To be sure, libertarianism cuts a fairly wide swath through the socio-political field. There is plenty of room to disagree on any number of issues but there are also some fairly fundamental beliefs libertarians of all stripes share. What many who are not well-versed in libertarian thought miss is the truth of either of those thoughts.
Some may make the mistake that all libertarians think alike, and some add insult to injury by then assuming what they think. For instance, here are Six Myths About Libertarianism. Those on the front lines for social justice may confuse self-interest with selfish. It may surprise some to learn about libertarian Christians.
Treating People as Ends, Not Means
Far from a purely self-centered attitude, libertarian philosophy not only leaves room for treating others well but can actually encourage it. Aside from the individual aspect, a kindred notion is the common good, the idea that something is inherently available for all, to be shared among us. Most of us would give at least lip service to the idea but for some it is a more formal and more serious belief.
We refer readers to a well-presented treatment of this concept by Stephanie Slade, managing editor of Reason, who happens to be Catholic. While church doctrine teaches this as an end, the means are open. Liberal, progressive and even conservative political actions variously try to accomplish this but they virtually always require the use of force. Libertarianism provides a better way.
“While the church’s authority on moral questions is the bedrock, it seems clear that some additional political theory is needed to help us know when government can, should or must leave private individuals and groups to figure things out on their own. Libertarianism is such a theory—one that gives a presumption of liberty to virtually all peaceful behaviors.”While church doctrine teaches this as an end, the means are open. Liberal, progressive and even conservative political actions try to accomplish this but they always require the use of force. Libertarianism provides a better way. Click To Tweet
Fostering Freedom, Peace and Prosperity
Here’s just a taste of what the article has to offer:
“There is a thoroughly moral dimension to our worldview that is hard to miss when observed with an open mind…
“In the final analysis, libertarians see the human person as worthy of respect. For the most part, they do not recognize the deeper truth: that this is so because we are made by God in his image and are incomparably valuable to him. But in a real sense, without meaning to, libertarianism takes that idea more seriously than most other political philosophies…
“Libertarians believe that a program of freedom redounds to the benefit of us all. It fosters peace and prosperity while creating vast space for intellectual and moral pursuits. One might even say, in the words of the catechism, that it helps produce the ‘conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.'”
Read in full at A Libertarian Case for the Common Good.