Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Libertarianism is Scary

I consider myself a conservative libertarian:  Differences between right and wrong exist; we need to choose the right to be happy, but government shouldn't be forcing what is "right" on other people.

As I have thought about various options for Libertarian government, I cannot help but notice two tendencies in my own soul:  to have the desire to do as I please, so long as it's right; to restrict what others do, because I see it as wrong.

An example:  Even though I understand that sometimes yards go to pot because of hard family circumstances, and I strongly feel that if I really want my neighbor's yard to look nice, I should volunteer to help my neighbor with yardwork--I can't help but occasionally have sympathy for neighbors who worry about property values, and think "There ought to be a law!"--and then quickly squash that idea as stupid and cruel.

This is the funny thing about Libertarianism, and it's probably the biggest reason why most people--even a large number of Libertarians--are afraid to adopt it fully.  We've lived for centuries in environments where the State has provided us with basic needs like roads and schools--and we're afraid to imagine how it could be different.  We also like freedom for ourselves--but we can't allow even an ounce of freedom to our neighbor, who wants to--GASP!--paint his house a different color from ours!

Perhaps we just aren't ready for freedom.

Or rather, there's a lot of work ahead of us, to understand what freedom really means.  And then, perhaps, we'll be ready for freedom.

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