Our party is growing. Not only is it growing it is evolving. With new members come new ideas and philosophical discussions. As these ideas evolve we always need to go back to our basic philosophies to keep ourselves from turning into another party intent on curtailing our liberties. It’s a lot of work and it is the right thing to do. For any one new to the party or thinking about affiliating there is the most basic rule. Live and let live.
What does live and let live mean really? What Libertarians mean by live and let live is that everyone has the right to live their life as they see fit as long as they are not directly stepping on the rights of others. It is really that simple. You will hear us refer to these violations of rights as using force or fraud or “true crimes”.
The more complicated question is what gets in the way of this philosophy that Libertarians can affect? In short, laws. Some laws are good and some are bad. First as Libertarians we recognize that every time a law is created we are giving government the power to apply force on its citizens. A good law will address the infringement of rights by others such as violence and theft. This could be pretty simple but it is complicated by the fact that our country, commonwealth and municipalities have been creating laws and ordinances for a few hundred years now. While some of us would like to just scrap the whole system and start over, we recognize that most of society is not prepared for that at the time being. As a libertarian it is our duty to look at the laws on the books and ask ourselves, “Does this law violate individual liberty”? If it does then it is our responsibility to expand liberty by taking action to get bad laws and ordinances off of the books.
That last statement might seem a little overwhelming at first but it is easier than you have been led to believe. If we look at the laws and ordinances that get in the way of Liberty you will find that the majority of them are at the local and Commonwealth level. That is good thing for two reasons. The first is because of the 10th Amendment. The second reason is because your Commonwealth and Municipal Representatives are easily accessible and we all should take advantage of that accessibility as often as feasible. Make a call, set up a town hall about a pressing issue, or show up to township or school board meeting. On a side note, I did not quote the 10th amendment because it is your duty as a Libertarian to be a good steward of the freedoms our Constitution protects. If you are an aspiring Libertarian consider this a homework assignment.
What is fraud? Quite simply it is being intentionally deceitful for personal or professional gain. In the Libertarian view if and individual, group or government intentionally misrepresents themselves in a contract with others, that is fraud. Hence, that the individuals’ constitutional rights to life, liberty and property were taken from them without due process. Violating a contract (e.g. rental agreement, purchase agreement), unjust incarceration and emanate domain acquisitions are common examples.
We consider these examples of force and fraud true crimes and advocate that the punishment fit the crime indiscriminately and equally irregardless of any societal status. That is a subject in itself I will address in depth in another article.For any future affiliated Libertarians I hope this answers some questions. For current Libertarians it is important that we dispel the myths thrown upon us. Spread the word of liberty.
LPPA Legislative Chair