Libertarianism

The top ten ways to talk about it:

5. At Tom Palmer’s urging, I created a speech, or at least a speech opening, around the theme that “Libertarianism is the application of science and reason to the study of politics and public policy.” That is, libertarians deal in reality, not magic. We know that government doesn’t have magical powers to ignore the laws of economics and human nature.

4. Inspired by Robert Fulghum’s bestseller All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, I like to tell people that you learn the essence of libertarianism — which is also the essence of civilization — in kindergarten:

Don’t hit other people.
Don’t take their stuff.
Keep your promises.

I never fail to be amused by the pretension of the Left that they’re the “reality-based community.”

8 thoughts on “Libertarianism

  1. Pro Libertate

    I didn’t really appreciate how delusional and un-self-aware many on the left were until that meme started circulating. They are no less faith-based than the most fanatic of the religious right. Or any other reality-denying fanatic.

  2. Karl Hallowell

    At Tom Palmer’s urging, I created a speech, or at least a speech opening, around the theme that “Libertarianism is the application of science and reason to the study of politics and public policy.”

    I’d be careful with point 5. A lot of irrational beliefs including for example, eugenics, extreme environmentalism (the kind that thinks any human activity is bad/evil), and socialism/communism, to name a few, all have some basis in rational and scientific beliefs and endeavors. But they didn’t stay there. It’s just not that hard to go from fairly sound basic principles to crazyland through the application of bad reasoning and overconfidence.

  3. Al

    Adding just one more rule to #4 gets you most of the way to fiscal conservatism IMNSHO.

    Trade fairly. Which (in addition to rules 1-3) just really adds honest representation of the product.

    “What? Why does this get you to fiscal conservatism?!?”

    The government has difficulty trading fairly. The mechanisms for protecting individuals (and accumulations of individuals) in trade amongst themselves don’t (and really, have-never and will-never) work in the same fashion when one party is the government.

  4. Bilwick

    “Don’t hit other people.
    Don’t take their stuff.
    Keep your promises.”

    Unless, of course, it’s for the Common Good–then all of that stuff is okay. Chris Gerrib will be by soon to explain that to you.

  5. Thales

    Margaret Thatcher’s maxim concerning power (and ladyhood) is applicable here: if you have to tell people you’re part of a “reality-based community”, you aren’t.

  6. Edward M. Grant

    Libertarianism is the application of science and reason to the study of politics and public policy.

    Isn’t that what socialists said they were doing a hundred years ago?

    1. Thales

      Socialists also claim to study economics and science, but we saw how they trashed those disciplines, too.

    2. Al

      The core concepts of socialism go a lot farther back than Marx. Latching onto the newest regurgitation is the sole support for the claim of being Progressives.

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