Saturday, 14 June 2008

Time for Reflection

The central tenet of libertarianism is the principle of liberty, namely individual liberty. To libertarians, an individual human being is sovereign over his/her body, extending to life, liberty and property. As such, rights-theory libertarians define liberty as being completely free in action, whilst not initiating force or fraud against the life, liberty or property of another human being. Thomas Jefferson stated, "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others." Jefferson also said "No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him." These concepts are otherwise known as the law of equal liberty or the non-aggression principle.

Libertarians generally view constraints imposed by the state on persons or their property (if applicable), beyond the need to penalize infringement of one's rights by another, as a violation of liberty. Anarchist libertarians favor no statutory constraints at all, based on the assumption that rulers are unnecessary because in the absence of political government individuals will naturally form self-governing social bonds, rules, customs, codes, and contracts. In contrast, minarchist libertarians consider government necessary for the sole purpose of protecting the rights of the people. This includes protecting people and their property from the criminal acts of others, as well as providing for national defense.

Libertarians generally defend the ideal of freedom from the perspective of how little one is constrained by authority, that is, how much one is allowed to do, which is referred to as negative liberty. This ideal is distinguished from a view of freedom focused on how much one is able to do, which is termed positive liberty, a distinction first noted by John Stuart Mill, and later described in fuller detail by Isaiah Berlin.

Many libertarians view life, liberty, and property as the ultimate rights possessed by individuals, and that compromising one necessarily endangers the rest. In democracies, they consider compromise of these individual rights by political action to be tyranny of the majority, a term first coined by Alexis de Tocqueville, and made famous by John Stuart Mill, which emphasizes the threat of the majority to impose majority norms on minorities, and violating their rights in the process. "...There needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them..."

But most libertarians would argue that representative majority rule democracy largely has become controlled by special interest groups who represent a minority, leading to a 'tyranny of the minority' against the real numerical majority. Libertarians are egalitarians and believe all people are created equal. People are seen by libertarians as individuals and not representatives of their particular racial, religious or political groups.

Having weak state executive control means libertarian societies are more dependent on the courts for conflict resolution. An impartial judiciary can thus be of paramount importance, for without it wealthy and collective interests might run roughshod over the private citizen.

Some libertarians favor Common Law, which they see as less arbitrary and more adaptable than statutory law. The relative benefits of common law evolving toward ever-finer definitions of property rights were articulated by thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek, Richard Epstein, Robert Nozick, and Randy Barnett. Some libertarian thinkers believe that this evolution can define away various "commons" such as pollution or other interactions viewed by some as externalities. "A libertarian society would not allow anyone to injure others by pollution because it insists on individual responsibility."

SOME GOOD COMMENT HERE! Check tthe comments....


Anonymous said...

I agree with Libertarianism and I think that Wales (when she gains her independence) should be a constitutional republic with libertarian leanings rather than socialim/communism leanings.

I also support Ron Paul and his movement in the US to restore America's constitution and take back the American republic out of the hands of the inept and insanely criminal Bush Administration (I also support Dennis Kucinich's 35 articles of impeachment against G.W Bush for his high crimes and misdemeanors against the constitution of America.

Anonymous said...

MMmmmm, interesting! A Nationalist Socialist Libertarian.

Clearly a suitable case for treatment.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous #2 - Did you actually read what I typed properly or are you a internet troll and just flicked through picking out 1 or 2 words to base your reply on?

I said that Wales should be a constitutional republic WITH libertarian leanings RATHER THAN become a state with socialist/communist leanings. READ properly before making a comment.

FionnchĂș said...

Don't knock the libertarian movement. Although I am no lover of capitalism or god knows Ayn Rand and those Objectivists who influence the miniscule Libertarian Party in the US, there's a growing realization that the two-party American system's hopelessly corrupted to the special interests, corporate powers, and big government. We need third parties and chances to decide for self-government beyond our Tweedledee and Tweedledum talking heads running for President.

Any attempt to enlighten people to a less imperially obsessed rule with greater attention to personal freedom and civil liberties and moral choice, vs. the Patriot Act Big Brother nanny state, should not be dismissed so flippantly by the few thoughtful voters remaining. One small advantage you in Britain and Ireland and Europe have over those of us Yanks: you have viable third parties, ways to vote for different coalitions, and you can slip out of the two-party stranglehold.

Anonymous said...

The quality of education given to the lower class must be of the poorest sort, so that the meat of ignorance isolating the the inferior class from the superior class is and remains incomprehensible to the inferior class. With such an initial handicap, even bright lower class individuals have little if any hope of extricating themselves from their assigned lot in life. This form of slavery is essential to maintaining some measure of social order, peace, and tranquility for the ruling upper class.