Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I am a Libertarian

According to the Libertarian Purity Test, I am a Medium-Core Libertarian.  Because I am not a Hard Core Libertarian willing to legalize the sale of heroin to children and shred every last safety net, I have always feared coming out of the closet.

I am a big fan of the Austrian School of economics, but I have never placed ideological purity over whatever works in the real-world.  I realized I may have went overboard when I got a facebook invitation to an Anarcho-Capitalist group.  So I have dialed myself back to a squishy sort of libertarian that the Hard Core sneers at.

I am also not an Ayn Rand fan.  Her atheistic and narcissistic Objectivism seems like Nietzschean ubermench morality dumbed down and warmed over for a new generation.  Her novels, though turgid and preachy, provide a needed counterbalance to an overweening state sponsored collectivism, as long as we don't take the rugged individualism stuff too seriously.  We are an interconnected society after all, driving on taxpayer funded roads, and enjoying public utilities right in our own homes. 

John Stossel does a great job succinctly explaining just what libertarianism is: 

We know that conservatives want government to conserve traditional values. They say they're for limited government, but they're pro-drug war, pro-immigration restriction and anti-abortion, and they often support "nation-building."

And so-called liberals? They tend to be anti-gun and pro-choice on abortion. They favor big, powerful government -- they say -- to make life kinder for people.

By contrast, libertarians want government to leave people alone -- in both the economic and personal spheres. Leave us free to pursue our hopes and dreams, as long as we don't hurt anybody else.  (RCP - Stossel)

I have a whole permanent page dedicated to Libertarianism.  Please visit it if you want more information. It has numerous links if you want to strike out and explore the issue on your own.


KOOK said...

51-90 points: You are a medium-core libertarian, probably self-consciously so. Your friends probably encourage you to quit talking about your views so much

I got a 65. I am in good company.

Silverfiddle said...

I scored higher, but I am in good company if you're in the same territory.

TKZ said...

I took the test and am medium-core too. I couldn't have written this post better myself.

I took your advice and haven't finished Atlas Shrugged. I agree it gives good counterbalance, but it was too cold and dreary for me- I prefer a more caring world.

Silverfiddle said...

TKZ: I'm glad to hear other fellow conservative/libertarians say that.

I am not about cold, steril theory; I'm about what works.

I understand the concept of no drug laws and no safety nets, but I don't believe this nation is ready to accept the libertarian consequences of hard-core libertarian policies such as Rand advocates.

Sounds good in a novel, but here in the real world story lines are rarely so pristine.

William said...

My score for the Bryan Caplan test was 115. Obviously, I am not an anarcho-capitalist, but I score very high in other libertarian tests. OnTheIssues.Com has a test where you can compare yourself with presidents, members of congress and candidates. For that test, I have one foot planted on the libertarian side, while the other is in the conservative camp. And my position is about three quarters of the way out from the center area.

While libertarianism is generally my default position for political philosophy, I draw from other areas to stay balanced. Purists, in any area of life tend to be very dull, and inflexible people, in my mind. I see what you mean about Ayn Rand, Silverfiddle, but I think objectivism, and its main tenet of rationalism helps to keep me focused in a world gone crazy with "shotgunned" ideas. But Rand was a very heavy minded gal who I would not feel comfortable around, and some of her "offspring" seem to be mere clones of their leader. Conservative ideas, especially on a strong national defense are practical, but then again, it can get out of hand with nation building. Plus I find conservatives to be very nice, down to earth people, except when they moralize about drugs, sex, religion etc. That is when my libertarian beliefs kick in and tells conservatives to "leave me alone!" But I do respect conservatives religious beliefs, I simply don't want to be preached to anymore than I would want Objectivists to rant about their atheism.

It's all about liberty and balance for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey I scored 106!
hard-core libertarianism!
I am pro-privatization of everything! and get all the corrupt politician that flip-flop on empty promises once and for all!

Let the private sector investors pick and choose who they want on the top of their food chain!

Silverfiddle said...

William: You and I would get along well. Besides playing guitar, we share a suspicion of purity for purity's sake.

I also like that you can explain what you believe and why you believe it. I'm also glad you didn't trash me for my impurity or for having anything less than worshipful words for Ayn Rand (I am not casting aspersions on the woman, her philosophy just leaves me cold.)

But having said that, I trash no one's philosophy, especially when they can defend it so well.

Finntann said...

Medium-Core...probably for my support for traditional constitutional functions of government, and I don't trust human nature enought to move too far towards the anarchy side of things. Interesting test though.


Silverfiddle said...

Finn. I have the same reasons as you. I'm not quite ready for the anarcho-capitalist camp...

RealityZone said...


Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

87. Some of the questions were quite general so needing explanation as to the answer.
'Tis very true as to the part about "Your friends probably encourage you to quit talking about your views so much",,lmao

Silverfiddle said...

Dang RZ, you outscored me!

Keep talking Christopher. Gotta spread the free marker gospel!

RealityZone said...

LOL. Ya, I think sometimes we assume too much over the key board.
I used to post on Used to get into it with some of the far right wing fringe over there. Got pretty heavy at times. Finally blew out of there.
I talked to three of them over the phone, it was amazing how much we actually had in common.
This is why I keep my hopes up for a real VIABLE third party candidate.

Snarky Basterd said...

I'm probably more Libertarian than I am Republican, but I'd rather bring Libertarian principles to the Pubbie party than register as a Libertarian. This country just doesn't have any use for a third party on a national level; maybe on a local level, but it will work, but not in the District of Criminals ... because I guarantee you nationally elected Libertarians would become Congresscriminals, too. People don't change Washington; Washington changes people.

RealityZone said...

Ron Paul will make one more run for the Presidency.
Except this time he will run as an Independent.

Silverfiddle said...

I wish he would get the GOP nomination. Maybe that would chase out the country clubbers...

Silverfiddle said...

Clarification: I am a "small L" libertarian.

RZ: Indeed. I think I do assume too much

RealityZone said...

SF: We are all guilty of the Ass-ume knee jerk. :-)

Silverfiddle said...

RZ: Guilty as charged!

Leticia said...

I scored 78. What happened to my post? Anyhoo...51-90 points: You are a medium-core libertarian, probably self-consciously so. Your friends probably encourage you to quit talking about your views so much

Sounds about right. Looks like I am in good company.

Post a Comment