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Category: Philosophy

What is a Libertarian?

You might be a libertarian if … … you’ve been accused of being a liberal, conservative, and anarchist all in the same day. Seriously though, what is a libertarian? The “left” thinks that we’re not as crazy as the Tea Party (or sometimes crazier) and the “right” thinks we’re some “fringe” element of naive youngsters who may have smoked too much pot and live in fantasy land. Then there are those people who think libertarians are nothing but rebel-rousers who advocate anarchy. (Okay, in all honesty there are some libertarians who are anarchists but not the kind that advocate violence, rather more of the bow-tie wearing variety). I’ll discuss the different flavors of libertarianism elsewhere. A libertarian, in short, is someone who doesn’t want to run your life and, of course, doesn’t want their life run for them either. More specifically, adults have the right and responsibility to make their own decisions about their own lives with the caveat that those decisions don’t infringe on the equal rights of others. There are two driving principles in libertarianism: the non-aggression principle and self-ownership. These are principles that the libertarian uses not just in their personal life (though not as a comprehensive life philosophy – that’s for the individual to work out for himself), but the libertarian believes these principles extend to the government as well. Non-Aggression Principle Also referred to...

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Having a Right vs. Being Right

The English language is horribly inefficient, in case you couldn’t tell. Take the word “right” for example. It has 8 different meanings, two of which will be highlighted here. It’s very common in our culture to think that if someone has a right (entitlement) to do something, then they are therefore right (correct) to do it. But this simply is not true. In fact, it would be impossible. Take smoking for example. It’s legal; you have the right – if you’re 18 – to buy and smoke cigarettes, but if you do, does this mean that you are correct...

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