[By Ben Noble]
Although libertarians make many political statements, we are fundamentally anti-political. Although we appear rabid ideologues, we are fundamentally anti-dogmatic. We seek not to bind anyone to any specific societal outcome or ends. We are committed to the means. The non-aggression principle and property rights.
Dogmatic ideologues of all stripes seek to bind their fellow man to their means and ends. To subordinate their neighbor’s body, property, and wealth to contribute to their societal preferences. The left would force you to fund a single payer healthcare system and enforce diversity quotes on every organization. The right would have you pay for an infinitely expanding military and throw you in jail for victim-less “crimes.” Both desire to impose their will on others and that makes them natural allies; and you their enemy.
The libertarian, especially the anarchist, asks very little of their neighbors: don’t use aggressive force against others and respect their property rights. You don’t get to vote for a third party or the state to violate those principles on your behalf either. Our means is peaceful cooperation towards shared goals and the individual’s right to self-defense. What can possibly be more noble than acting on your own moral convictions, gathering like minds, and committing your own time and or money to what you think is right? Ideas that require force and threat of violence are worthless. Evil ideas all but require it. The state is a tool of force and coercion. This is why it is so dangerous.
Force polarizes people. Force solidifies opposing sides with competing visions for society. The side that wins is not the one with better ideas. It is the one that accumulates the most political power. The individual has little to no self-defense against political power.
No one truly fears an ideologue. An ideologue is usually harmless. We all fear the ideologue with political power, though. There is little standing in the way of ideological groups from gaining political power. More than that, any individual that seeks political power in order to impose their vision of society is a dogmatic ideologue. Yes, that means that virtually every politician and bureaucrat is one. It doesn’t matter if they are left or right leaning. Desire to use force on others for whatever ends is unjust.
Our task should be loosening the state’s grip on our lives. Diminish its power and allow for voluntary cooperation to take its place in everything from the social safety nets to regulation. I admit that this is surely a nearly impossible task, but preventing pathological ideologues from welding political power is even less likely.
Suppressing your urge to control others is the path to transcending ideology. Suppressing the state’s power is the path to preventing all of us being ruled by someone else’s ideology.