By Arvin Vohra
Recently, you suggested that Libertarianism is a dangerous ideology. I believe that if you take a moment to learn more about what Libertarians stand for, you may reconsider.
Rising ideologies have often been challenged as dangerous. Democracy was. So were women’s rights. So was Christianity, for that matter.
Libertarianism is a political philosophy of non-aggression. That means, we do not believe in using government force to achieve goals, but rather respect voluntary agreements between individuals.
Many Americans have callings we consider as noble and important as you consider yours. As an educator myself, I consider education as important as most clergy consider religion. All we ask is the same treatment the Catholic church expects for itself: freedom from state regulation, freedom from taxes, and the right to follow your own morality as long as you harm no one else.
I know you wouldn’t like a government who knows much less about Catholicism than you do to tell you how to practice your religion. I assume you would not want the Catholic church in America to face the same burdens that most Americans face.
In America, Catholic churches are relatively free of government taxation. They are also free of many educational regulations that are used to get in the way of quality education: In many states, Catholic schools can ignore most of the ludicrous regulations that even private, secular schools must follow.
Libertarians want the same treatment for everyone. We want everyone to live free of taxation. We want every small business to be free of burdensome regulation (as Catholic schools often already are.) We want entrepreneurs to be able to start businesses and create jobs without being blockaded by government regulation.
Libertarianism isn’t extreme selfishness. It’s voluntarism. It’s replacing forced government welfare that turns us into enemies, that has destroyed entire communities, that has become the standard alternative to work in many communities, with charities that work.
In fact, we’ve fought for the rights of people to feed the homeless – and been shut down by the state. Hunters for the homeless, Jewish grandmothers in New York, casino buffets in Las Vegas, have been stopped by the government from feeding the homeless. Churches have been stopped from housing the homeless.
Just as the Catholic church wants its adherents to be able to follow their moral precents, Libertarians want the same. We don’t want those opposed to violence to be forced to fund needless wars. The Libertarian Party believes in using the military for defense only, not to force western ideologies on those of different cultures. We want to bring our troops home to rejoin their families, and to stop interfering with the affairs of other sovereign countries.
Most importantly, by shrinking the state, we work to empower the individual. We want individuals to make choices freely, which helps both individuals and organizations. Today the Catholic Church has to earn the respect and commitment of its followers. It no longer relies on government forced conversions. The result: it’s a better church. It listens to its customers. It has competition, so customers can choose other religions. That is good for people, and it is also good for the Catholic church.
You’ve taken the time to attack Libertarianism. If you would like to take the time to learn more about Libertarianism, please visit us at LP.org, or contact us so we can share more information about our politics of empowernment.