Thursday, August 07, 2014
Nick Gillespie on the intellectual roots of Americanism.
The whole point of America — and this is an admixture of Saul Bellow and Heidegger and Jim Morrison lyrics — is that it's in a constant state of becoming, constantly changing and mongrelizing. We're doing exactly what free minds and free markets allow you to do. Part of why I'm a libertarian is that if you restrict people less, interesting stuff happens.
Political labels in the USA get twisted around. "Liberal" is used to describe those who favor more government control. A "conservative" is someone who wants to radically change the social contract. And the adjective "libertarian" is applied to people who want the liberty to be racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and shoot people they don't like. This is not a criticism of Gillespie, but when Paul the elder and the younger are described as libertarian, the label is more confusing than helpful.

Perhaps "libertine" could be the adjective for people opposed to oppression in general. In French libertinage has a political, not just a moral, definition.
Also in France, liberty belongs as well with equality and fraternity. Libertarians I have read fail to grant the latter two of the three a place.
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