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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope


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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"That's why I'm a 'small-L' libertarian"

Blogger Evan Coyne Maloney on why he held his nose, voted for the Libertarian Party and hopes McCain wins today's election in the US:

I consider myself a libertarian for two reasons.

First and foremost: for the betterment of the human race. True, these aren’t easy days to proclaim oneself an unashamed capitalist. But whatever governmental market distortions led to the current financial crisis, the simple fact remains that no single system has brought more material comfort to more people worldwide than capitalism.

In America today, people we consider poor have a standard of living that would’ve been thought of as middle-class a century ago. Sure, we can to do better for more people, but there’s only one historically proven way to do it: capitalism. By definition, government can’t create wealth. Only private economic activity can. The more economic activity, the faster the growth, and the richer even the poor become. The larger the share of the economy that flows through the government, the longer it’ll take for the engine of capitalism to grow poverty into extinction.

The second reason I’m a libertarian is because I believe that the individual should be afforded the maximum personal liberty in cases where no other individual’s rights are being abridged. In their private lives, people should be allowed to set whatever personal boundaries their consciences allow and require. And while I believe that people should abide by some form of moral code, it is not the function of the state to impose one person’s moral code on another. If you want to convince someone else to live by your rules, you’re free to do so in the private sphere. But government is too big a bludgeon to be used for such a function.

So, in a nutshell, that’s why I’m a (”small-L”) libertarian.


(ht: Classical Values)

2 comments:

Powell lucas said...

I too am a libertarian, but I tend to hew to the Jeffersonian ideal of liberty: never let the banks, the corporations, the unions, and especially, the government get so big that they can thwart the aspirations of the general populace simply to meet their own selfish ends.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Eric, I nominated you for best GLBT blog for the Canadian Blog Awards. If that's a problem for any reason, just let me know.