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Colin Ross: Why I’m A Libertarian

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“CONSERVATIVES” AND “PROGRESSIVES” BOTH TRY TO USE GOVERNMENT FOR SOCIAL ENGINEERING

|| By COLIN ROSS || “Ultima ratio regum” is latin for the final argument of kings and was carved into every French cannon made under the reign of Louis XIV.

It’s an incredible reminder of what government actually is when you strip away all the rhetoric and laws.  Government is force, pure and simple.  Don’t pay your taxes, smoke a little pot, don’t mow your lawn against a city ordinance or any other of the hundreds of thousands of laws that governments create and a man with a gun will put you in jail.

Its because of this reason libertarians are so adamant about a limited government.  It has nothing to do with individual policies or ideas.  Our obsession with limiting government comes from a deep respect for individuals.  Classical liberals don’t view America as “one nation under God” so much as hundreds of millions of people living out their individual hopes and dreams peacefully co-existing in one land.

America was founded on the idea that every human has the right to their own pursuit of happiness.

Any good investor knows the importance of diversification.  Because no matter how sure one is in an investment, markets and needs have a way of constantly changing.  Especially in a world where technology has advanced more in the past 50 years than it has in all of human existence.  So even if you believe that president Barack Obama can make good investments, isn’t it more prudent to think that hundreds of millions of individuals interacting in the market provides a much safer portfolio for economic growth?

The problem gets even worse because government doesn’t have the key incentive that makes the free market so powerful – failure.

No location on the planet has experienced more failure than Silicon Valley – and no where on the planet has produced such mind-boggling amounts of innovation.  For every Paypal and Facebook there are literally thousands of failed internet companies that for one reason or another didn’t take.  Government doesn’t respond in the same way – which is why we still have a railroad system from the 1950’s and ethanol subsides are still a thing even though everyone outside of Iowa (including environmentalists) recognize how bad corn ethanol is.

Conservatives and progressives are actually much more alike than we would like to believe.  They both try and use government for social engineering.  Conservatives try and pass laws to try and recreate the perfect 1950s family – while progressives try and use government to force everyone to be exactly the same.

The libertarian position is actually a very humble one, that we have no clue what is best for anyone else.  Libertarians believe that people should be allowed to be themselves.  Its why we supported the LBGT movement decades before the democrats even acknowledged it and its the same reason we fight for the freedom of speech even when it involves the KKK or the Black Panthers.

Libertarians aren’t pro-gay, pro-women, pro-immigration, or any of the other “pros.” Libertarians are simply pro-human rights and everything else falls into place.

We live in the most incredible time in all of history with limitless amounts of knowledge at the fingertips of anyone with access to the internet.  Free markets and global trade are bringing literally billions of people out of poverty, increasing life spans, and creating better lives for people all over the world.  Large governments cannot even hope to keep pace with the leaps and bounds of humanity.  In the end the philosophy of a classical liberal is a recognition that humans of all walks and creeds have value even if they are very different from our own.

Winston Churchill famously once said “if you’re not a liberal when you’re young then you have no heart and if you’re not a conservative when you’re old then you have no brain.”  To be a libertarian requires both.

colin ross

Colin Ross is a “peace-loving, pot-smoking, free-market loving liberal.”

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