By Chris Rossini
Liberty is foundational to human life. Right from the get-go, we have the freedom to think whatever we want. We can think things that are happy or sad, exciting or boring, true or untrue. We're each the king of our very own private kingdom of thought.
We uniquely interpret the world to ourselves. Go to a sporting event and when the game is over, you'll find some people jumping with joy, while others are in tears.
It's the same event.
It's just interpreted differently by each free thinking individual.
So we don't just think...we choose what to individually believe, and choosing what to believe is a big one!
It has big ramifications. We have the ability to believe things that are true, along with things that aren't true. Believing in the untrue can get you into trouble.
For example, it's a good idea to believe (as soon as possible) that you shouldn't step in front of a speeding car. If you believe that you should step in front of it, and put that belief into action....that's big trouble.
That leads us to the next freedom -- choosing how to act to get what we want.
That's a lot of freedom so far, isn't it?
Thinking ... Believing ... Acting ...
How you act is the really, REALLY big one. This is the one that counts. This is the one that has a direct effect on others. And, because of that, this is where the ideas of libertarians come into the picture.
Libertarians believe that you should do and get the things that you want voluntarily. In other words, exchange with others, trade, and serve others. Don't rob, cheat and steal from them. It's called the non-aggression principle. Do not initiate violence to achieve your desires.
Your liberty extends to the life, liberty and property of others. Likewise, their liberty extends to your life, liberty and property.
The moment that one of you chooses to act with violent force, that individual is choosing to act as a tyrant.
When someone acts as a tyrant, the person being aggressed against is justified in repelling that violent force with violent force. In other words, violence is only justified in defense of one's life, liberty or property.
Now, while the libertarian would certainly prefer that others think and believe things that are true, we have to accept that others don't have to do either. They're free to think and believe whatever they want.
Likewise, while the libertarian would certainly prefer that others interact with others voluntarily and peacefully, we have to accept that others don't have to do that either. They're free to act however they want.
This is why the ability to defend one's life, liberty and property are so critically important to a functional society. There's a reason why the 2nd Amendment was 2nd and immediately behind freedom of speech. It's that important!
The role of government, in a free society, would be to punish those individuals that decide to act like tyrants. The government would be there to protect individuals from violent force, or fraud, or breach of contract.
The really big problems begin when people decide to use government for tyrannical purposes (i.e., violating the life, liberty, or property of the citizens).
So, let's say you have people who choose to be busy-bodies. They have something to say about how everyone else lives, but aren't satisfied with only saying things and leaving others free to decide on their own. The busy-bodies want to try to force everyone else to think and act a certain way.
The busy-bodies imagine that they can make the world in their own image.
They didn't make the world to begin with, of course, but their imaginations have led them to believe that they're the ones manifested to "re-make" it.
They're "exceptional," and they're not afraid to say it.
Once government is turned upside-down from protection of liberty to aggression against liberty, the really big problems begin to show up in mankind's affairs. The "re-makers," wielding the violent force pile up dead bodies faster than they can be counted.
Yet, human nature never changes.
We each are free to think, believe, and choose how to act.
That means there's no cookie-cutter that can be impressed upon the world to make everyone think, believe and act the exact same way.
The "re-makers" are forever doomed to failure.
It doesn't matter how much force they unleash. It doesn't matter how many dead bodies they pile up.
They're always led back to the starting line ......... Individual Liberty.
Just like you, other individuals are free.
Let them be.