I like to consider myself the Switzerland of Libertarians, in the sense I stay out of entangling alliances and wars within the Libertarian community and associate with everyone in it. (I socialize like I like my foreign policy).
Why? When I first started my libertarian awakening in 2007 it was Ron Paul/Tom Woods/Robert Murphy who were really foundational to me learning and embracing these ideas. In that I did end up reading and learning a lot of Austrian thought ala Mises/Rothbard/Hayek.
Although, I didn’t stop there I read on the literature and ideas of Milton & David Friedman, Robert Nozick, Ayn Rand, Steve Horwitz, George Selgin, Lawrence White, Deidre McCloskey, Arnold Kling, Jeffrey Tucker, Robert Heinlein and so many more great names in the Libertarian and/or economic traditions.
I can’t see myself denigrating any of it cause all of it illuminated me to so many beautiful ideas and helped me form my own current perspective on issues across the board.
In the desire for peace and diplomacy around the world and within the Libertarian community, I really enjoyed this discussion.
People often times vote R and D out of pure inertia. They don’t agree with the ideas, they don’t know or care who the candidate is, they vote duopoly because they assume that’s how things work. Voting Libertarian is a proactive effort towards something whether an expression of ideas or support for a quality candidate.
Every vote for the LP is a tremendous success because it represents someone is now less apathetic, who connected with a message possibly because of the messenger. A bad habit is being broken, and new habits are closer to being formed.
Every candidate should be tremendously proud of every vote, every donation, and every volunteer. That pride should extend to every voter, every donor and every volunteer because you invested your time and money into something that is building the fundamental change of reshuffling the complacency and defaults that plague society.
As a Libertarian, I’m personally pro-immigration not solely because of the benefits of idea exchange in innovation, more consumers, and the benefits in global enterprise to have a population that is more used to interacting with other cultures.
Beyond cooperation, there are also benefits to the conflict within diverse populations. Recent studies show that more culturally homogenous populations are more tolerant and less skeptical of government welfare and this lack of skepticism often leads to government growth and overreach. (refer to recent episode of EconTalk with Alberto Alessina)
I prefer society be skeptical of everything government does because you’ll have more accountability and less overreach. So in that regard diversity is key.
We see this in the LP, as the tent gets bigger we see the different factions become more skeptical than ever of everything national says and does. This is good, it holds us accountable and teaches us how to do our job with a growing and expanding libertarian coalition. Growth requires learning, diversity amplifies learning which is why I love free markets.
Was just thinking out loud on a question that I get often, “how do you make something I like government does like a park and remove it from government control.”
One idea I had on how you could transition government assets into community entities that are self-funded and have better voluntary governance is the following. This example would be for a public park.
Step 1 – Create a corporation which within its charter obligates it to operate a park for let’s say the next 10 years at which time a renewal of that commitment is voted on by shareholders.
Step 2 – Do an IPO of Common shares that have a built in negative dividend. (Fixed rate meaning the holder of the share must pay each year to continue holding the share, not being paid up will result in loss of shareholder voting power) The IPO would be restricted to individual purchasers with a maximum allotment to prevent an initial concentration of ownership.
Step 3 – The proceeds from the offering become the initial capital to operate the park with additional revenue coming from the negative dividend and other revenue the park may generate.
Because of the negative dividend only those vested in the success of the park will want to own the shares and will be able to directly vote on the governance of the park so it’s governance would not be subject to presidential elections that have little to do with parks leading to better less volatile governance and voluntary funding.
This method may be more palatable to voters as it doesn’t run the risk of an auction which likely is going to be won by the largest financial interest which many would feel skeptical of yet still spins the property into voluntary ownership, governance and funding by individuals.
The difference between libertarians and non-libertarians is we aren’t fighting for a particular solution but for a process to discover solutions.
Non-libertarians believe there is some particular government intervention that is the solution to the problem and will seek data to support that conclusion and when not available reframe the problem so the data that exists allows for the policy they already want in place.
From a libertarian perspective reducing taxes, regulation, licensing, prohibition and foreign intervention is not an answer in itself. Getting these things out of the way doesn’t make all our problems go away tomorrow but it does give individuals and communities the autonomy and resources to begin discovering solutions.
They may not discover them overnight but several small scale attempts at a solution balancing the challenges of resource constraints and the buy-in of consent by those who patron or support these efforts allows for better governance, oversight, and discovery. While one large scale experiment without consent and resource constraints doesn’t facilitate thoughtful governance which often leads to its failure.
Libertarians don’t have answers but neither does anyone else, but libertarians do want to create an environment where solutions can more easily be discovered.
One thing I love about being in the Libertarian community is that Libertarians don’t find saying someone else should help you as tantamount to helping you. If a libertarian determines you need help and is able to help, they help you.
No waiting endless election cycles, political bickering on how you should be helped, just direct aid to alleviate your plight now directly from people who care.
Being part of the Libertarian community isn’t just about helping others understand the power and rights they have as an individual but being part of one of the most vast, resilient and efficient support networks around.
So how about it? Ready to liberty yet?
Most political groups imagine a world if the perfect people were elected to place the perfect controls which everyone responded to perfectly.
This all makes sense in our imagination where it doesn’t take decades to build the political will for the most minor reforms, where the most power hungry aren’t the ones running for every elected position, where everyone isn’t trying to influence that power to their advantage, and opposition doesn’t result in your ideas being distorted into versions of themselves that cause more harm than good.
Libertarianism doesn’t seek perfection, but growth. Growth doesn’t occur by design or dictate but by trial and error as free people live their lives and discover what works and what doesn’t work. Having small controlled experiments at the individual level insulates the damage of failures to fewer people and allow more experiements to be run more often.
Those who want trial error to be done at National or regional levels ask too many to unwillingly be at the losing end of failed experiments that often never end due to bureaucratic inertia while preventing individual experiments from occurring.
So? Are you ready to liberty yet?