I thought that with the upcoming Federal elections that it would be a good exercise to put down my political philosophies in writing. I’ve found that my peers naturally assume that I’m Liberal. I am flattered by this because they always say it as a reflection of my social values (equality, anti-war, anti-greed, etc) however, I do not subscribe to the Liberal platform: I am a Libertarian. This is neither a popular nor a well understood political position.
I haven’t considered myself to be a Libertarian for long but I also haven’t thought about politics for very long. In high school we used to listen to each candidate’s 2 minute pitch over the PA system and then decide who, given the opportunity, we would vote for. At the time I would either just go with the Green Party because I thought it was cool to support the little guy or I would settle on the Liberals because my mom was a teacher and I knew that I was supposed to hate the Conservatives. Then when I got into University I thought even less about politics. I was too busy thinking about God, girls and getting the fuck out of there. I’m happy to report that now that I’m an atheist, a ladies man and free from the shackles of University that I have some interest in what sort of system is at the helm of the nation that I love.
I now want to make a list of the main reasons that I would vote Libertarian (no candidate in my area unfortunately). These reasons will be mostly broad stroke philosophical points rather than case specific practical points. I have heard some interesting arguments about how a Libertarian system would handle some popular services and contentious issues but I am not the person to make those cases. I would suggest David Boaz’s book The Libertarian Mind for anyone who is interested in learning more or tearing these ideas to shreds. So here we go…
- I believe in freedom. Not some misguided “it’s us versus the terrorists” kind of freedom but rather the kind of freedom that says I know what’s best for myself and even if I don’t, let me be stupid. In a truly free society civilians should be able to do whatever they want, ingest whatever they want, say and think whatever they want just so long as they do not cause harm to other free civilians.
- I believe in small government. There are way too many moving parts and the salaries of politicians are insane! Even if you like what the current government is doing, don’t give them too much power.
- I’m socially Liberal and financially Conservative. Though I consider Libertarianism to be off the political spectrum entirely, it does blend important features of both poles. That being said, both spectrums seem to be fucking up what they’re supposed to be good at. The Conservatives keep running insane deficits and the NDP (Alberta’s provincial leaders) just banned menthol cigarettes. What the fuck?
- I believe that people are good and that we all have the power to help one another. I consider myself to be a generous person and more importantly, I am unexceptional. I know there are people who are greedy and that’s ok. Everyone has the right to hoard their valuables or turn a blind eye but I think that there are enough people like me (And most of the people who will cast the winning votes for a Left Wing government in a few weeks) who want to see the masses healthy and happy. I just don’t think we need government force to achieve this goal. Which leads me to…
- I don’t want to rely on government force to do anything that I wouldn’t use force for myself. I would use force to stop violence but I would not use force to build a new park. Pretend for a minute that I stop paying taxes. Maybe I don’t like that 11% goes to paying off interest on our government’s own debt. Maybe I don’t like that 9% goes to military, thus making me actively support killing people overseas. Maybe I just flat out don’t feel like it this year. So what would happen? First I would get a notice in the mail. And then probably a few more. Then I would probably get a nasty phone call. Eventually, a police officer (with a gun) would show up at my home and take me to jail. So just keep in mind that anything the government does (even really cool and fun stuff!) is done with scary force. So again, I want force to be used to prevent violence, not to issue University grants.
- I believe it is disrespectful to hold other people to different standards than I hold myself. I am a man with average intelligence, average income and exceptionally good looks. This certainly affords me some advantages in life. However, there are innumerable people in this country who are much more intelligent, athletic, wealthy, innovative, crafty, artistic, energetic etc, etc, etc. Some people obtain these things through hard work and others are simply born into these various privileges. People are not dealt equal hands and therefor the only fair solution is to allow everyone equal opportunities. It is no more justified to take money from a law-abiding wealthy person than it would be to dampen anyone else’s forms of privilege. Instead, why not learn to play the hand you are dealt? And this certainly includes asking for help. I constantly hear from the 99% (of which I am included) that they don’t have enough money, that they’re in debt and that life is just generally not fair. However, when I examine some of their lives I notice that they spend more money than they make and they feel entitled to jobs that aren’t in demand. Since I flew a very loving coup I have only lived in extremely humble environments. First, I rented a glorified closet for $250/month in a student house with 8 other people in it. During this time I switched from working part time in a shoe store, painting houses and picking berries. Then, when I moved to Calgary I shifted from one studio apartment to another. I have never owned a TV, I have only once owned a used car (which I paid for in cash), I don’t have a mortgage and I don’t spend the hundreds of dollars at the club that masses of people seem to do so easily every weekend. I live modestly and I am ecstatic to do so. I have so much more than I need and that allows me to help people that have less for legitimate reasons and not dumb shit, lazy ass, greedy, stupid FUCKING REASONS! If I can live this way and be happy and healthy then anyone of modest privileges can do the same. And what about those who were dealt the 7-2 hand? Let’s help them. Please, let’s help. And we don’t need guns to do it. You 99% folks are Fucking Billionaires compared to huge populations throughout the world and some places in Canada. Put the damn shoe on the other foot and kick them some jingle or volunteer your time where you can. You may not ever have that dick lengthening Lexus but you can buy Corn Flakes and that’s pretty fucking cool!