CNN’s Chris Cuomo says that all punches are not equal because ANTIFA is fighting racists. We explain why violence in any form and through any motivation is wrong through the Non-Aggression Principle.

 

 

The Basics of the Libertarian Movement

Chris Spangle, Greg Lenz, and Brett “Never” Bittner walk our listeners through the libertarian movement. See our guide to the libertarian movement here. See Libertarianism.com here. See the Path to Libertarianism here. Visit the Advocates for Self-Government here. Hear the first episode, The Basics of the Libertarianism, here.

The Basics of Libertarianism

Chris Spangle, Greg Lenz, and Brett Bittner outline the foundational principles of libertarianism. See Libertarianism.com here. See the Path to Libertarianism here. Visit the Advocates for Self-Government here. Hear the second episode, The Basics of the Libertarian Movement, here. Click here for the Marshall Fritz speech mentioned.


What is a libertarian?

Libertarianism seems like a complex political philosophy. It isn’t difficult to understand. Take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz.  You may already be a libertarian.

Marshall Fritz, the man in the YouTube video below, was the creator of the quiz. In the video and audio, he gives one of the best explanations of what a libertarian is.

First, a little synopsis. A lot of people like to say that libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Fundamentally, libertarianism is about the freedom and liberty of an individual. Each individual knows what is best for them and their community. Yes, it IS about reducing the size of government, but that is a small piece of what a libertarian believes. Simply put, libertarians don’t want to hurt others or take their stuff and that idea is extended through all aspects of society.

“Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don’t hit your sister.” – Ken Bisson

David Boaz in his book Libertarianism: A Primer outlines the key concepts of the philosophy: Individualism, Individual Rights, Spontaneous Order, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Markets, the Virtue of Production, the Natural harmony of interests, and Peace. (Read his description here.)

“Libertarianism is what you probably already believe… Libertarian values are American values. Libertarianism is America’s heritage of liberty, patriotism and honest work to build a future for your family. It’s the idea that being free and independent is a great way to live. That each of us is a unique individual with great potential. That you own yourself, and that you have the right to decide what’s best for you. Americans of all races and creeds built a great and prosperous country with these libertarian ideals. Let’s use them to build America’s future.” – David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and author of Libertarianism in One Lesson

What is a Libertarian? An Introduction to Libertarianism with Marshall Fritz

What is a libertarian?

Libertarianism seems like a complex political philosophy. It isn’t difficult to understand. It comes down to three big ideas. If you haven’t been through our guide to the libertarian philosophy, The Path to Libertarianism, then please check it out here.

Before you think through these ideas, take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Retake it afterwards to see if you have moved closer to the top of the diamond. Marshall Fritz, the man in the YouTube video below, was the creator of the quiz. In the video and audio, he gives one of the best explanations of what a libertarian is.

First, a little synopsis. A lot of people like to say that libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Fundamentally, libertarianism is about the freedom and liberty of an individual. Each individual knows what is best for them and their community. Yes, it IS about reducing the size of government, but that is a small piece of what a libertarian believes. Simply put, libertarians don’t want to hurt others or take their stuff and that idea is extended through all aspects of society.

“Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don’t hit your sister.” – Ken Bisson

David Boaz in his book Libertarianism: A Primer outlines the key concepts of the philosophy: Individualism, Individual Rights, Spontaneous Order, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Markets, the Virtue of Production, the Natural harmony of interests, and Peace. (Read his description here.)

“Libertarianism is what you probably already believe… Libertarian values are American values. Libertarianism is America’s heritage of liberty, patriotism and honest work to build a future for your family. It’s the idea that being free and independent is a great way to live. That each of us is a unique individual with great potential. That you own yourself, and that you have the right to decide what’s best for you. Americans of all races and creeds built a great and prosperous country with these libertarian ideals. Let’s use them to build America’s future.” – David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and author of Libertarianism in One Lesson

From Libertarianism.org:

“Marshall Fritz founded the Alliance for the Separation of School and State and Advocates for Self-Government, and was perhaps best known as the creator of the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, a 10-question survey that places quiz-takers in one of five categories: Libertarian, Liberal, Centrist, Conservative, or Statist. Fritz passed away in 2008.”

“In this video from a California Libertarian Party conference in 1991, Fritz gives an introduction to libertarianism by answering four questions about it: What are libertarianism’s basic principles? How does it compare to the ‘left’ and ‘right’? Who would be better off in a libertarian world? How can you prove the principles of libertarianism work?”

The Path to Libertarianism

Libertarianism seems like a complex political philosophy. It isn’t difficult to understand. It comes down to three big ideas.

Before you think through these ideas, take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Retake it afterwards to see if you have moved closer to the top of the diamond. You might be surprised to be in the libertarian quadrant.

First, a little synopsis. A lot of people like to say that libertarians are socially liberal and fiscally conservative.

Fundamentally, libertarianism is about the freedom and liberty of an individual. Each individual knows what is best for them and their community. Yes, it IS about reducing the size of government, but that is a small piece of what a libertarian believes. Simply put, libertarians don’t want to hurt others or take their stuff and that idea is extended through all aspects of society.

“Libertarianism is what your mom taught you: behave yourself and don’t hit your sister.” – Ken Bisson

David Boaz in his book Libertarianism: A Primer outlines the key concepts of the philosophy: Individualism, Individual Rights, Spontaneous Order, The Rule of Law, Limited Government, Free Markets, the Virtue of Production, the Natural harmony of interests, and Peace. (Read his description here.)

“Libertarianism is what you probably already believe… Libertarian values are American values. Libertarianism is America’s heritage of liberty, patriotism and honest work to build a future for your family. It’s the idea that being free and independent is a great way to live. That each of us is a unique individual with great potential. That you own yourself, and that you have the right to decide what’s best for you. Americans of all races and creeds built a great and prosperous country with these libertarian ideals. Let’s use them to build America’s future.” – David Bergland, 1984 Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate and author of Libertarianism in One Lesson

The Three Big Ideas of Libertarianism:

Go Deeper:

After that, dive into our guide to the liberty movement.

Listen to our podcast on the basics of libertarianism.

Big Idea #1: What do YOU Believe?

BIGIDEA1If you’re on this page, you’ve take the World’s Smallest Political Quiz. It is a simple, 10 question quiz designed to help you narrow your political point of view. It takes issues of the day to clarify where you are stand politically.

The world of politics today is clouded and confused with hundreds of opinions, issues, parties, pundits, and ideologies. To understand and navigate politics, one has to know their personal principles.

So what is a “principle”?

Merriam-Webster defines principle as follows:

  • : a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong and that influences your actions

So ask yourself… Where do your principles develop? Where has society developed its principles?

Play this audio to see if it sparks an idea.

 

Many of our basic principles come from our parents. Don’t hit. Don’t steal. Don’t lie.

Libertarians believe that these basic principles of human interaction should be applied to all areas of our life, including government. Government, by its nature, is force. Individuals and groups like to use government to enforce their principles because those that disagree will face financial ruin or jail if they don’t comply. Libertarians call this simple axiom the “non-aggression principle.”

Ironically, the basics of this idea were well phrased by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service during the process of granting the Advocates for Self-Government status as a nonprofit educational organization: “Libertarianism is a philosophy. The basic premise of libertarianism is that each individual should be free to do as he or she pleases so long as he or she does not harm others. In the libertarian view, societies and governments infringe on individual liberties whenever they tax wealth, KnowMoreButton2 NEXTIDEAcreate penalties for victimless crimes, or otherwise attempt to control or regulate individual conduct which harms or benefits no one except the individual who engages in it.”

Big Idea #2: What Do You Owe Society?

WHATDOYOUOk… You might be thinking, “Government is force? Taxation is theft? This sounds a little far fetched.”

But isn’t history the struggle of humans to earn freedom from those that wish to control them? Mark Skousen once said, “The triumph of persuasion over force is the sign of a civilized society.”

This fun video shows an exchange between one that advocates self-government and a skeptic. You can also think about the questions below the video.

 

What happens to a person that doesn’t pay taxes? Does the IRS look the other way? Or do they enforce the mandatory payments? If you found out that the IRS wasn’t actually putting people in jail for failure to pay taxes, would that make you more or less likely to pay what the government says you owe? Taxation depends on an increasing amount of unpleasant consequences that end in violent force.

But don’t we all owe something to society? Isn’t there a social contract that says you have a responsibility to help pay for government? Isn’t it like going in to a restaurant, eating dinner, and then not paying for your meal!?

First, the restaurant sets the rules because they own the business. They accept all of the risk and reap all of the rewards because they are the owner of the thing.

So who owns you? Who owns your house? You car? Your children? Are you property of a government? Or do you own yourself?

We also have to think of property, or the things you own. How is property acquired?:

  • You can work to create or improve something that wasn’t previously owned.
  • The previous owner gives you a piece of property voluntarily. We’ll call this trade. A voluntary trade happens on the terms of both sides, and the threats of violence are not present.

Normally, if a peaceful person is threatened with violence by someone in order to take their property, we would call that theft.

In the end, governments cannot be responsible for your success, fixing your failures, or ensuring that the basics of life are met. Otherwise, you are the property of someone else. But how can we be sure self-government works? The evidence is in the flow of human migration. KnowMoreButton2NEXTIDEAPeople in countries at the bottom of the diamond (low personal and economic freedom) try to escape to countries at the top of the diamond (high economic and personal freedom).

Big Idea #3: What can a simple pencil teach us about the world?

In a world of self-government, how is the world ordered?

Take a look at the video below, or think about the statements below:

 

IPENCILConsider a simple pencil, and the sum of its parts. There is the wood, rubber, metal, and the graphite in the middle.

If all of the parts were on the table in front of you, could you assemble a pencil? Not likely. It takes a vast, inter-connected, voluntary network of people to make a simple pencil.

It takes trees, loggers, the workers at the mill, the miners in China and Sri Lanka for the graphite, etc…

It is the end result of cooperation and collaboration. But why? Because the millions involved love pencils? Not quite. They exchange their labor and skills for wages that let them buy what they want. As a result, that money flow to those that feed, clothe, entertain, and move the worker. This is a free market.

Amazingly, it has no mastermind dictating the outcome. It is the spontaneous configuration of creative human energies. It is millions of people organizing their skills and efforts to to voluntarily solve a problem that improves the lives of millions. We call this spontaneous order.KnowMoreButton2whatsnext

If we can keep this creativity uninhibited, there is no end to the prosperity this force can create, or problem it can solve.