Continuing with our “Lessons from Abroad” series, I wanted to look at Libertarians overall in other countries.
Libertarians Around the World Right Now
If you haven’t had a chance to look at some of the articles coming out of the Vindicator recently, you really should. I write for the Vindicator and even I’m checking on a daily basis. Libertarians around the world have become some of the most active fighters for freedom the globe over, both politically and (in the case of certain authoritarian countries) physically. In Britain, they’re attempting to retrieve gun-rights for the average citizen. In Cuba, they are literally being arrested and could possibly be killed. In other countries they’re paying hefty fines through their economic system, in order to be good citizens, but in the same breath they are campaigning and fighting for a better life for all around them, despite negative ad campaigns against their ideals.
And, holy crap, did you know there a Libertarian party in Russia? Their activities include joining a resistance movement against Vladimir Putin, whose country has used a socialist agenda (by the way, in this case, this is not hyperbole—its literally a socialist economic system of taxation) to make him one of the wealthiest people in the world by stealing from his own country. This party in particular has had its members harassed by local and federal government, like other political organizations has had people “disappeared,” and yet they still maintain an office in Moscow in order to push for their ideals of freedom and liberty.
Libertarians around the world, my hat is more than off to you. I am in awe of your conviction.
What We Can Learn
Like all Americans, we take our safety and security for granted. Though we suffer terrorist attacks and political backlash, we don’t suffer half as much as those in Cuba or Russia under dictatorships, and we don’t have to fight as hard for gun rights as those in Britain or around the EU. But there’s an important lesson that must be taken to heart here when you look at those suffering, and yet still fighting:
Liberty is paramount. Liberty is achievable. Liberty is worth it.
I know on occasion I have looked at my political philosophy and thought, “Meh, it’s no big deal. I have lots of freedoms already.” And I do have freedoms, of course. And that’s wrong to be so cavalier about it. And I will admit as a political independent, I am skeptical of every political ideology, even the ones I subscribe to. I think it makes me a better thinker.
But these people, these Libertarians, show that liberty is not some abstract, academic concept to converse eloquently about with your friends. It is a tangible, attainable goal worth their lives. They are willing to fight for it. They are willing to go to jail or possibly even die for it.
Can you say you feel the same? Can you, right now, say you would do the same? It’s an honest question that should be taken seriously and one we all, as libertarians and as independents, should consider.
And then we should take that fire into the political sphere to campaign, speak and argue for liberty.
This may be more of an opinion piece than news, but in my opinion, the lesson I’ve learned by watching these people in the last few weeks has changed the way that I take for granted my freedoms. I hope it may with you as well.
Live free. Always.