Posted on August 1, 2017

No Longer a Libertarian

John Gorman, JNS, August 1, 2017

Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 2012 and 2016.

For a long time, libertarianism seemed to me the political outlook which most closely matched a live-and-let-live view of the world.

I’ve never liked having others tell me how to behave. So why give that power to a government? Reasonable people ought to be allowed to do what they want, as long as they don’t hurt others.

If you want to smoke marijuana, and you’re not hurting anyone else, why not?

Why should the government tell you whom you have to hire? You may not be helping all races and genders equally, but you’re not hurting anyone, either. (Anyone who doesn’t like it is free to start their own company.)

If you want to have consensual sex with another adult, that ought not to be a concern of the government. (It’s hard to imagine now, but there were sodomy laws on the books fairly recently.)

If you want to live in a neighborhood with your own kind, how does that hurt people who don’t live there? It shouldn’t be the government’s job to enforce either segregation or integration. People naturally gravitate to those they are comfortable with, which is why there are such entities as Little Italy. Or Chinatown. Or East St. Louis.

And why should the government be involved in head counting at all? Different ethnicities and genders have different abilities at different things, and to assume that any disparate impact is the same as willful discrimination is simply silly.

Among the more extreme libertarian positions is the legalization of prostitution. Neither conservative bluenoses nor feminists even consider the possibility, but the issue does at least merit debate.

So, if anyone asked, I called myself a libertarian. The philosophy encompassed both liberty, and libertinism, with minimal government interference. Which sounded good to me.

In an ideal society, I could still be a libertarian.

But the official Libertarian Party in this country now advocates, among other things, open borders, and anyone with the foggiest sense of human biodiversity can see how that harms the country.

More importantly, libertarianism only works well when everyone else is libertarian as well. When various groups advocate vociferously on their own behalf, the remaining group will end up being a punching bag and scapegoat. And that group can’t just sit back and say, well, we’re above that sort of thing.

When a country lacks the will to defend its own borders, and when the elites can’t wait to replace the existing population, remaining above the fray doesn’t seem the right answer.

When academia no longer teaches students to think rigorously and present factually-based arguments, but instead brainwashes and “sensitizes” them, you can’t just say, well, they’ll learn eventually.

When the mainstream media present only stories they think will buttress their preferred narrative, you have to counteract their fictions with facts, however harsh those may be.

When so many highly-mobilized interest groups claim to be fighting racism or sexism or religious discrimination, while practicing exactly those things themselves, it’s time to point out their hypocrisy.

And when the government itself — in many cases the deep state — is itself often the instrument of these changes, it’s not enough to sit back and subscribe to the somewhat passive philosophy of libertarianism.

Not sure what all that makes me now, but it’s not a libertarian.