Saturday, May 08, 2004

How Libertarian?

Cobb's comments regarding black libertarians caused me to do some reflection. He says, "BTW, it's good to see and hear black libertarians. While I think most American Libertarians might as well be French for the amount of practical influence they have on Congressional Legislation it's always nice to hear them speak up, as they often have notable things to say on matters of economics and (of course) Liberty. And there's a good chance that black Libertarians could neutralize some of their post-modernist yuppie crap in the process..."

On the "World's Smallest Political Quiz," I scored in the Libertarian arena: 70% on the personal self-government scale and 70% on the economic self-government scale. I came across a Libertarian Purity Test, which is much more specific than the WSPQ, and took it. I scored a 42 out of 160 points. 31-50 points: Your libertarian credentials are obvious. Doubtlessly you will become more extreme as time goes on. According to this quiz, I'm beyond soft-core libertarian but not quite medium-core libertarian. I would define my views as about 65% libertarian: I'm for free trade and low taxation, believe government should stay out of consenting folks' bedrooms, oppose the military draft, and oppose government foreign aid.

I depart from most libertarians in 2 areas: anti-discrimination laws and foreign policy. I oppose affirmative action, but oppose abolishing the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. The federal government has done some good, to shield minorities from government tyranny. This is where Cobb's "black Libertarians could neutralize some of their post-modernist yuppie crap" statement about many libertarians applies.

While my isolationist streak tugs at me on a regular basis, I question whether it is relevant in a post-9/11 world. Coercion (a big no-no for most libertarians) is already involved in safeguarding freedom. As in the recent past, the future lies in expanding political ideologies and power on the global scale. Somebody's ideology will win out. I'd rather it be free market democracy than socialist democracy. Or much worse, Islamic totalitarianism where I'm forced to convert, be silent, and clad head to toe in a burqa. We have entered an era of clash of civilizations, where others are taking a long view of history while too many libertarians are not. However, I only support military interventions when it's (1) in our vital national interest, such as Afghanistan and Iraq; and (2) to prevent genocide, a la Rwanda in 1994. Mission creep adventures in places like Bosnia and Haiti or defending folks who have resources to defend themselves like Germany and South Korea, I'm with libertarians.