Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Libertarianism in Politics and Voting

Its been a while since my last post, Oh well. I have been mostly reading news articles, fixing computers, and playing video games.

My perspective on the above has been changing most quickly since last summer, though my blog posts have not yet shown that change. Such a modification goes something like this: constitutionalist, minarchist libertarian, anarchist libertarian, autarchist, and now something around voluntaryism, agorism, and anarcho-capitalsim. The distinctions are mostly academic in nature once I got beyond anarchist libertarianism, though I find it interesting that voluntaryists, agorists, and anarcho-capitalists will occasionally bicker that one or the other isn't principled enough.

Principles, notably the non-aggression principle, are what make the libertarians in America different from almost every other political perspective in the world. Libertarianism takes not specific issue, like gay marriage or abortion, as its beliefs. Instead, Libertarianism takes the simple and universally obvious non-aggression principle as the foundation of positions on any particular issue.

This principled stance against aggression results in opposition from conservatives and liberals, but not because cons or libs think the non-aggression principle is wrongheaded. Rather, cons and libs see libertarianism as evil because of the positions it takes on the numerous issues in American politics. That is the basis of mudslinging, but it works to discredit potential libertarians, who have been convinced that only issues matter.

For instance, my mother recently mentioned that she considers herself to be a Pro-Life libertarian. That distinction comes from the fact that the Libertarian Party has a neutral stance on abortion. In case anyone was unsure, the Libertarian Party does not define libertarianism; the LP is merely a bunch of libertarians who want to see an L next to some names in Congress. This is why I have extreme doubt that the LP will ever gain any ground.

Speaking of gaining ground, Ron Paul did more for the spreading of libertarianism while he was on campaign in 2008, than most any LP party. That is because Ron Paul has gotten himself into places where the LP either cannot or will not go, like the widely publicized Republican Convention.

I think that the LP, Ron Paul, and any other libertarian should only have speaking tours. Ron Paul was not applauded at the places he spoke at because he was a great speaker, but he was honest, which is naturally lacking in the most prominent of politicians. I have never heard hide-nor-tail of LP candidates in my area, but I have heard lots about libertarian-esque speakers in places like Arizona and New Hampshire.

Now don't get me wrong, my lack of faith in libertarians getting elected is not accompanied by some desire to find the next-best-candidate. I have given up all hope in politics and therefore voting. Voting has become, to me, a sort of waste of time; I get to show my ID, stand at a booth, color in some circles or poke some names on a screen, watch the results on TV, then forget that I voted at all.

The only other time I can think of that I do similar things was the SAT, and I never saw any benefit in taking the SAT aside from avoiding flak from people who thought the SAT was direly important. What is odd is that most things I go out of my way to do revolves around the idea that I want to avoid complaints; maybe that is my don't-hurt-me reflex out of order.

At any rate, I no longer vote, and I probably will continue to see irony as people are disappointed by politicians who are caught doing illegal/immoral things(Spitzer, Blagoyavich, Bill Clinton). When I was about to do something stupid, my sister said that she would laugh if I get hurt, which I naturally ignored and proceeded to get hurt. She did not laugh, but said, "I told you so."

I wonder how Americans would react to a book that goes through the entire history of political disappointments in America. It would castigate both Republicans and Democrats while pointing out the irony of the event; Libertarian politicians may get a mention, if only to point out the futility of politics as a means of progress.

It was real and it was fun, but I still can't define a libertarian.