To demonstrate the highest standards of leadership in Polk County, Florida through advocating Libertarian principles and engaging in voluntaryist efforts, in office and independently.
Video: What is a Libertarian?
The individual is the basic unit of society. Only individuals make choices and are responsible for their actions. Each individual is entitled to both rights and responsibility. The progressive extension of more rights to more people- to women, people of different religions, races, and sexual orientations- is one of the great libertarian triumphs in the Western world.
Individuals have the right to be secure in their life, liberty, and property. These rights are not granted by a government or by society; they are inherent in the nature of human beings. It is intuitively right that individuals enjoy the security of such rights; the burden of explanation should lie with those who take rights away.
The insight of libertarian social analysis is that order in society arises spontaneously, out of the actions of thousands or millions of individuals who coordinated their actions with those of others in order to achieve their purposes. Some of the most important institutions in human society- language, law, money, and markets- developed spontaneously, without central direction.
The Rule of Law
Libertarianism is not libertinism or hedonism. It is not a claim that “people can do anything they want to, and nobody else can say anything.” Rather, libertarianism proposes a society of liberty under law, in which individuals are free to pursue their own lives so long as they respect the equal rights of others. The rule of law means that individuals are governed by generally applicable and spontaneously developed legal rules, not by arbitrary commands; and that those rules should protect the freedom of individuals to pursue happiness in their own ways, not aim at any particular result or outcome.
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Whereas other political actors seek to use government’s legitimized force to gain traction for special interests, libertarians assert that government should only serve to protect rights. Limited government is the fundamental political implication of libertarianism, just as the dispersion of power has historically led to individual liberty and sustained economic growth.
To survive and to flourish, individuals need to engage in economic activity. The right to property entails the right to exchange property by mutual agreement. Free markets are the economic system of free individuals, and they are necessary to create wealth. Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized.
The Virtue of Production
Libertarians defend the right of people to keep the fruits of their labor. Thomas Paine wrote, “There are two distinct classes of men in the nation, those who pay taxes, and those who receive and live upon the taxes.” Libertarians defend the right of productive people to keep what they earn, against politicians who would seize their earnings to transfer them to political clients or cronies.
Natural Harmony of Interests
Libertarians believe in the natural harmony of interests among peaceful, productive people in a just society. One person’s plans may conflict with another, but within a free market, there are no inherent conflicts between groups of players. Only when government rewards on the basis of political pressure do we end in group conflict, pushed to organize and contend with others for a piece of political power.
War brings death and destruction on a grand scale, disrupting families and economies, and giving power to a ruling class. Free individuals seek to defend their societies against foreign threats. Throughout history, war has been the enemy of peaceful and productive people on both sides of conflicts.