Friday, October 01, 2010

We're not gonna take it...

My old buddy Stinky Wilmont was, without a doubt, shoes off or shoes on, the best tree climber at Millville Grade School. Even the big knobby Hackberry that was the corner marker between the school playground, Summit Taylor's back lot, and Fred Harrison's corn field, and stood 15 feet to the first limb was no match for Stinky's prowess.

Most of Stinky's buddies, who fancied themselves accomplished tree climbers also, held a deep appreciation for his abilities. Bernice Hawkins, however, upon seeing Stinky up in the tree, would assume her duties as a Junior Volunteer Safety Patrol Captain and inform Principal Baker, who in turn would come out and unleash a torrent of invective against poor Stinky for climbing the tree, and against the rest of us for encouraging his behavior with our praise.

Afterwards, Stinky felt bad, his buddies felt bad, Principal Baker went back and joined the other teachers in the furnace room/smoking lounge, and Bernice went back to playing on the maypole, and keeping a watchful eye in case anybody started to enjoy themselves again.

I never really understood why it bothered them so. While our gang wasn't really into maypoles, we didn't mind if Bernice and her friends enjoyed them. And most of us were still at least a couple of years away from taking up smoking full time, but it didn't bother us too much that most of the teachers had the habit. Besides, everybody knew that climbing trees wasn't nearly as dangerous as maypoles and cigarettes.

That's one of the things that attracted me to the Libertarian Party. I've never had a Libertarian tell me I couldn't climb a tree. Or tell me I had to.

Many of the discussions I have about Libertarianism involve peoples' concerns about what they think Libertarians want to take away from them, and why most of the time those people are wrong.

Libertarians are opposed to the initiation of force. That means if an adult decides to enter into an arrangement with another adult, or group of adults, and if that arrangement doesn't require force, then Libertarians probably aren't going to use force to keep you out of that arrangement.

If you choose to pool your retirement savings with another person's savings, or with a million other peoples' savings, and dole it out as the group sees fit, Libertarians have no desire to take that choice away from you. You get to choose how it's managed, and who manages it. The only thing you won't get to do is force somebody else to join or fund your arrangement.

And if you want to join together with some people and invest in a new business that wants to come to your town, you can do that too. You just won't be able to force your neighbors to invest if they don't want to.

Libertarians aren't going to try to deprive you of your right to associate with whoever you choose to associate with, and they won't try to deprive you of your right to support any charity or project you deem worthy of support, as long as you remember that your neighbor may not share your feelings about the worthiness of a particular charity or project.

The only thing Libertarians will take away from you is the ability to initiate force against another individual.

And that's a heck of a lot less than what the government is taking away from you now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:50 AM  

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