“Nihilists! Fuck me. I mean, say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos.” – Walter Sobchack
Libertarians often have to repeat, ad nauseam, that libertarianism is, at its core, a political philosophy, not necessarily a personal behavior one, although, to be fair, the two spheres may touch. A philosophy of liberty and responsibility can influence wide areas of one’s life. But libertarianism primarily deals with government, individual rights and individual interactions that can infringe the rights of others. It has not, as a primary concern, individual activities that are mutually voluntary, though not necessarily beneficial. The cliché position on this is “Just because I think drugs or prostitution should be legal, does not mean I approve of drugs and prostitution” (I do approve though).
I have said before in one of my older articles, which everyone probably forgot already, that I see two domains of human life: the inner sphere is the personal – what you think is right when it mostly affects you and no other unless they agree to it, or at least you do not use aggression on others. This is subjective, as the only judge is you. Eating meat or not on a Friday, drinking, drugs, BDSM, reading SugarFree post and much more come in this sphere. The second sphere, the outer one, the one where humans interact and where your actions affect others. This second domain is covered by libertarianism as a political philosophy.
As we frequently debate these philosophical concepts, I wanted to do a different post, on personal moral beliefs that are not directly to do with libertarian politics. What does Pie believe in, even if he may not fully live up to those beliefs A sort of listicle, if you will.
While these are the things I believe, it does not mean others do, nor do I expect others to live up to these beliefs. The things I talk about are things I think people and primarily yours truly should strive for. I do not necessarily judge people for some of these and I do judge them for others. That is the whole thing about libertarianism, you can do whatever and I can judge you for it. As is my right. You do you. This is the opposite of there ought to be a law. There ought to be no law. Just because you are not free unless you are free to be an asshole, this does not mean you should be an asshole. I would argue the opposite. That is, in a way, the point. It is no great virtue to do something good forced.
“I hold it to be the inalienable right of anybody to go to hell in his own way.”― Robert Frost
To start with something controversial, I do not believe withholding the truth or outright lying in itself is immoral. It depends on the context. I do not have to tell everyone at all times the truth. This may change with close family or friends, where I can see a sort of an implicit contract to be honest – even if no one really benefits from your wife knowing about that one drunk night with her sister.
To start with the previous conservative statement, more broadly the vices, my main view is I have no inherent problem with them, as long as they are voluntary and manageable to the person. This includes drinking, drugs, gambling – although I would put heroin and crack on the bad list. I do not think sex work is bad, although people on both sides of the deal need to be careful. I accept questions like “would you like your daughter to be a sex worker” only from people whose greatest wish is for their daughters to scrub toilets in a strip mall for a living.
Moving on from vice to more general things of life, the universe and everything. I think you should strive to do no harm, in general. To be, as a rule, nice and polite, as long as it is warranted and not longer. Try going about your day without bothering or inconveniencing others– you know don’t park over two spots, put the gym weights back in their place, clean up after yourself. Don’t be an asshole, if you will.
Help people who need and deserve it. This may include friends, family, neighbors, charity, or simply give your seat to the elderly on public transport and other small acts.
In life you should contribute and pull your own weight. Make enough money doing things other find useful. Try to leave the world better off. Build more than not destroy. Try to leave for the next generation a little more than you received. You know plant a tree though you may not get to rest under its shade or some such hippie nonsense.
Fuck whoever agrees to it while single – age of consent may vary. If you commit to a person, be faithful, as long as you are not in an open relationship. Your kink may vary, but it’s all good when consensual.
If you don’t want a family, you should save enough to cover your needs in your old age. If you do, take care of them properly. Raise your children right. And by this I do not mean strict, or severe nor do I mean lax. Find a balance. And as long as your parents raised you right, take care of them in their old age.
In general, try keep a measure of control of yourself. Avoid alcoholism, severe drug or gambling addictions and so on. Educate yourself. Take some risk on occasion. Take care of your body, at least to a point. Basically don’t be obese and lift weights. Running is for socialists, libertarians deadlift. Also practice hygiene and body odor control.
Be a good friend to your good friends. Keep your word and pay your debts.
All this in general of course. I could go on, but leave the rest as an exercise to the readers. I realize people have bad luck, make bad choices, take risks and lose. This does not necessarily make them bad people or immoral or anything. I have my failings and do not live to all these principles (When I look back upon my life… It’s always with a sense of shame). But I think these things are to strive for. One may fail but one must have a goal, something to aim at.
So how about you fellow glibs? What are your principles beyond the boundaries of “fuck off, slaver.”