Monday, July 18, 2011

Living Libertarian

When this blog began back in 2005 (and my previous site before that) I focused a great deal of time based on looking at current events through a libertarian lense. When talking about politics it can get so simply boring talking again and again why both parties are basically wrong on the breadth of issues.  It’s even more tiresome explaining to people that on all the major issues that really impact the future of America, the two parties are in agreement.

I live in a blue state and I have many liberal and progressive friends.   They joined me enthusiastically in condemning the wars pre 2008, but I can’t seem to find any of them all that concerned about American deaths that happened even this week.  I remain anti-war without regrets.

Even when it comes to voting and political activism, libertarian action is rather still-born.  My state has now legally institutionalized the two-party system and libertarians no longer even appear on the ballot.  I can’t even throw away my vote the way I want to. 

Instead of these realities I’d just like to focus on the freedoms that do exist, and the new freedoms that our society gains.  I was inspired by a book written by Harry Browne entitled “How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World.”

Harry Browne (who I cast a vote for in 1996 and 2000 presidential elections) focused on how we approach the notion of freedom incorrectly.  Harry focused on freedom as something that makes everyone happy and allows you to expect nothing of other people.  The book is now about 40 years old so some of the concepts are a bit outdated.  If he hadn’t tragically left this world early, I think we would’ve seen a new edition of this book.

I make a lot of choices in my life to live as free as possible and many of them simply make sure that no one else is having to pay my way.  It can be harder and trickier, but always comes with the satisfaction that I’ve done my part not to introduce coercion and violence into someone else’s life.

Politically my ideas may be outlawed from ballot access but I continue to trudge on seeking the opportunity to freely engage in whatever life brings my way.  I hope to see this blog reflect on many of the happy experiences I will have and less on what’s so wrong with things I have no control over.


Gino said...

you will find blogging easier that way, too.

i basically avoid the blatent political democrat v republican or pointing out faults stuff.

i just comment on what i see, from my heart and my mind, even if all i'm seeing lately are movies, food and bottles of bourbon.

yeah, its random.
but i kinda like it when poeple say they never know just what they're going to see when they open my page.

and when you boil it down, how many times can you say: "these guys still suck and my way is better" without becoming little more than a talking head yourself?

blogging, for me, is about life and relationships, and what relationships can bring to life.
endless politics is for those who lack both.

Liggie said...

Hey, I'm a liberal/progressive and I'm still opposed to the wars. I've gotten sick of the human and financial tolls they've taken and the reactionary mindsets they've created on all sides of the debate. Thank God we're getting through the Arab Spring events with minimal involvement.

Get your point on living independently. That said, I'm unemployed and in my job search I'm applying for state assistance. If I paid taxes for unemployment services, wouldn't it make sense to gain some of those services?

Tracy said...

Liggie, I never took a moment to respond to your question. I try not to tell other people what they should do. Unemployment is handled like insurance and you paid your premium while employed. I personally don't have a problem with anyone who collects unemployment.

My own conviction is complicated but I reserve it for myself. I pay for many services I do not use and won't use. My only principle is "does demanding this service require someone else to pay for it against their will?" If it does then I have indirectly introduced the threat of violence and coersion into their life. What changes in the end? I sleep better knowing that I promote peace instead of just talking about it.