Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Political Journey

Libertarianism is a fascinating philosophy. I consider myself a "small-l" libertarian, but this was not always the case. I don't really remember how I got into politics exactly, but I know by high school I was listening to Rush and reading his books. Fortunately that didn't last very long.

I began to delve more deeply into the realms of conservatism. I began listening to Savage and Hannity, but grew disatisfied with them, too. It seemed there was no one out there who was a true conservative and was yet honest and tactful. Yes, that's a burn on Savage.

Then I picked up the "libertarian blockbuster" Ten Things You Can't Say In America. To that point, I had heard of libertarians--they called into one of the local radio shows from time to time--but I knew nothing about their philosophy. Larry Elder cleared all of that up for me. This was the beginning of the end of my love affair with the Republican party.

Suddenly I became aware that Republicans weren't really all that conservative at all. Still, Bush had just gotten elected, so maybe it would take a while for him to govern conservatively. It's safe to say I'm still waiting, and because of my disgust, I did not vote for the Republican candidate in the first presidential election I was allowed to vote in. Rush would be so proud of what he started.

Libertatrianism is unique amongst politcal philosophies because it is so completely unsexy. Socialim gives us the illusion that government can do good for us if we guide it so. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have prescribed in part to this notion. They believe that with their wisdom, the monolithic beast known as government will help solve our problems. Through human wisdom, socialists--of varying degrees--hope to found a sort of utopia right here on earth. Libertarianism is anything but a utopian way of thinking.

It is instead, the avantgarde of politcal movements. All other political thought tries to determine the correct amount of government which will help people live better. The libertarian is equally determined to give the government as little power as possible while not allowing society to collapse into complete anarchy.

The libertarian is not trying to build a utopia, because he is a realist who sees through such nonsense. He is content to building the best possible society, as determined with the members of society itself. Government is inherently corruptable because of human nature. The libertarian tries to limit the scope of government before it grows unchecked and kills us all.

There is nothing sexy about it. It is hardly an ideal for which high praises must be sung. It is instead the most practical philosophy concerning how a goverment should be run. Most importantly though, it is a woefully pessimistic way of thinking. Libertarianism is a way of throwing up one's hands at the inability to make government work well and realizing that the best thing is to make it not work at all.

Its practicality is what makes it right, but unless it becomes attractive to simpler and more idealistic minds, it will never take off. Its a shame of course, but the libertarian is not surprised. It is just like humans to go off and ruin a good thing anyway.

After all, that's why I consider myself one.

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