The Differences Between Libertarians, Conservatives and Liberals.

Sometimes there is considerable confusion in peoples’ minds between Libertarians and Conservatives and Liberals.  However one major difference between Libertarians and Conservatives is that Conservatives often wish to use the power of the State to force people to behave in ways that Conservatives want.  The same is also true of Liberals, but in somewhat different ways.  Whereas Libertarians oppose using the power of the State for any such ends.  In a Libertarian society people are free to live their lives as they so wish as long as they practice the same ideal regarding the activities of others.  To Libertarians, the role of the State should be kept as small as possible.  Thus Libertarians oppose drug laws, prescription laws, laws that grant any occupation special privileges not open to everyone else.  The professions are treated no differently than people working in any other occupation.  They do not enjoy government enforced “set asides” where they become “monopolists” who have certain rights and privileges that are not open to anyone else.  A doctor no longer enjoys a legal monopoly over access to medical drugs.  A lawyer does not enjoy a monopoly over matters of the law.  People would be certified to perform certain things, but they would not enjoy a government enforced legal monopoly (as they do today) over providing certain services.  A considerably different viewpoint from that of Conservatives who for the most part support the “status quo” in such matters as do Libertals for that matter.  Both  Conservatives and Liberals want to control peoples’ choices through government legislation of one kind or another.  Conservatives want a powerful government that is capable of ruling people by force if necessary.  Of “keeping people in their place” if need be. To this end Conservatives wish to restrict the right to vote, as they fear that if voting isn’t restricted (to those who support conservative ideas) that people will do things that most Conservatives don’t want them to do.  The same thing applies to Liberals, but in somewhat different ways.  Conservatives along with Liberals are also people who want to “mind everyone’s business” regardless of if the people concerned would prefer to be left alone. To both Conservatives and Liberals, people need to be “guided”, controlled, and if necessary forced to do what they consider to be “proper”.  Quite a lot “different” from the way that Libertarians view such matters.

Libertarians believe that everyone should be free to live their lives as they see fit as long as they do not interfere with the decisions of others to live their own lives as they see fit to do so.  Thus if someone wishes to do things that might harm themselves, in a Libertarian society they are free to do so.  Of course if they do harm themselves, they cannot expect their society to “save” them from the consequences of their actions.  This is the colliery of living a life in a free society.  You are free to so whatever you want as long as you do not harm others. Of course if you do something “stupid” you will have the “pay the consequences” of your actions.  This is part of being “self owning”, of being responsible for your own actions.  So you can’t blame others for something that you did to yourself.  Libertarianism offers more personal freedom than any other political ideology, but it also requires that you take full responsibility for yourself.  Quite a bit “different” in its way from the sort of society we have now where people attempt to blame others for any “bad thing” that happens to them, even if it actually was their own fault that they ended up the way that they did!  Thus in a Libertarian society you decide to purchase a medical drug to treat a medical problem without seeing a doctor, then you’d better be prepared to deal with any possible consequences.  You made the decision, you took the drug, so you’d better be prepared to understand what you are doing to yourself.  Again this is part of being a “self owning” person.  Of taking responsibility for yourself.  Libertarianism gives you greater personal freedom than any othe political philosophy.  But on the other hand you have to accept greater responsibility for your actions.  Entirely different from a “Statist” society where you are treated more as a child than an adult.  A society where you are told what you can do, and what you are not allowed to do.  Usually “backed up” by a powerful police force to see to it that you are punished if you do certain things the “Statist” society doesn’t allow.  Like for example obtaining prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription over the Internet.  Which is illegal in our “Statist” society.  One where “government” is virtually all powerful to do as it wants.  (at least if both major political parties are in agreement).  This is “why” both Conservatives and Liberals too support “Big Government”.  They can’t conceive of a society where people are allowed to make their choices, their own decisions with “Big Brother Government” telling them what to do.  To both Conservatives and Liberals, this is virtually “unthinkable” as both believe that people are incompetent to make these decisions for themselves. Only Libertarians believe that people are “competent” and should be free to make their own decisions…


About muskegonlibertarian

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