Libertarianism 101

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“The only task of the strictly Liberal state is
 to secure life and property against attacks
   both from external and internal foes.”
            – Ludwig von Mises
• "Libertarianism promotes a society where no one is the first to harm
  (strike, defraud, steal from) another. If someone fails to obey this one-
  and-only law, then he or she must make things right again with the one
  who is harmed. The only legitimate use of force is self-defense.
  Basically, libertarianism is a restatement of how we learned to get
  along with each other as youngsters. We honor our neighbors' choices,
  and they honor ours. We don't start fights and only fight back when
  attacked. We try to make right any wrongs that we do.” – Mary Ruwart

• “The basic premise of libertarianism is that each individual should be
  free to do as he or she pleases so long as he or she does not harm
  others. In the libertarian view, societies and governments infringe on
  individual liberties whenever they tax wealth, create penalties for
  victimless crimes, or otherwise attempt to control or regulate individual
  conduct which harms or benefits no one except the individual who
  engages in it.“ – Definition by the Internal Revenue Service
                   Economic Policy
I. Libertarians are Laissez-Faire:

   – “Laissez faire does not mean: let soulless mechanical forces
     operate. It means: let individuals choose how they want to
     cooperate in the social division of labor and let them determine
     what the entrepreneurs should produce.” – Ludwig von Mises

   – “The market economy safeguards peaceful economic
     cooperation because it does not use force upon the economic
     plans of the citizens. If one masterplan is to be substituted for the
     plans of each citizen, endless fighting must emerge.” – Ludwig
     von Mises
                  Economic Policy
II. Libertarians are opposed to corporatism:
   – “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism
     because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” – Benito

   – “The Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the
     State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests
     coincide with the State. It is opposed to classical liberalism
     [which] denied the State in the name of the individual; Fascism
     reasserts the rights of the State as expressing the real essence
     of the individual.” – Benito Mussolini

       • “If the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution
         inhibit the government's ability to govern the people, we
         should look to limit those guarantees.” – Bill Clinton

   – “When politicians control business, businessmen will control
     politics.” – Josh Hanson
                  Economic Policy
III. Libertarians understand that America is not
    “automatically” capitalist:

   – “[Mussolini] organized each trade or industrial group or
     professional group into a state-supervised trade association. He
     called it a corporative. These corporatives operated under state
     supervision and could plan production, quality, prices,
     distribution, labor standards, etc. The National Recovery Act
     provided that in America each industry should be organized into
     a federally supervised trade association. It was not called a
     corporative. It was called a Code Authority. But it was essentially
     the same thing. These code authorities could regulate
     production, quantities, qualities, prices, distribution methods,
     etc., under the supervision of the NRA. This was fascism.” –
     John T. Flynn, The Roosevelt Myth
                       Social Policy
I. Libertarians are socially tolerant:

   – “A free man must be able to endure it when his fellow men act
     and live otherwise than he considers proper. He must free
     himself from the habit, just as soon as something does not
     please him, of calling for the police.” – Ludwig von Mises

   – “But our rulers can have authority over such natural rights only
     as we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience we
     never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for
     them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to
     such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury
     for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It
     neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." – Thomas Jefferson
                       Social Policy
II. Libertarians are not libertines:

   – “The fact is that libertarianism is not and does not pretend to be
     a complete moral, or aesthetic theory; it is only a political theory,
     that is, the important subset. of moral theory that deals with the
     proper role of violence in social life. Political theory deals with
     what is proper or improper for government to do, and
     government is distinguished from every other group in society as
     being the institution of organized violence. Libertarianism holds
     that the only proper role of violence is to defend person and
     property against violence, that any use of violence that goes
     beyond such just defense is itself aggressive, unjust, and
     criminal. Libertarianism, therefore, is a theory which states that
     everyone should be free of violent invasion, should he free to do
     as he sees fit except invade the person or property of another.
     What a person does with his or her life is vital and important, but
     is simply irrelevant to libertarianism.” – Murray Rothbard
                       Foreign Policy
I. Libertarians are just as skeptical of the state’s actions
   abroad as they are of the state’s actions at home:

   – “Government should be restrained from intervening at home or
     abroad because its actions fail to achieve their stated aims,
     create more harm than good, shrink the liberty of the people, and
     violate rights.” – Lew Rockwell

   – “Once you hear it stated, it makes perfect sense that there is no
     sharp distinction between the principles of domestic and foreign
     policy. They are part of the same analytical fabric. What would
     be inconsistent would be to favor activist government at home
     but restraint abroad, or the reverse: restraint at home and
     activism abroad. Government unleashed behaves in its own
     interests, and will not restrict itself in any area of life. It must be
     curbed in all areas of life lest freedom suffer.” – Lew Rockwell
                     Foreign Policy
II. War is the health of the state:
   – “War has always been the occasion of a great – and usually
     permanent – acceleration and intensification of State power over
     society. War is the great excuse for mobilizing all the energies
     and resources of the nation, in the name of patriotic rhetoric,
     under the aegis and dictation of the State apparatus. It is in war
     that the State really comes into its own: swelling in power, in
     number, in pride, in absolute dominion over the economy and the
     society.” – Murray Rothbard

   – “Given that government is a catastrophe always and ever just
     waiting to explode, the last thing we want is for them to mix it up
     with each other. If we have to have institutions that are exercises
     in initiatory violence, and, it appears, we must, then at least let
     us all bend our efforts to keep them away from each other.” –
     Walter Block