Friday, November 30, 2007

Libertarianism. Is it left? Or right?

An interesting comment I hear from people commonly is that libertarianism is right wing. They probably conclude this due to comments of abolishing all welfare policies, promoting tax cuts and libertarians ranting for increased privatization. In New Zealand we have a Labor party considered to be 'left' and a National party considered to be 'right', consequently the people who accuse libertarianism to be 'right' are among the many illiterate, philosophically inept, ignoramuses who think along this linear axis.

If one were to consider the two extremes: communism to be the extreme 'left' and fascism to be the extreme 'right', although appearing at polar opposites these two political views unite into one common denominator: coercion. This was seen in WW2 where fascist Italy allied with communist Russia in the fight to proliferate and defeat the globe. Libertarianism is about the system of individual rights whereby people in society ascribed rights to freedom and property. This of course means free-markets and a government who’s role is to protect the rights of every citizen. So whether it is society which rules or a dictator which ever policies one chooses, one must appreciate that their views cannot be conducted without the use of force to their neighbor, pissing on their individual rights to property and freedom.

Anarchy still does not have a system in place whereby equal rights under a law are granted and defended competently, therefore allowing for coercion to take place without legal restraint.

“If you really must simplify everything in this fashion, then a more meaningful arrangement is to make the traditional spectrum two-dimensional rather then one-dimensional by placing another line across the existing one facing north-south, with freedom and libertarianism to the north and authoritarianism at the opposite pole to the south. At the four points of the compass then you would have Lenin, Mussolini and Winston Peters to the south; left-liberals like Gandhi, Ralph Nader and Nandor Tanczos to the west; conservatives such as Margaret Thatcher, Rush Limbaugh and Ian Wishart to the east. Libertarians of course join Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and P.J. O'Rourke at the top of the world.” Peter Cresswell.

“However and all in all, to paraphrase W.C. Fields, libertarians would rather be in Philadelphia. In 1776. And since the view of the state-citizen relationship expressed in the US Declaration of Independence doesn’t seem to have a comfortable place anywhere on the conventional Left-Right spectrum, it behoves us to leave those on it to quibble over who is to coerce whom, to what extent and why, while we get on with the business of promoting freedom – accepting with reluctance that in the meantime we shall undoubtedly have to put up with ignoramuses calling us “right wing.” By their ignorance may ye know them.” Peter Cresswell.

1 comment:


W. Beran Wolfe:

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