Libertarianism and “Minding Your Own Business”

One major difference between Libertarians and those belonging to our two major political parties here in the US is that Libertarians understand that if you want to have freedom, you must extend the same principle in your relations with everyone else.  This is the basis on which Libertarians reject the idea of “force and fraud” to get other people to do as they wish.  Instead we must rely upon reasoned persuasion, upon rational argument, not upon attempting to use the “Force of Government” to get people to do as we think they should.  Thus, while a Libertarian may be “pro-life” or “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion, we honor the right of others to make these decisions for themselves.  By rejection of the use of force or fraud (or having “government” do it for us), we honor the freedom of all to make decisions for themselves.  Only if force or fraud is used against us may we use force in the act of self defense against those who commit aggression against us.  This also applies to international affairs as well as our personal lives.  For this reason, Libertarians oppose the use of military force against other countries unless those countries have used military force (or encouraged private individuals to do the same thing) against us.  Take the issue of the attack upon US citizens and property by the group of 19 terrorists acting as the agents of their leader, Osama bin Laden.  This attack was launched and carried out by private individuals with the financial support of their Saudi Arabian millionaire leader.  In principle no different than the actions of some para-military force created by any number of radical political groups.  Legally, what we had here was a criminal act carried out by an organized terrorist group for political and religious reasons.  In the case of 9-11, this was driven by a form of religious fanaticism of a sort that still exists in certain parts of the world, and which is not limited to Islam as such.  Every religion has had its fanatics, people willing to kill on behalf of their religious beliefs.  Just as there have been people willing to kill (and be killed) on behalf of political beliefs.  Which is why human history is as violent as it is, and with increased technology, warfare is becoming yet more terrible yet, with thousands, tens of thousands of innocent lives being destroyed because of a political or religious ideology as the driving force.  Even now, we are discussing committing military action against the country of Iran, simply because they are attempting or it is “said” that they are attempting to construct a nuclear weapon…  Considering that the US decided to wage war against Iraq here earlier in this century (Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11), and against Afghanistan because Osama bin Laden supposedly was living there (turned out he was living in Pakistan and had been living there for years), we can hardly claim that the USA is a “peace loving country” when we go about using “force” against any country or any people who refuse to do as we wish.  Or threaten the use of force as we are now doing in the case of Iran.  Or to interject our military forces in a civil war such as what is now occurring in Syria.  This is the action of a “bully”, not a “peace loving people”!  No matter what anyone may think, Libertarians as a matter of principle completely and totally reject the idea of “preventive war”, or the use of military force against countries that that may happen to disagree with our political or religious ideas.  Or the use of force to take or control natural resources that belong to someone else.  Or use military force because of our “War on Drugs” is failing to prevent the sale of these drugs here in the USA.  All of these activities are contrary to the basic principles on which Libertarianism is founded!


About muskegonlibertarian

77 year old retired owner of a security guard agency. Member of the Libertarian Party.
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