“I don’t go with pragmatic arguments at all.…I don’t go for the arguments that the free market is magic, and that if we left it alone everyone would be better off and happier. I always go to a pure, ideological, moral point of view: I just don’t know.” - Libertarian Deep-Thinker, Penn JilletteI think Penn is a brilliant person. He's gentle of thought, fair-minded and has a fully-functioning BS meter. The fact that he is an atheist and I am not does not change my overall agreement with his earthly point-of-view. Penn's atheism comes from a healthy skepticism of the Bible, and my Christian deism comes from a healthy skepticism of the belief that there is nothing more to the grandeur of life than living and dying. The stuff that goes on in-between is where we agree.
I am a libertarian (small 'l' for reasons I will explain later) because I am a human being. My view of liberty is people-based. I want to be free to live how I choose to live and I want you to be free to do the same. I also want to be free from having your will forced on me, in return I won't force my will on you.
The differences between you and me develop because for some reason both of us have chosen to live in large groups of "us." (When I say "me" I mean me, and when I say "you" I mean everyone else out there who is not "me." When I say "us" I generally mean you because quite frankly "us" scares the hell out of me.) The trouble starts because I like to surround myself with people who think like I do, and unfortunately so do you.
The reality is that I have to put up with you, and you have to put up with me. But since we're both equal, who wins?
At the end of the day, I have no clue what we're here for, what we're supposed to do with our time, or what awaits when we check out. You don't either. You have what you believe, and what you believe is your reality, but it may not be what I believe, or what the person living in a mud hut in the Amazon might believe. You have no right to dictate your beliefs to me, just as I have no right to tell you that you are ignorant for believing what you believe.
What we have in common is that we are here and we are human beings. That's the only fact I have so therefore it's my starting block.
I was put here for some reason, maybe just by chance, maybe by grand design, maybe as punishment because I was an @$$$%^& in a previous incarnation of me somewhere out in some other universe. Maybe I am a proton in a droplet of water, or maybe I am indeed a god-like creature sent here to make the world a better place. Who the hell knows? I sure don't. Either do you.
And that's the root of why I refuse to pledge myself to a group, or a party, or most reprehensibly another human being. We are a species of whining little children who throw tantrums when things don't go our way and groups of us throwing tantrums can get pretty dangerous. Maybe it's not a tantrum. Maybe it's cheering the death of someone we disagree with politically. Or strapping a bomb to our chest, or sticking electrical probes on the genitals of those with whom we disagree. This is the best we can do? After tens of thousands of years of evolution Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney (just to name the prominent leaders of the American demise) are the height of our genetic achievement? That the other side is wrong 100% of the time is acceptable to you? That's best we are capable of anymore?
I have no idea. Maybe it is the best we can do. Maybe it is why we're here. Somehow that conclusion is extremely unsatisfying to me.
I am a person. I know that while I am here I am responsible for myself and my family, otherwise we won't live very long. I know that socialism, nationalism, federalism, communism, capitalism, religion and any of the other things the great thinkers who have gone before us have stuck us with are all pretty much failing. The only thing that transcends the muck and mire us human beings like to wallow in is the desire to climb up out of the mud and be safe and happy.
You may be angry with me right now for raising the questions I've raised. Maybe to the point of wishing that I burn in hell. That's okay with me. I promise not to make you think like I do as long as you promise not to speed up my trip to wherever it is I am eventually going.
I know what's wrong when I see it, I just don't have a clue what's right. That's why I'm a libertarian.
Today's Visual Aid: A Pictoral Representation of Why I Don't Join Groups
History shows that this:
|Obama Flag flying in front of Democrat Party headquarters|
in Lake County, FL
Which inevitably turns into this:
Which pretty much always ends up like this:
Tomorrow: Libertarianism, It's Not Just for Potheads Anymore