libertarian + voluntaryist + individualist …

Nobody asked but …

I was asked in my writing group last Monday, “what is a libertarian?”

  • First of all, notice the lowercase “L” in “libertarian.”  I cannot speak for other libertarians, but the lower case, in my case, means I am not a member of the national Libertarian Party (LP), nor of any of its regional, state, or local affiliates — they are a political party, not a philosophy.  I am apolitical, and I am registered to vote as an independent, but I have no expectations of politicians, in general.  The libertarian philosophy is based on the non-aggression principle (NAP) which holds that one may not initiate violence against any person, place, or thing.  Please appreciate that this does not bar self-defense or defense of any person, place, or thing.
  • By virtue of what do I also call myself a voluntaryist?  A voluntaryist believes that all transactions between or among individuals should be voluntary for all individuals.  This includes all individuals in a specific agreement, and excludes any who are not bound by that voluntary agreement.
  • And how would I describe an individualist?  An individualist believes that all individuals are created equal.  Further, an individualist believes that all relationships should be on a 1-to-1 basis among individuals.  No two individuals are alike in all respects, therefore dealing with others always involves unique needs and characteristics.  I cannot be pegged by the 3 labels above, however, because, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, I contain multitudes.  Each individual is the only one of her kind in all the universes.

I am convinced that there is no discord among these three tracks of philosophy.

— Kilgore Forelle

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