Tom at The Liberty Pen interviewed me on his blog, and I thought it would be fun to do the same. It's funny how things work out ... because the interview fits in perfectly with the last couple of posts about conservative philosophy.
To begin I would like to express my gratitude towards The Classic Liberal for being considered worthy of appearing on this blog. My sincere hope is that my descanting will do this site justice, for in my humble opinion The Classic Liberal has a distinguishing standard of excellence that illustrates deferential regard for its readers. Thus, I should in no way abate from the normative.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about you and your blog ... What motivated you, what do you hope to accomplish?
A: The Liberty Pen is my Nom de gare and the blog's derivation is manifested from frustration and my odium for political malfeasance. I became disillusioned some time ago with our politicians and their flaccid form of representation. They do not effect the will of their constituents because their primary objective is to implement party ideology. Most people are nescient of their attempts to redefine our Republic through progressive policies because they are intelligently crafted. Their implementation is subversive in form and their vehicle of choice is the entitlement program. We have a plethora of entitlement programs that are constructed to diffuse social inequality, but their affirmative effect generates a negative quality and thus stifles any utilitarian properties their plan is promulgated to extol. Meaning, by institutionalizing entitlement program after entitlement program you create an opiate by-product which produces dependency. People have become addicted to entitlements and our government is nothing more than a common peddler. In essence people have become addicted to government assistance and they will fight to keep it. However, I will concede that some programs are beneficial, but the vast majority preclude self-actuation and personal responsibility. There is no incentive to better one's circumstances when they know someone else will provide the labor, and that's where we are.
To redirect to the original question, I became motivated after seeing how big the welfare bureaucracy has become and how important redistribution is in its realization. Individual liberty is being abrogated in order to secure social equality, the idea of communal relationship has determined that individualism should be the sacrificial lamb for their belief system. My hopes are to bring this to light and remind people how important the concept of self is. To show how the current definition and understanding of the term limited government no longer applies, and how imperative it is to retract governmental influence in our everyday lives. I wish to connect with like-minded individuals and make our voices heard. The left thinks we are uneducated and weak of spirit, I intend on proving them wrong.
Q: Please tell us about your personal political-ideology ... Do you consider yourself conservative, libertarian, etc.? What does it mean to you?
A: My political preference is Libertarianism, but there are many sub-variants of Libertarianism so I will have to delineate various aspects of my personal doctrine.
Observe the following definition from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy on what a Libertarian is;
“Libertarians are committed to the belief that individuals, and not states or groups of any other kind, are both ontologically and normatively primary; that individuals have rights against certain kinds of forcible interference on the part of others; that liberty, understood as non-interference, is the only thing that can be legitimately demanded of others as a matter of legal or political right; that robust property rights and the economic liberty that follows from their consistent recognition are of central importance in respecting individual liberty; that social order is not at odds with but develops out of individual liberty; that the only proper use of coercion is defensive or to rectify an error; that governments are bound by essentially the same moral principles as individuals; and that most existing and historical governments have acted improperly insofar as they have utilized coercion for plunder, aggression, redistribution, and other purposes beyond the protection of individual liberty.”
Any further explication of my political philosophy will be seen as a parallel to the aforementioned definition, but I can purvey a little more.
1. Government by its nature is force: Our government is an entity that utilizes coercive power to compel its citizens to alter the state of their lives. Or more generally, for the government to provide what certain sections of the citizenry want, it must take from one segment of the population and give it to another. And this is always done by force. Taxation, or as I would like to call it legalized theft, is one such mechanism and is a corollary to governmental interferences within the economy and private sectors. As long as we let our government assert that they are the philosophical and administrative antigen, their methodology, however dire and ruthless, will continue to inject itself within our daily lives until such time we realize we can enact our own destiny. Do you trust the government to tell you what's best for you? I don't.
2. Government is a political animal: Whenever our government injects itself within the spheres of financial institutions, health, science, and private businesses (naming a few), the dynamics themselves are transformed into political issues. When this becomes the case political influence becomes the determinant, our individual interests are dissolved in favor of paternalism, and we will be prescribed a measure of benefit as it suites the needs of our government.
3. Government is like a weed: Confinement is not a virtue of either example. Both sprout up in areas nobody wants and it's hard to expel them once they entrench themselves. Our government invariably surpasses its cope of authority by way of mismanagement and power begetting more power. In the end this costs the taxpayer substantially more and our government dismisses this burden on the American family because we are viewed as ancillary.
A criticism of Libertarianism is that we are selfish and greedy, lacking any emotional component for the welfare of another. We are, after all, a community and thus it is reasonable to expect personal sacrifice so the whole may benefit. This reminds me of the following quote;
“It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.” Adolf Hitler
There seems to be a large number of people who want to blame capitalism and free markets for creating social disparity, but when questioned about the specific mechanics of both you arrive to the conclusion that they really have no basic understanding of their meaning or operational methodology. They just “know” that capitalism is evil and free markets create poor people and keep them in that state of existence. Therefore government must intervene because it is good, but this is a major flaw. For individuals pursuing their separate interests, without governmental interference or authoritative approval, have created the very things people of the collectivist persuasion seem to take for granted.
Take charity for example, I can provide numerous examples where private charities are far superior to governmentally run organizations. This country is the most charitable on the planet, and many people seem to forget that. But the essential facet of charity is the free will to act charitably and without governmental coercion. But under the premise of collectivism, in order to yield the most benefit for society everyone would have to be forced into participation. Expressed consent is immaterial.
Lastly I will end with this, mostly because I think I am rambling. Because Libertarianism can be sub-divided into different political philosophies, I would have to be asked specific questions regarding immigration, abortion, death penalty, economics, and or foreign intervention to fully construct my position. I would be happy to answer those questions in the future if so desired.
theCL: Make sure to stop by The Liberty Pen!