Last week we introduced a new series of articles on Libertarianism. The goal of this series is to educate a mass audience on the platform of the Libertarian Party. Today we continue the series by taking a look at the first big component of the party platform, Personal Liberty.
The underlying principle of Libertarianism centers around self-ownership.
“Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”
Personal Liberty starts with your own body. You and you alone own yourself. Nobody else has ownership over you. That concept extends to other individuals, to the government, and to corporations.
What you chose to do to your own body, as long as it doesn’t impact someone else, is completely up to you. There are many places that this concept can be extended.
The biggest comparison lies around drugs. The government has felt it necessary to make the consumption and sale of certain drugs illegal because according to them they think it will harm people. Under the principle of self-ownership they have no right to tell you what you should be putting into your own body. If you want to use drugs then you have every right to make that decision for yourself and not the government.
The seat belt law is another example. The government has decided to play your mommy and say you need to wear a seatbelt when you are in a motor vehicle. They will fine you for not wearing that belt, but under the principle of self-ownership that is a decision for you to make. If you don’t want to wear a seatbelt that is up to you. You make that decision on your own and either are rewarded or suffer the consequences.
The principle of self-ownership is a bedrock to the Libertarian philosophy and should be used to guide any and all actions taken by our government.
Check back next week for the next article in our series on Lessons on Libertarianism.