You owe it to your philosophy to learn how to win – Morton Blackwell
Libertarianism is first and foremost a philosophy, and not a political party. It is because of this that so many of us became enamored with the ideas espoused by libertarianism in the first place. Free markets and free minds—the tenets we all champion—are ambiguous in execution, and we all have our own interpretation of exactly how to spread these ideas to society. It is not surprising that we disagree from time to time about nearly everything, but when we turn on each other because of splinters in ideology, we only give our political enemies an advantage. In the political arena, we must be unified if we want to win.
Within the throws of the liberty movement, it is not enough to identify as a ‘libertarian.’ Fellow liberty lovers will want to know if you lean to the right or the left, if you are a minarchist or an-cap, pragmatic or idealistic, Big ‘L’ or little ‘L.’ Are you a fusionist? Constitutional conservative? It can all get pretty confusing. And while libertarians tend to agree with each other on 90 percent of issues, you would never know it based on how we interact with each other. You would never guess that we are all striving for the same end goal.
I have had enough of the contempt and ridicule that we approach each other with – I have had enough of the pejorative in-fighting. With the New Year upon us, I would ask you all to resolve to become better advocates of liberty. Remember who and what it is you really fight against, and realize that alienating those you agree with on 90 percent of issues for the sake of the 10 percent of disagreement is stupid. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be like this former Facebook friend of mine.
Facebook user: I’m unfriendng you tonight because of your association/connection with “thoughts on liberty”.
me: Um, ok
me: That’s possibly the stupidest thing I have ever heard, but good luck with that.
me: You’ll do good work changing opinions and having meaningful conversations if all you ever do is associate with those like you.
me: And more to the point, you clearly don’t read my articles.
Facebook user: why is that stupid exactly? who one associates with says a lot about who they are. Your association with this blog says a lot about who you are… and I don’t want that type of person
For the record, let me say that I am very proud to associate with Thoughts on Liberty and my fellow bloggers. I hope that it does say a lot about me – as both a conservative leaning libertarian and as a fusionist. We don’t agree on everything. It says so in our mission statement. We all are strong, opinionated women, and we care about what we believe in. All the TOL writers have differing opinions on the best way to achieve the goals of liberty, but we unite under a common banner because we are all striving for the same goal—we are all women writing for a free world.
There will always be disagreement, but if we have enemies in the game of politics, they are the people threatening individual liberty and freedom of choice, and those people don’t identify as any sort of libertarian. And we really aren’t changing anything at all—however you define progress—by refusing to engage each other. Political victories come from strength in numbers, not ideological factions or unyielding dogmas. Tactical intelligence will defeat resolute principles every time, and furthering liberty should always be the most important objective.
So in this New Year, hit the gym and learn that new language, but save some resolve for helping grow your philosophy. With the proliferation of liberty, we all thrive, so you owe it to yourself (and to the unyielding principles that make you a libertarian) to learn how to win.