Constitutional Libertarianism

Constitutional Libertarianism

Friday, October 18, 2013

Two Americas, one place

There are Two Americas now. 

There is the America that looks at the Constitution and believes in individual liberty being the heart and soul of this country.  They believe that the "greater social good" lies in ensuring that every individual is able to exercise their Constitutional rights and that the Federal government is meant to be limited in scope and reach.

Then there are those who believe that the "greater social good" is served by the government being a provider of services and distributor of permissions.  These people think that individual liberty must take a back seat to "fairness" and social welfare.

I am firmly in the first group but I think there are more people now who fit into the second  group.

I now wonder if the geography and population of the U.S. is too large to realistically maintain life as outlined in the founding documents.  The federal government has been allowed to usurp powers and authority it constitutionally does not have but goes unchallenged by the states and the citizens.

To put it bluntly, if someone does not believe that individual liberty is the first and more important aspect of American life, then I have little left politically to talk about with them.

Individual liberty is tied intrinsically to individual responsibility, self determination, self reliance and individually overcoming obstacles and challenges.

Individual liberty carries with it individual consequences for both success and failure.

So much of being a free person is tied to individual liberty in the U.S.  This is a country of individuals who come together as needed, voluntarily, to make common goals happen.

That is what America is about.

The very moment you devalue the individual as only a part of the whole, you have changed the essence of what America is and turned it into one of countless other countries that have existed for ages.

America is singular because it exists based on the individual who also happens to give a damn about his neighbor and chooses to help.  Not because they are obligated, forced or pressed into service because some ruling person or group says so, " for the greater good".

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Labeling Yourself

I look at several social media sites and see so many people people identify themselves with labels like "Liberal", "Conservative" and other related to partisanship.

Sit back a minute and think, why would any sane, reasoning person do that to themselves?

No one is really only "liberal" or "conservative".  The human mind is flexible and contradictions abound in our thinking.  We may very well be considered "liberal" when thinking of one topic but on another issue, may very well be extremely "conservative".

Labeling oneself makes it easy to participate in "groupthink" though.  To share and participate in memes and easily shared "talking point" lists.  Essentially, they make it easier to participate in the herd mindset instead of simply an individual one.

This is important because so many people seek conformity.  To participate and seek acceptance with a group of peers.  They enjoy the easily recognized lines drawn in the sand that comes from polarized debate in which it all boils down to "us vs them".

Participating in groupthink makes it easy to let someone else do your thinking for you.  All you have to do is feel good about it.

Independent thought and action requires more work to educate yourself, to verify information and to separate your feelings from thoughts.  Someone who avoids groupthink and maintains an independent position has to be confident and brave to weather the bleatings of all those who will automatically align themselves against anyone who is not one of them.  You have little "backup" or peer support.

I'm not talking about walking around and labeling oneself as an "Independent" as  some sort of association or political party,.  I'm talking about being independent as in a way of thinking and being.

Personally,  I know for a fact that I have some issues in which I would be considered "liberal" and other issues in which I have been considered "conservative".  That's just fine by me.  Those are parts of me, but they in themselves do not solely define me.

Some things are kind of "black and white".  Many people don't like to hear that because it makes them have to be accountable and responsible for themselves.  other issues are more "shades of Grey" because there are numerous variables and influences involved.  It requires one to step out of their own mind for a moment and consider what is and who is is involved.  That's hard for a lot of people because they only want to look at the situation through their own comfortable, narrow focus.

Groupthink is dangerous at the end.  It is dangerous because it is the herd mentality and there is ultimately always an Alpha or leader who  will demand you follow with blind faith and there will always be a shepherd who will try to pen you in.

Being independent and united in a common cause.  That's the person the Constitution was written for.