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Apr 28, 2007

Real World Libertarian

By Jim Fryar.

What’s in a name?

Many years ago, I persued my interest in politics into various “philosophies” without finding much satisfaction. I was probably too young and idealistic, as I found inconsistencies in the beliefs of all parties, and a tyrannical belief among members of those parties of toeing the party line.

Eventually I found a thing called libertarianism, which had a solid philosophical base behind it and was totally consistent in all its ideas. The problem with it was that in being consistent, it had consequences that were hard to accept.

I mean, I liked the idea of smaller government and less taxes, I liked the idea of less interference in the things I wanted to do, I liked lots of things about it. The trouble was, they allowed people to do things that I had always been taught not to believe in, like taking drugs, doing business in a totally unrestricted way, setting prices without reference to government agencies, and no rules on personal morality.

They even believed in free trade.

Can you believe that? I mean these people were right off the planet.

However I seemed to be drawn back to them, at first to try to put them back on the right track, then to hear their ideas on various issues. Although I was justifiably sceptical, they had a bloody irritating habit of having sound arguments and worst of all, being right.

By the time I joined them, I had come to the realisation that nobody took any notice of laws on what I now thought of as victimless crime, the drug laws (which are the same thing) didn’t work, and business laws only stuffed up the economy. I was thinking like a bloody idealist.

Well, my dad always said, I’d get into the wrong company and come to no good.

Anyhow back then Libertarian politics was more than the debating society it now seems to be, and we actually formulated realistic policies and stood in elections on those policies, with expectations that we would eventually get the message across and start winning.

When you are in competitive politics, you invariably meet, gain respect for and in some cases become friends with opponents unless the campaign gets bogged down in personal vilification, which doesn’t tend to happen out in the electorate, lets face you go back to living in the same community afterwards.

As such some of these opponents used to advise us privately that we should get rid of the idealism, and come out into the real world. This is why I am now,

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