Swayze: We Are All Libertarians

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Lately I have had a few issues with my own views on Libertarianism, as well as with my fellow Libertarians. I still struggle with finding Libertarian solutions when the entire system is geared for a two party mindset. I know that what we have now doesn’t work. But how do you implement something new?

Sometimes I feel that this whole thing is a losing battle. It’s like we’re playing a game, yet the game is already rigged and the two existing players are both in on it. They’ll let us play, sure, but in the end the game is still flawed. My own personal view is that we are a corporatist society which has the symptoms of fascism without the obviousness of the regimes of World War II. Our politicians are owned by lobbyists, rich donors, and large corporations. Many problems, I think, would be resolved if the government were actually of the people and not of the corporations. I firmly believe that more liberty is a good thing (at least for individuals). But I’m not sure that corporations should be given free reign. Corporations are not people, and so I don’t think that corporations should be given free reign to wreak havoc on people’s lives or the environment for the sake of their liberty.

Focusing on liberties is good, but it’s not enough. We have actually have to have solutions, and implement them. If we’re going to be a free people, we need a vision of what we’re going to get. Most people find change unsettling. We have to offer solutions so that they see that letting go of the shackles is worth it.

We have to encourage acts of civil disobedience that hit our REAL oppressor – the large corporations and lobbyists. This means buying local, growing your own food, refusing the big box stores, and refusing the consumerism. Be a hippie for a while. We have to live it. See Rupert Boneham for a prime example. Only when we free our government of the money can real change happen through democratic means.

What I see from some fellow Libertarians is the same sort of rhetoric that comes from the other ideological party – the Republicans. The Republican Party is a party of ideology, whereas the Democratic Party is much more of a coalition. Therefore the ties that bind are theoretical, and deeply held at that. Libertarian mud-slinging about who is “more,” or a “purer” libertarian doesn’t help anything at all, and in fact alienates those of us who genuinely want to see something good happen. Anarchism doesn’t win supporters, and Libertarianism as it stands has to work according to the United States government AS IT SHOULD BE, and not with no government at all.

Frankly, I think that the gray middle ground between the oh-so-evil “statism” and liberty is better than not achieving any goals at all and thus falling further into the pit our country is falling into.

I refuse to be boxed in. I refuse to accept that I have to fit YOUR idea of a Libertarian. The fact is: All Americans are libertarians at heart. We are all Libertarians. We all want the freedom our government told us we had. We were all sold on the idea and now we all want our government to pay up. The hard part isn’t convincing people that their liberties are encroached on; when people see it, hear it, feel it. The hard part isn’t convincing people that something needs to be done. People are “doing” more than ever before. The hard part is convincing people that the whole system is rigged to begin with and that voting for more of the same won’t help. That, dare I say it, voting alone isn’t enough. That our governing bodies are bribed. That we are being lied to. That’s the hard part. And I refuse to discuss trivialities and play the who-is-the-better-libertarian game when the real truth of the matter is that our government has been privatized and if we don’t do something soon, it will be far, far too late.

We are all Libertarians.

Contributor Lynn Swayze is a left-leaning libertarian and feminist. When she's not engaging in political discussion, she works as a freelance direct response copywriter, project manager, and marketing strategist for information marketers. Follow her on Twitter @LynnSwayze.