay marriage.  I do not believe that the government defines marriage.  I believe that God does and regardless of what a government mandates, that does not make it right.  God makes right, not might.

As for welfare, I am annoyed that my tax money goes to lazy, unproductive people.  But I am living my life in a manner that will help to avoid falling into that trap.  If every young person did as I did with regard to finances, that is plan for their future and do not count on the government to catch when you fall, then welfare could be eliminated in my lifetime simply because no one would really need it (or want it).  The best thing to reduce the size and scope of government that an ordinary individual can do is to live a life that refuses government handouts.  Voting only happens once a year, after all.

So really, that is what I am striving for.  I am looking to live a life where the matters of politicians and bureaucrats affects at the barest minimum and there is more than one way to do that.  I have probably chosen the hard way, in that I am striving to change the attitudes of people rather than the government they live under.  But this may seem so at face value.  After all, Socialism would never have been a popular movement if people worked for their own lives and did not worry about other people beyond the scope of their own families.

The ugly truth is, if most people focused only on their own livelihood, we would have little need for government beyond the absolute basic functions of government.