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Libertarianism Explained

Carmel Pine Cone, Dec. 5, 2008

Dear Editor,

I am surprised by Lorraine Surprenant’s letter (Nov. 28). Libertarianism is not radical. It is a rebirth of the classical liberal tradition of Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine, the same philosophy that liberated much of the world from kings and tyrants over 200 years ago.

So, what does this have to do with the incorporation of acity? Plenty. Incorporation will create another layer of intrusive government. More government equates to more taxation, interference and overbearing control. Jefferson expressed a similar sentiment: “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

Libertarians believe that less is more. Governing systems should be minimal, lean and efficient. But as we have recently witnessed, government has habitually become bloated, paying out ridiculously high benefits to civil employees, spying on citizens without warrants, overspending taxpayer funds and getting involved in empire-building. Moreover, bad behavior is often rewarded with large bailouts and subsidizes.

As for extremism, that label is reserved for those who believe they are right and therefore cram their ideology down everyone’s throats, advocating that the ends justify the means. On the contrary, Libertarians, like Gandhi, believe in choice and the “nonaggression principle.”

Lawrence Samuels,

Last Updated: Dec 07, 08

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