Sunday, October 07, 2007

What many Libertarians are missing

Personal responsibility is the core of all Libertarian principles. Without personal responsibility, freedom becomes nothing more than anarchy, and any Libertarian society would dissolve into feudalism.
All Libertarians have their own ideas of freedom, and these are as personal as religion. Any Libertarian will find some point on which to differ from another Libertarian. To quote the crowd in Monty Python's The Life of Brian, "We are all individuals!"
There are basically two types of Libertarians, the pragmatic and the idealists. The pragmatic Libertarian tends to insert Libertarian principles into the system in a way that is compatible with the situation at hand. The idealist, on the other hand, is focused on the ideology of Libertarianism, and sees the only way of achieving a Libertarian society as being to have every principle injected into society at once.
Personal responsibility is more prevailant among the pragmatists, who split the population of the LP about 50-50 with the idealist. The pragmatist believes that Libertarian society can best be established from the bottom up, while the idealist believes that if it happens at the top, the rest of society will follow.
Personal responsibility means to fulfill one's obligations. To not fulfill our obligation as a country would seriously harm our evolution to a true free market economy. Our credibility would be lost to potential trading partners, and we could never again be taken seriously. The Libertarian idealists would do well to consider this.