In criticism of the Libertarian Party, by a Libertarian

Lindsay Giovannone, Copy Desk Chief

The term “libertarianism” denotes a family of ideas, ranging from the philosophical to the political. The spectrum of libertarianism – which includes anarcho-capitalism, anarchism and individualism – is united by the concepts of individualism, rule of law, free markets, the natural harmony of interests and peace. The Libertarian Party (LP) of the United States has over 600,000 voters, but holds only 310 elected seats and none of them are federal or state governorships.

The LP generally supports fiscally conservative and socially liberal policies that prevent government intervention in the private lives of its citizens. The LP wants to codify same-sex marriage, improve public education and legalize victimless crimes such as prostitution, preserve the 2nd Amendment and maintains a pro-choice attitude towards abortion. Additionally, the LP seeks to establish a laissez-faire economic system, abolish the Internal Revenue Service, institute free market healthcare and promote sensible usage of natural resources. These are only a sampling of LP stances and do not fully encompass different facets of libertarianism.

Its range of stances should, in theory, appeal to a myriad of voters but at such a divisive time in the two-party American political system, the LP is not a viable option. The party must stop wondering why it isn’t attaining elected positions and begin reform. In principle, the LP is good; in practice, it is a reactionary form of utopianism full of contradictions.

The non-aggression principle –- a cornerstone of the LP – is a concept in which aggression against an individual, their property or contracts is inherently wrong. Its issue lies in inconsistency. With the current perception of it, something like driving would be illegal since it causes pollution, therefore encroaching upon someone’s individual property rights. A self-regulated market would steer capital towards the wealthy and halt equal income distribution. Self-regulated markets would also prevent any regulations against illicit financial practices.

Total Libertarian governments and societies do not exist because they are not stable. As a Libertarian, I recognize that the LP rests upon the far-fetched concept that a society can completely reform itself, which is impossible. At this point, our current political society is not operational but libertarianism as we know it will not fix it.