Thursday, January 01, 2009

Libertarianism is Comprehensive

It really was my intent to write an entry last week even though it was the week of Christmas. However having a cold while having family visit during Christmas made three strikes and I was out. On the plus side conversations with a family member did contribute to the idea for this topic.

A common refrain from those who are libertarian but hesistate to use the name to describe their ideological leanings is that if some part of the libertarian platform were implemented it would cause problems because of the way it would react with the status quo. For instance, if drug laws were liberalized right now then the resulting stress on the Medi/Medi system would increase taxes on everyone else to pay each time someone uses drugs to excess and cannot afford treatment.

There are actually many issues like this, contingent issues in which people would be libertarian except for the consequences of fulfillment of a plank. What they are really having a problem with is partial fulfillment of the libertarian platform because of perceived omissions.

But the omissions are only perceived. The libertarian platform would indeed allow someone to ride a motorcycle without wearing a helment, but would also not pay for the healthcare of a person who rode a motorcycle without a helment. Both the rule giver and the care giver aspects of government are addressed in the libertarian platform.

Not only are people able to make their own decisions (not "allowed" but "able" since "allowed" connotes that the government has the proper role of decision making but has delegated it to the person) but people are forced to bear the consequences of their own decisions.

The financial markets would be deregulated AND nobody would receive a bailout if they failed. Education would not be mandatory AND nobody would live off the public largess for failing to receive an education. Drugs would be legal AND nobody would get Medi / Medi health care for scrambling their brains.

In each and every case, it’s already in the platform.

Then it is said sometimes that certain aspects are not sufficiently emphasized. That’s not the case. Republicans exposed to libertarianism wouldn’t pay much attention to opposition to government sponsored health care because that issue isn’t important to them and they already sort-of agree with libertarians on it, but they will immediately think of the status quo of government health care when they get to the motorcyclist without a helment. Having failed to pay attention to healthcare they see only hedonism. But a Democrat exposed to libertarianism would indeed say that the opposition to government health care is a major point. It’s reader bias, not platform bias.

One could make the case that certain issues should be more heavily emphasized than they currently are. The problem is that since libertarianism is such a contrast to the current system as represented by the socialist warmongers in both parties, that would require that every aspect of the platform receive primary emphasis. That means equal emphasis, and in many ways that is currently the case, or at least was in 2004.

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