Total Freedom?

2002-05-30

I'm feeling a long post welling up inside me about my political views. I've been working to sort them out for a long time now. I recently played guitar at the opening reception of the Colorado LP convention and that somehow crystallized for me that I don't think I'm quite a libertarian. So many libertarians seem to fight with each other over who is more purely absolutist in their commitment to laissez-faire (you know, let's privatize the parks, libraries, and city streets). Well, gosh darnit, I don't have a big problem with public parks and libraries, and I just don't see how it's realistic to sell off the streets and sidewalks (as pure libertarian theory would call for). I think my philosophy of government is becoming somewhat Hippocratic: first do no harm. The point of government is to protect individual rights. When government crosses the line and starts violating rights, that is a major problem. And so are policies that actively inculcate dependency, such as individual and corporate welfare, foreign aid and intervention, etc. But parks, libraries, bike paths, sidewalks, streets, water systems, and similar public goods or pieces of infrastructure seem pretty harmless to me.


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