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Libertarianism: What Is It?

Updated on July 11, 2017
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Any time is a good time to learn about Libertarianism, or any ideology for that matter. Though since the results of the 2016 elections, there are more and more folks who have found themselves curious about the Libertarian Party.

This hub's aim is to help give you a basic, unbiased overview of what libertarianism is and is not. As with all things, it's good to do your own research and actively seek to learn more. Ask questions from your friends, read books, watch videos, join groups and do whatever you can to learn as much as you can. And as always, take everything with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to learning about third parties. They've been heavily vilified to keep you from event wanting to learn about them in the first place, and then to top that off, there's plenty of misinformation spread around that only enhances that vilification.

Libertarianism: What's it all about?

Okay, we're going to keep this super duper simple. Especially considering there are a lot of subjective opinions out there about the details. So here it is:

Libertarianism is an ideology that values the NAP (Non-Aggression Principal) and the maximum amount of individual freedom possible to achieve without resulting in harm to anyone, balanced out by the most minimal central government possible to achieve without infringing upon the rights of anyone.

That's it!

Simple, right?

We'll go into some basic details below, but this is the basic juicy core of it all.

Maximum Freedom, Minimal Government.

That's the all you need to believe in to 'be' a libertarian.

Others might say you need more, but that simply a product of one of many subjective viewpoints. Most libertarians agree: You don't really need anything more than wanting to be a libertarian and believing in the above premise.

The rest is up to YOU, just as it's up to everyone else what they want to add to that basic axiom.

What is Libertarianism - Larry Sharpe

What Libertarianism is NOT

There are a lot of misconceptions about Libertarianism, most of which come from propaganda designed to scare folks away from looking more deeply into the ideology. In this hub, we're not going to go into all of the myths or the great details about every each of these misconceptions. Let's just briefly cover some of the most common myths.

  • Myth One: They're all Anarchists!

    This is probably the most common misconception floating around other ideologies, both because anarchy is very scary, and because there are a lot of anarchists who believe that if they join forces with Libertarians, that they can bring about anarchy instead. Long story short; while we do have some things in common with Anarchy, Libertarians believe in limited government, not zero government.

  • Myth Two: They're really just Democrats/Republicans who don't like their original parties. This is true and false. Libertarianism has it's roots in Classical Liberalism -- also known as Democratic-Republicanism, but like the old Democratic party that fought to for civil liberties and the old Republican party that fought to end slavery, the Libertarianism has very little in common with the modern crony oligarchies that run the DNC and RNC. That being said, the Libertarian party is often considered to hold the values that the both the Democratic and Republican parties held when they first manifested with the Founding Fathers. So in a way, we are actually the TRUE democrats and republicans. Though because those ideological names have been co-opted and corrupted for too long by the DNC and RNC, they're virtually meaningless anymore, which is another piece of the puzzle as to why the Libertarian party was founded -- to create a clear and concise separation from the crony ways of the modern major parties. Additionally, we are considered the only ideology that is both socially liberal AND fiscally conservative. Hence why this myth has been harder to uproot. There are times when when you might find a libertarian rooting for something very liberal, and other times rooting for something very conservative. Other times we might be arguing for something liberal but with a conservative bent, or something conservative with a liberal bent! It just depends on the issue. Though one of the greatest places where we diverge from both parties and are always consistent on, is that we don't believe anyone's beliefs, 'morals', or plans should be forced on anyone else, regardless of how good intentioned that force may seem to be.
  • Myth Three :They're all heartless and hate or don't care about the poor/disadvantaged. This is another very common one, as most libertarians believe that modern entitlement programs do not work and create more problems than they solve. Many of us have experienced the welfare system first hand, and can attest, like many of you, just how ineffective and wasteful it is. This system, as well as many other entitlement systems were never created to solve problems like poverty or retirement, and instead they perpetuate the problems they claim to alliviate. That being said, there are very few libertarians who believe that the poor, under employed, disabled or old, should be left to suffer in the world. The largest majority of sensible libertarians care very much about helping people who really need it. We all vary on how we feel we could help them the most, including ideas like Universal Basic Incomes, Charitable Support, Freeing Up the Economy, and many other methods. Most of us are also open to other alternatives. Additionally, most of us care very much about the environment, protecting people from crony corpratists, providing for Indigenous Americans, and many many other issues. .
  • Myth Four: They're all racists and fundamentalists. There is a common belief that because libertarianism does not dictate the way that people should or should not behave (except in cases of violence or aggression), that we somehow all want to return to the Jim Crow Era, or that we want to allow religious zealouts to rule the country. And while I cannot say that libertarianism is so pure as to be free of all jerks and extremists, most sensible libertarians are not racists, haters, fundamentalists, bigots, or intolerant. In fact, the very basis of our ideology is tolerance for everyone, and not just the select few. In order to have freedom for one, freedom must be given to all, which includes the freedom to make mistakes or be a jerk. Though that does NOT include being protected from the consequences of making those mistakes or being a jerk. We all generally believe that laws adopted by the federal government tend to make or allow more problems than they solve, though we all hold varying opinions about when it is appropriate to enact laws to protect others or not, just like most of you.
  • Myth Five: They're all Pacisfists. Most libertarians practice the "NAP", which stands for the "None Aggression Principal" and non-interventionism. The most basic explanation of this, is that anytime someone forces you to participate in something under the threat of violence, when you have not initiated aggression against anyone else first, is wrong. Though most folks believe that we feel it means that aggression should never occur under any circumstances, which is incorrect. Most of us agree that if someone hurts you, steals from you, destroys your property or does something equally as bad, the police or a similar agency, should be able to use force to protect you, get your stuff back, make the other person pay for repairs, or to even put someone in jail if it is truly necessary. The same can be said of war. Many folks commonly believe that because most libertarians are non-interventionist, that we do not believe in strong defense, which is completely untrue. Most sensible libertarians believe that a strong standing army is necessary in a world with real threats around us. We just believe that we shouldn't waste the lives of our young men and women by sending them out to steal resources, nation build, or to perpetuate illegal wars for profit. Most of us believe that the only time when we should participate in war, is when it occurs directly on our soil, and when it is legally and constitutionally declared by congress. While there are some pacifists among us, the majority of us are certainly not pacifists when it comes to national protection.

  • Myth Six: Libertarians are just Republicans who like to smoke weed. This is a more recent myth that's been thrown around, especially since Gary Johnson's first run in 2012, when a great number of conservatives found their way towards the Libertarian Party where they thought they had found a newer and better Republican Party that would support their fundamentalist and nationalist values without penalizing them for being liberal on certain social issues like smoking pot. And in the sense of not being penalized for wanting to end the war on drugs, they did find a home. Some of them even found they preferred the Libertarian stance on not forcing anything on anyone else, and yet others were willing to compromise some of their harder moralisms in exchange for being much less socially conservative, if it resulted in them not being forced into anything they didn't want to do or believe in either. Yet others realized that they actually never shared modern republican values and actually really were libertarian, and just hadn't learned about the party yet.

    Sadly though, there was still a large number of hardcore conservatives who are dissatisfied with the Republican party for many reasons, including their especially conservative stance on what citizens do in the privacy of their own homes -- who weren't actually interested in really practicing libertarianism or in compromising any other areas of their socially conservative stances. They still wanted to outlaw abortions, penalize immigrants for our crappy immigration system, legally prohibit marriage equality, and so on. For the modern "moral majority", there's no further room for compromise. Though thankfully, most of them after spending some time in Libertarian debate groups, found that the Libertarian Party was not for them, and left of their own volition. Many found a better ideological home in the Constitution Party, the Alt-Right, the Conservative Party, and other ideologies that were much more aligned with their much more strict beliefs about controlling how other people act and behave. Unfortunately, before leaving, many of these folks have and still do manage to leave their mark on outsiders. It could have been something as simple as a hard right individual who was going through an ideological crisis, thinking at one point that they aligned with libertarianism, who while in a hot debate with someone about say -- abortion, openly declared that they were Libertarian. Considering that the LP is still widely unheard of by most folks, these interactions are often some of their first interactions with the term, and when that first interaction has the misfortune of happening with someone who is just trying on the hat, it can leave a lasting impression on others who then take the first impression and often use it prejudgmentally with any future interactions with other Libertarians. Especially if their first interaction devolved into any verbal aggression or infantilism.

    It's unfortunate interactions like these, which have created and perpetuated many similar myths, along with the fact that the majority of Libertarian groups are pretty hardcore about free speech, inclusion of everyone, and very limited censorship. It's important for many Libertarians, that everyone have a chance to speak and be heard, even if what they have to say is vile, completely disagreeable, and never going to be supported by Libertarians.

As stated above, most of these myths are purposely perpetuated by those who don't want you to think outside the lines they've drawn for you. They rest mostly occur from misunderstandings or a lack of experience. Libertarianism is not so much about the difference between left or right, but about the difference between totalitarianism or authoritarianism and anarchy. We are not anarchists, but we are certainly closer to anarchy than we are to totalitarianism. We are people who come from all walks of life. All races, all cultures, all creeds, all religions (or non religions), all levels of education, all levels of sanity, and all ages. Basically, we're just like you. We just believe that you are awesome and that most people are generally good and kind, and make right decisions on their own, and that the only folks who should be punished for their wrong actions are those that have actually done something wrong.

The inspirational Statue of Liberty, a gift from France
The inspirational Statue of Liberty, a gift from France | Source

"I am not interested in having freedom from burdens.

I don't need any authority to free me from responsibility.

I am not interested in having freedoms within an authoritarian's parameters.

I am only interested in self-determination.

I have only respect for liberty as I am a libertarian.”


A.E. Samaan

"A Libertarian society of unfettered individualism spreads its benefits to virtually everyone - not just those who have the resources to seize political power." ~Harry Browne

"Using a broad brushstroke, I think Libertarian - most of America are socially accepting and fiscally responsible. I'm in that category. I think, broadly speaking, that's a Libertarian. A Libertarian is going to be somebody who's really strong on civil liberties." ~Gov. Gary Johnson, LP Presidential Candidate

Source

“If you require force to promote your ideal, there is something wrong with your ideal.” ~J.S.B. Morse

Some additional Libertarian values

Here is a basic list of values that "most" sensible libertarians have in common. It's by no means meant to be an exhaustive end all list of everything we believe in. There are plenty of details, subjective perspectives and varying positions within in issue. That's one of the greatest things about Libertarianism; there's no litmus test or one true "pure" form of libertarianism, as it's not a moral code. It's merely a political code that believes that all people are born equal and are deserving of following their will, so long as they don't hurt anyone else. The rest of these are just the most common additional values that I have experienced many libertarians also believing in, in there most basic forms. Some of those values are:

  • Pro-Choice on ALL issues
  • Personal Autonomy
  • Constitutional Law
  • Individual Equality
  • Political Equality
  • Diversity
  • Keeping church and state separate
  • Fair and Minimal Taxation
  • Peaceful Tolerance and Open Acceptance
  • Preserving the Bill of Rights
  • Honest and Ethical Politics
  • Fixing the immigration system and making immigration easier
  • Ending Corrupt Political "Agendas"
  • Full Government Transparency
  • Liberal Civil Liberties and protecting Natural Rights
  • Minimal fiscal spending, especially federally
  • Economies free from central government interventionism (but not Keynesian Economic systems a.k.a. "Crony Capitalism")
  • Ending Corporate Welfare and Goverment Sanctioned Monopolies ("Crony Capitalism")
  • 10th Amendment States Rights
  • Minimal federal governance based on protecting and preserving individual rights
  • Prosperity for All Individuals, not just big businesses
  • Protecting everyone, and not just the majority, minority or only those we agree with.
  • Learning from history
  • Not jumping to conclusions
  • Moral humility

As I said above, there's more too it, but that's left up to each individual libertarian. Even what I've posted above could be nitpicked by individuals who see things differently. Though in general, as libertarian presidential candidate and former Governor Gary Johnson coined it, the best simplification is that most of us are "Socially liberal, and fiscally conservative". The rest is open to discussion.

Libertarianism does not offer a way of life; it offers liberty, so that each person is free to adopt and act upon his own values and moral principles. Libertarians agree with Lord Acton that "liberty is the highest political end" — not necessarily the highest end on everyone's personal scale of values.”

— Murray N. Rothbard

What do you mean by "free markets"?

Most libertarians are in favor of what is usually called "Free Markets" or "Free Market Capitalism", which often creates a scary image for others, who have been heavily exposed to propaganda that is designed to blur the lines between Capitalism and Cronyism or Corpratism. Because of this, most folks think of free markets or capitalism in general, as one big anarchistic free for all, ripe with bloody conflicts, corporate take overs, and complete destruction of the earth. Though as with most things in life, and especially in libertarianism, things are rarely ever that simple.

True Free Markets are what exist without government interventions and regulations. This actually goes well beyond Capitalism itself, though there are not very many differences between a truly free economy and a free market capitalist economy. The benefits of either system are that they favor no one, rich or poor, high society or low class, politician or constituent, corporation or small business. It's an equal playing field for everyone, and although it doesn't favor anyone, it is actually much more preferable for average everyday persons and small businesses, than it is for rich aristocrats, corrupt politicians, and big corporations. This is part of why they fight so heavily against freer markets. So much so, that everything that has been caused by cronyism, has been blamed on free market capitalism, even though free markets have not existed in America since at least the First Bank of the United States in 1791. Everything that has happened since then, have occurred under what's better known as Mixed-Market Capitalism or Regulated Capitalism, which most folks are not commonly aware is Cronyism or Corpratism.

It's also important to note, that just like our founding fathers, most libertarians are in favor of different forms of market and non market economies. Some of the more common ones are: free market capitalism, laissez-faire economics, geoist economics, Austrian economics, and more. To use an over-simplification; most libertarians agree that a truly free market cannot remain free without some form of government assistance to uphold legal contracts and to reprehend criminals, fraudsters and destructive individuals or businesses. Though there is a great difference between having a strong and robust legal system that protects and upholds true justice, and having a system of market intervensionism and cronyism.

History shows that there are definitely times when people choose to do bad things, and they should not be allowed to just get away with that, regardless of how much money they do or don't have, but everyone else should not be punished for what criminals do, nor treated as if they would commit a crime without government guidance. History also shows that prohibition, and government interventionism in commerce, create far more problems for good law-abiding citizens, than they set out to solve. Only those who actually do something wrong, should be held to the consequences of their actions, no one else.

Now, there's not enough room in this hub to cover all the in's and out's of the Cronyism, so we'll just cover the basics. Cronyism a.k.a. "Crony Capitalism", "Crony Corpratism", "Corporatocracy", "Quangocracy", or "Hamiltonian Economics", is where wealthy aristocrats use big corporations to get government sanction to monopolize various markets, usually through created NGO's (Non Governmental Organizations), and cut out their competition so that they can continue to funnel money up to the wealthiest people. More often than not, NGO's and other regulations are initially proposed and pushed by individuals with good intentions, and later used to further crony desires, though there are plenty of times when cronyists have been happy to implement their schemes and use the same good intention rhetoric to convince the public that they need what is being offered. The videos to the right go into greater detail about the differences between Free Market Capitalism and Cronyism.

I'll go through and create more articles on each subject as well, though until then, here are some wikipedia articles to assist you in your own research: Government Monopolies, Crony Capitalism, Cronyism, Corporatism, Mixed Market Economy, Free Markets, and Economics.

Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom.

— Albert Einstein

"Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none."

"No experiment can be more interesting than that we are now trying, and which we trust will end in establishing the fact, that man may be governed by reason and truth. Our first object should therefore be, to leave open to him all the avenues to truth."

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."

~President Thomas Jefferson

Do you believe you are too stupid, dangerous, or undeserving of true freedom?

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"Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude." Alexis de Tocqueville

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and its issuance."

~President James Madison

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
~George Washington, first president of the United States

"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government — lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
~Patrick Henry

"The people are turbulent and changing; they seldom judge or determine right. Give therefore to the first class a distinct permanent share in the government." ~Alexander Hamilton, founder of the Federalist Party

The Light History of Libertarianism

Okay, after days of deliberation, I've come to the conclusion, as usual, that sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. So for this subsection, we're just going to keep things super simple as well, and then later I'll create another hub for those of you who are fascinated about the long history of Libertarianism in our world.

For now, the light history of Libertarianism in America (because it started way before then) is that Libertarianism originally started out as Classical Liberalism, which is also known as Democratic-Republicanism, Jeffersonian Democracy, Jeffersonian Republicanism, and Anti-Federalism. Yes, that can be a little bit confusing. Though it's important to know that neither Democratic values nor Republican values started out with any of the modern values that they hold today. In fact, they were one in the same for a very long time.

The original Democratic-Republicans believed that everyone, especially folks like you and me, deserved to have complete freedom personally, economically, and spiritually, so long as we didn't harm anyone else. They knew that true freedom would never be perfect, but that the cons of true liberty would be much easier to deal with than the constant slavery of tyranny and totalitarianism. They also knew, that with consistent education and practice, that every citizen, regardless of class, intelligence, race, religion, gender or other dividers, could easily live peacefully amongst their fellow citizens. That knew that while no human was born perfect, that all humans were created equally and had within them the ability to be personally responsible, peaceful, helpful, and prosperous, when they were not under the rule of any other.

As history has proven time and time again, without a ruler, people have to no need nor desire to create or go to war. It's within the best interests of all individuals to peacefully coexist with all other individuals. It's in the interest of kings, aristocrats, fascists, oligarchs and tyrants to go to war and play Risk with their people and resources.

Opposed to these free thinkers and fighters for freedom, were folks who believed that folks like you and I, where not deserving of true freedom or of controlling the government that ruled over them. These folks were to become the first political party in America, known as the Federalist. Whereas the Classical Liberals believed that governments derived their power from the consent of the governed, the Federalist preferred a totalitarnian version of the divine right of kings, and wanted to institute something similar in America. And as per usual, because the Federalist sought to have and hold power, they were not above using fear-mongering or perverting social causes to convince others that although their methods and policies were clearly dangerous and easily corruptible, that they should be considered necessary in order to keep us "safe" and "happy".

There is so much more to this history, but the basic summary is that ever since America made it through the chaotic birth canal and became a country of it's own, those who want power for themselves and those who want power for everyone, have been warring ever since. Though who want power have continually co-opted any political parties that have gained any power and thoroughly done their best to discredit any powerful parties they could not take over.

As time has gone on, those who have become the descendants of Alexander Hamilton and his Federalist party, have continued to twist and contort history, education, and the balance of power to support their crony capitalism, Hamiltonian hegemony, and as of recently, keynesian economics.

Those who descended from such Democratic-Republicans as Thomas Jefferson, continue to believe that truth, justice, liberty, equality, mutual respect for EVERYONE, and personal responsibility should be the values of the land. They continue to believe that YOU and I are worthy of determining and/or finding our own destinies, and that we are more than capable of making right decisions and peacefully coexisting amongst each other. That we are not stupid, dangerous, or in need of being ruled by the 1%.

These freedom lovers have existed throughout history through many movements and parties, though because we believe in Truth over Fear-mongering, logic over easily corruptible causes disguised as social aides, and moral humility over moral narcissism, the descendants of the Federalists have continued to hold sway over the public. Fear and heart-string manipulation have always been much more powerful motivators, especially when knowledge and education have been twisted to support them. Though those of us who have either descended from the original freedom fighters, or have found our way to the truth, have now become known as Libertarians.

Source

Some modern Libertarian causes you might recognize

  • Occupy Wall Street - This absolutely amazing modern action cause was inspired mostly by the libertarian belief that corporations, including banks, should not control our economy, get corporate welfare from taxpayers (Like TARP), or be free from prosecution for the crimes they commit (like oil spills or causing economic recessions). Sadly, because this movement became so popular with everyone, it was quickly infiltrated and dismantled by elitist infiltrators.
  • Audit the Fed - The Federal Reserve is what's none as an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) which holds government sanctioned monopoly over the financial and banking industries in our country. This means that they are a private company that has control over fiat money, currencies, inflation, and much much more. Now, while we all might hold different ideas about the legitimacy of the Fed, nearly every taxpayer agrees that congress and the people should have the right to audit what goes on in the Fed, and how they use, make and potentially abuse our money.
  • Fair Debates - The Our America Initiative is a law suit initiated by former governor and current LP candidate Gary Johnson and other 3rd party candidates including the GP's Jill Stein, in light of the fact that our modern electoral system is very obviously rigged and exclusive only to the selected few in the mainstream parties. And, while there are many folks who do not align with libertarianism, nearly everyone agrees that more options for us to vote for are always better, as are fair unrigged elections. Any candidate who has been nominated by their party, despite size of the party, or the awareness of the general public (which is often censored by the larger parties), should be able to debate in the final electoral debates and be included on all the ballots in all states. The OAI is especially great, in that unlike what many mainstream politicians are calling for, the OAI calls for fair and equal access for EVERYONE in ALL parties, and not just parties they agree with. This includes parties like the Green Party, the Independent Party, the Constitutional Conservative party, and any others.

Famous Libertarian Philosophers, Thinkers, Economists, and Influential People

  • Ludwig Von Mises
  • Frederick Hayek
  • Murray Rothbard
  • Milton Friedman
  • Pierre Joseph Proudhon
  • Frederic Bastiat
  • Ayn Rand
  • Wendy McElroy
  • Ron Paul
  • Rose Wilder Lane
  • Edward Abbey
  • Harry Browne
  • Albert Nock
  • Robert Ringer
  • Lao-Tzu
  • Randy Barnett
  • Richard Epstein
  • John Locke
  • John Stuart Mills
  • A. John Simmons
  • Adam Smith
  • Mary Wollstonecraft

Celebrity Libertarians

Libertarianism might not yet be "mainstream", but it's definitely far from unknown. In fact, there are (and have been) some very well known folks individuals who love and know libertarianism very well. Check out this short list of famous and semi-famous libertarians inside and outside of the LP. Some of them might just surprise you:

  • Penn & Teller (Magicians)
  • John Stossel (Journalist)
  • Dixie Carter (Actress & Singer)
  • Drew Carey (Actor, Commedian and host of the Price is Right)
  • Trey Parker and Matt Stone (Producers, creators of South Park)
  • Bruce Willis (Actor & Producer)
  • Jimmy Wales (Co-founder of Wikipedia)
  • Kurt Russel (Actor)
  • Ben Harper (Musician)
  • Big Boi (Rapper)
  • Nancy Lord (Lawyer & Activist)
  • Clint Eastwood (Actor & Producer)
  • Russel Means (Native American activist, actor, author & artist)
  • Vince Vaughn (Actor)
  • Thomas Sowell (Economist, Philosopher & Author)
  • Heather Nixon (Author, Activist & Podcast Host)
  • "Kane" (Professional Wrestler)
  • Julian Assange (Co-founder of Wikileaks)
  • Peter Thiel (Founder of PayPal)
  • John Popper (Musician)
  • Ron Paul (Doctor, Activist & Texas Congressman)
  • Addie Hollis (Blogger)
  • Walter Williams (Economist & Commentator)
  • Christina Tobin (Founder of the Free & Equal Elections foundation)
  • Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon.com)

The Darker Sides of Libertarianism...

Have you made it past the Libertarian Troll Bridges?

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It would be nice if I could tell you that the libertarian party was somehow all purer and ultimately perfect, but I cannot. Not only because there is no such thing as a perfect ideology, but also because as a libertarian I'm a pragmatist and don't believe in utopianism.

Which sadly leads me to a brief touch on some of the less fun parts of libertarianism. Like all ideologies, the cultures, and identity groups -- libertarianism also has its own minority of extremists, purists, trolls, needlessly image or individuals, and people who pretend to be libertarians with the intention of giving libertarianism a bad name.

For the veteran libertarian, most of these easy to spot trolls and extremists aren't more than a momentary nuisance. Though for anyone looking in from the outside, or those who've curiously ventured into a libertarian circle (especially online) -- all too often they have the unfortunate experience of meeting one or two of these nutballs, before meeting in actual sensible, intelligent and civil libertarian -- who are most often the folks actually involved in the party and the most likely to practice and uphold true libertarian tenants.

It also doesn't help anything that because of many of the myths and misconceptions that have saturated the overall publics beliefs about libertarianism, there are also many otherwise sensible libertarians who have developed heavily offensive debating tactics designed to disarm their debate opponent early on. This, and our own brand of weirdos and wackos, has taken the natural bent within most libertarians to deeply explore philosophical concepts, has created a rather formidable learning curve within most online libertarian groups. This understandably tends to turn away many otherwise very open individuals, who are either tired of the endless antics of the major two parties, or whom are just generally interested in other ideologies. It's also often considered among sensible libertarians, to be the source of many former and current struggles to grow party membership.

Thankfully though, as more sensible libertarians rise up and make their voices heard above the trolls and extremist, as they often previously avoided -- the more folks have found their way around the nutballs and into the heart of libertarianism, a place they're happy to then call their ideological home.

So while no Libertarian can deny that we as a party have areas to work on and extremist minorities with some rather salty viewpoints, we can say that it's definitely worth it to learn to live and let live -- even with salty weirdos with extreme views, and hope that you'll brave the waves of liberty to find out the same thing for yourself.

Why do ordinary people like you, choose libertarianism?

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  • MsMinarchy profile image
    Author

    Miss Minarchy 3 months ago from Seattle

    Yes, I think all of us Johnson voters felt that twinge! Heck, here in Washington we actually achieved the 5% and should've become a minor major party in our state, but out republican secretary of state rewrote the rules and use a loophole to claim that our 5%, after several recounts, was invalid. That stung.

    Anyways, I'm excited for 20/20. Assuming we can play nice during nominations, then I look forward to Larry Sharpe's campaign. I'm hoping to write some articles about him. Maybe it'll get a few extra folks curious before election season starts! =)

  • WiccanSage profile image

    Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

    Excellent explanation. I was so bummed when Johnson fell short of the 5% he need, I'm praying next election will do it!

  • MsMinarchy profile image
    Author

    Miss Minarchy 3 months ago from Seattle

    Thank you! I'm looking forward to yours too. I'm just about to read your new one about differences in income =)

  • Garry Reed profile image

    Garry Reed 3 months ago from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

    Looking forward to your next article!

  • MsMinarchy profile image
    Author

    Miss Minarchy 3 months ago from Seattle

    All very good points Garry! Thank you for the outstanding comment! I've enjoyed many of your articles here on Hubpages as well.

    This article actually took me a bit longer to publish, because I was originally going to include A LOT more about the history of Libertarianism, including the enlightenment movement in France and England, and how that carried over and influenced American founding fathers. Though as you can see, this hub is already especially long! lol

    Though I at least have enough material to get started on another hub going into greater detail about the history of Libertarianism, both in America and through Europe.

  • Garry Reed profile image

    Garry Reed 3 months ago from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

    Outstanding job of explaining American minarchist libertarianism. I've been writing and debating on this subject for years -- decades, actually -- and have learned that inevitably we have to confront the fact that the word "libertarian" was created in Europe as a synonym for anarchy (virtually always meaning non-statist anarcho-socialism) and still means that to many many people there and in the US.

    So your next mission, if you choose to accept it, is to differentiate that from the Modern American Libertarian Movement usage of the word "libertarian" based on NAP and, yes, even includes people like me, a NAP post-statist voluntaryist libertarian.

    Long article but great resource for anyone serious about expanding their knowledge base.