Today Dougy-boy asks how you define a libertarian. Having been "accused" by several media outlets and a plethora of useful idiots; I'm gonna drop some knowledge on these guys - if Dougy Carswell isn't a libertarian he's the most confused conservative I know, along with his pal, Dan.
The wikipedia entry on the subject describes it thusly:
"Libertarianism is a term used by a broad spectrum of political philosophies which seek to maximize individual liberty and minimize or abolish the state. There are a number of libertarian view points, ranging from anarchist to small government, and from anti-property to pro-property. The word libertarian is an antonym of authoritarian."
Seems pretty clear; libertarians are against authoritarianism; the arguements start coming when you realise that authority can be exercised in so many ways as to legitimately overide independance that the arguements start coming - the differences between anarcho-libertarian and minarchism, for example.
Me? I recall promising in JuliaM's comments some time ago that I would extol the virtues of a party that champions libertarianism. This seems like a better time to identify my own philosphy on liberty.
My life, how I choose to conduct it and what I choose to acquire and dispense with is my own business; problems arise in the natural order of things when the consensus believes otherwise - we have had over a century of this now and it has reduced a glorious nation (with many faults I grant you) to near ruination.
I am not interested in reviving the empire - that would betray a desire to rule over man without consent; I am only interested in gaining control over my own life, and knowing how badly I have stewarded it in the past I have passed it on to a better steward: Christ. My life, my personal choice. Its sad to me that so many fellow libertarians reject this ultimate liberty, but I understand their choice and hope to be a good enough example to show them there's a better way; having struggled for years, backsliding I can no more feel angry about others decisions anymore than I can force them to "convert" (from what?). I just hope. And pray.
I dont share all of Mr. Ryan's views in the video above by a long shot; I do however believe that at its core libertarianism reflects the most important gift that God has given any of us: choice. People make bad choices, and there should be intervention when those choices wash over onto others lives and fortunes without consent. What makes up for the wrong choices are the right ones; one of the most insideous claims of the looter classes are that a libertarian government would leave people sick and dying on the street, would leave the poor to the wolves, children uneducated and brow-beaten - I hate to tell you this but we have those things now, and they are getting worse, with every step taken to remediate the problem by the looter class it gets worse.
The problem has never been a lack of money or resources - it is a lack of personal input. Which brings me to my final thought on what libertarianism is; it is voluntary fraternity, it is friendly societies helping the unemployed, it is a stranger walking up to a man sick and dying in the street, picking them up and tending to them - all of their own volition.
So when someone tells you we need the NHS, the welfare state or a big government they are really saying:
"Cant someone else do it?"
I say in return:
"No - but you can".