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The Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania - Forum
Topic: Libertarian Country? (Read 621 times)
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November 28, 2009, 06:36:19 AM »
I am new to the libertarian party - joined this summer after years of "thinking" about it. I'm wondering if there is a country, anywhere in the world, or at some point in history, one would label as a libertarian nation?
Is there a state, within the U.S., that could be seen as a libertarian state - albeit within the confines of our federal system?
Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 06:38:27 AM by Boudi
Re: Libertarian Country?
Reply #1 on:
November 28, 2009, 08:51:25 AM »
There were the United States from 1781 to 1788, and perhaps from 1776 until the Articles of Confederation were adopted in 1781 some of the former colonies that became independent nations that could be considered by some to be reasonably libertarian.
Once the Constitution was adopted by the United States in 1788, things started to go downhill. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton orchestrated the federal assumption of the revolutionary war debt from the states, then the federal government imposed a tax and President Washington used federal troops to enforce its collection so Hamilton's buddies could be paid off. Federal authority has expanded from there over time.
There may also be a few island cultures or isolated tribes that function without visible government structure that some may consider to be libertarian. Other than that it is a question of degree. I think libertarianism is a process, not an end point. The idea is to maximize individual liberty, meaning people can make as many choices for themselves as possible, and minimize aggression, meaning people are subject to as few involuntary incursions of the actions of others as possible.
I don't think it is possible to completely have both of those conditions at the same time. The question is how to adjust public policy in a way that increases liberty and decreases aggression.
Zobaczymy, wszystko jest możliwe.
(We'll see, everything is possible.)
Re: Libertarian Country?
Reply #2 on:
November 28, 2009, 10:48:40 AM »
To some the phrase “libertarian country” is an oxymoron. How can you be free if you’re part of an organization (a country) whose very existence is usually based on some form of coercion?
Mic, as usual, is insightful in noting that it’s a process and not an endpoint. I tend to think that the process is somewhat cyclical. We oscillate from times of more freedom to times of less freedom. In a gross sense, however, freedom is some combination of all the things we might want to do, but can or can’t due to government. Thus, at any given moment two different people can have very different views as to how free each is. I think the recognition of that simple fact is a prerequisite for tolerance and cooperation, but it’s often hidden in plain sight.
That said, I’m fairly hopeful. I think more and more people are recognizing that freedom is not maintenance-free. Groups like the LP and LPPA can do a service to all with our activities by demonstrating that there are options other than coercion and those options come with benefits.
Welcome to the LP – the libertarian process!
Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 10:51:38 AM by mark.d.crowley
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