In the midst of everyday conversation, everybody uses words. Most of the words that we use, we don’t ourselves “Columbus” but rather we choose to use words that people are familiar with. This is how human beings communicate. However one thing that is very important to always remember, is how the same word can have different/multiple meanings, to different people. When you’re talking words, whether you like it or not, the definitions are always at least somewhat relative to the listener.
I’m not going to go on a tangent proclaiming libertarianism as either right or left wing. I believe that it can be viewed as a little or a lot of both or maybe even none of either at the same time, depending on one’s perception of the word. Personally I view libertarianism as ‘correct’.
Libertarianism is ‘correct’ if you believe in the rights of the minority, the rights of the individual, all are individuals, all individuals should have the same rights. I personally don’t see this idea as controversial, but more so as obviously correct.
I would say a big cornerstone in my own personal thought occurred in a 7th grade history class. My teacher said something that resonated in my head big time, flipping of a switch, something that I had always believed but I had never heard so eloquently put into words. He said “Freedom works like this: I can swing my arms in all directions, that is my freedom. Until I hit someone else, then I am impeding upon their freedom”. There you go… Live and let live… Makes so much sense, right?!
Growing up I was raised in a conservative household. I was raised to not trust government, so small government was the best government. I remember when I was 16, one of my best friends at the time let me borrow “Chomsky for Beginners”. The book was more or less an introduction to the ideas of Noam Chomsky. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t agree with Noam Chomsky all or even most of the time. But the book however forever opened my eyes to the “Illusion of Choice” in American Two Party Politics. No matter who wins, not much ever changes. The elephant and the jackass are both controlled/sponsored by the same corporate interests. Furthermore those same corporate interests own/control the media. The system is rigged and we are cattle.
The Golden Rule: “He who has the gold, makes the rules.”
Many have came to libertarianism from the right through watching Ron Paul ideologically shred neo-conservatism in Presidential Primary Debates and countless YouTube videos, but at the same time I can say that I know many from the left who have made it here as well. I can speak for myself when admitting that as one who came from the right, I for years held some partiality to the right (whether I would admit it or not). I think the final nail in that coffin for me was watching the GOP constantly dismiss, attempt to discredit and belittle Ron Paul and his many supporters.
Being born and raised in Baltimore, I have many close friends who were brought up on the left. Friends who voted straight Democrat for years, even voted for Obama, but came around due to the blatant truths presented by Ron Paul. These friends of mine and many like them who came from the left, would in many cases no doubt identify more as a lefty than a righty, but now they are here. Where is here? I guess that depends on your own personal outlook.
My perception of libertarianism is that it is it’s own thing. I also believe that in many ways it aligns with the views of most Americans. I whole heartedly believe that now more than ever, more people are waking up. Most people want to stop the violence that is marijuana prohibition, most people don’t want to send their kids to fight in wars to Police halfway across the world, most people don’t believe that government should tell them who they can and cannot marry. While being a ‘centrist’ doesn’t make one a libertarian, more and more centrists are using the word libertarian to classify themselves.
We (libertarians) may or may not ever win an election, but we’ve no doubtedly already won many an argument. Making the world a better place in the process. What does the future hold for libertarianism? I won’t claim to know, but I do however feel that I can be damned sure that we will continue to make a positive impact.