Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

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November 29, 2005

The New Libertarian

by Eric

New articles are up at The New Libertarian. One of the better articles, by Anthony Woodlief, is Bringing Back The Lower Case: Re-examining Libertarianism. It is, in fact, an article that has much in common with the philosophies at the core of this blog.

The reason I will address this topic — and the reason you should care — is because libertarianism represents perhaps the best set of potential political solutions to America’s problems, and is the legacy of a truncated set of the Founders’ beliefs (subtract their belief in God and a strong central government, and you have libertarianism).

The only quibble I might have with this is that the strong central government advocated by the Founders is not at all what we think of today as a strong central government. In fact, what they wanted is what most lower case libertarians (classic liberals) today want. A central government that provides for the national defense, foreign policy and a solid foundation for economics (single currency, no import/export duties between states, etc).

The single best point in the essay, which really is introducing a series, is this:

In short, there is libertarianism, the philosophy of governance, and there is Libertarianism, the creed. The persistence of the latter interferes, I think, with the development of the former.

And this, truly, is the problem with Libertarians today. It is why I cannot call myself Libertarian, or join the Libertarian Party. They are dedicated to a set of beliefs that is carried to an extreme and allows for nothing that might contradict such beliefs. The difference between James Madison and Michael Badnarik is that Madison was willing to compromise if it moved him towards his goal. The point is to move towards the goal, not sit in coffee houses and talk about the beauty of the goal. And the goal is more freedom, more liberty, more prosperity. It is not perfection of those things. Perfection is not possible. Rather, it is the enemy of the good. Let’s work towards achieving the good.

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2 Comments

  1. The difference between James Madison and Michael Badnarik is that Madison was willing to compromise if it moved him towards his goal. The point is to move towards the goal, not sit in coffee houses and talk about the beauty of the goal. And the goal is more freedom, more liberty, more prosperity. It is not perfection of those things. Perfection is not possible. Rather, it is the enemy of the good. Let’s work towards achieving the good.

    Amen, brother.

    I think its time I finally pinned that article why I’m not a Libertarian Party member.

    Comment by Kevin — November 30, 2005 @ 8:34 am
  2. It will be interesting to see what his next essay states. I always look forward to the New Libertarian and I did read that article. I will freely admit I am not sure where I fit into the scenario of what you state is the classic liberal being a small “l” Libertarian. It’s apparent I have alot to still learn when it comes to that aspect of the discussion.

    Brad Warbiany had an article “Peak Liberty” that I found very interesting as well.

    Comment by Lisa Renee — December 1, 2005 @ 11:29 am

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