By Chris Rossini
The reality of human life is that we're all one-of-a-kind and perfectly unique individuals. No one else can see the world through our own eyes, and no one can interpret what we see exactly like we do individually.
There are no carbon copies when it comes to human beings. Even identical twins are superlatively unique individuals. As such, we each have our own unique personalities, as well as our own opinions, likes, dislikes and preferences.
But it has long been a utopian ideal for some to rebel against this natural and unalterable uniqueness. There has been an intense desire to attempt to turn individuals into carbon copies of one another; to force people to have the same opinions and preferences...to force people to think alike.
This utopia is most often sought by those who desire power, and who yearn to be authoritarians. They imagine that it would be much easier to rule a bunch of carbon copy human beings than to rule individuals who are aware of their uniqueness and natural liberty.
This authoritarian aim obviously cannot come to fruition, but it can cause a lot of confusion and misery for people that get wrapped up in it.
Purity tests are the logical outgrowth of this collective mentality. The purity test starts small and then snowballs into an avalanche. If taken to the extreme, purity tests can leave a person totally immobilized; not knowing what he/she can think, say, or do.
Individual liberty and freedom of exchange are the antidote to purity tests.
For example, I like to drink Starbucks coffee, even though I disagree with the political positions that Starbucks takes. If I were to put Starbucks to a libertarian purity test, I would have to stop drinking their coffee.
But I choose not to do that.
I do not believe that Starbucks (or the people that work there) have to be like me. They're unique individuals. They can't be like me, nor can I be like them.
When I receive my coffee from Starbucks employees, I do not survey them to see what religious beliefs they hold, what sexual preferences they have, or what political opinions they currently hang onto.
Likewise, the Starbucks employees do not quiz me either. I do not have to fit some pre-conceived mold in order to exchange with them. My opinions are irrelevant to them.
Instead, I hand them my money and they hand me their coffee. We then peacefully go our separate ways.
This is Liberty, free markets, private property, and the division of labor in action.
It makes purity tests totally irrelevant.
But (some will say) what if Starbucks uses my money to finance the campaigns of people that I disagree with vehemently? What if they give the money that I handed them to Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren?
Shouldn't I stop buying their coffee?
Of course not!
It's not my money they are giving away. It's their money.
What if, after I sell my house, the new owners redesign my old kitchen, or put new paint up in my old bedroom?
Should I not sell them my house?
It's their house!
It's not my house anymore!
When I sell my money to Starbucks, it's not mine anymore. It is the property of Starbucks and I have no say as to what Starbucks does with their own property. They can donate it to Bernie Sanders, even though I strongly oppose Bernie's ideas, and that's none of my business.
Who I donate to is my business.
Sanders and Warren will never get a dime from me.
So, purity tests would not only deprive me of the coffee that I love, but would ultimately shrink my life down to bare subsistence.
I love to attend professional sports games, despite the fact that they are militarist propagandists and I am anti-war and believe in a non-interventionist foreign policy.
I watch Hollywood movies, despite the fact that they lace them with over-the-top propaganda. I just ignore the propaganda and enjoy the movies.
Many of the actors that I watch are in another universe when it comes to political ideas. But I enjoy their acting nevertheless.
Life is not politics....Life flourishes despite politics.
Liberty is the recognition of uniqueness. It is the acceptance that people are different, and the best way for different people to interact with one another is through peaceful exchange, and not through force.
It's unfortunate that far too many are seduced into using force, and thinking that they can billy-club everyone else into compliance.
But people are naturally free.
Rebellion is in our nature.
I can't imagine trying to billy-club people into accepting their natural liberty. I would be swarmed with rebellion!
The best choice for a libertarian is to speak the ideas of Liberty. Some will believe....others will not. That's how it works with unique individuals.
The foundation of Liberty is "First, do no harm."
What a great foundation to build an individual life upon.