I do actually remember the days when I’d say, “The Government should stop people from doing X” and think, you know, the people who want to do X? They’re scum, aren’t they? Who cares what they think? Sure a lot of people won’t like it, but the greater good will be served.
I used to think like that. Over time, however, as I found myself more and more in the ‘X’ category at the hands of this Government, I began to become more and more uneasy about this sort of thing. Who am I to impose anything on anyone? What if I’m wrong? The reasoning that you had to be a bit fascist if you wanted to be properly liberal stopped making sense. The best way to fight fascism is to promote liberalism, and that means using liberalism as your weapon of choice.
Quite so. One of the themes that I have been advocating over the last year or so—both here and in my occasional public speaking—is that what those in power really do is to apply their own personal morals onto those who may not share said prejudices.
For instance, whilst you might think that the taking of drugs is bad and wrong, I do not. Why should you be able to employ force to make me comply with your morals?
Whilst your beliefs might tell you that having sex with lots of people is immoral, I think that it is great fun. Why should you be able to employ force to make me comply with your morals?
Whilst you might think that giving people oodles of cash simply because they have chosen to have children is a good thing, I do not. Why should you be able to employ force to make me comply with your morals?
And whilst you might think that stealing people's property to fund your vision of society is an a priori good, the society that I wish to see is somewhat different from yours. Why should you be able to employ force to make me comply with your morals?
I only have one moral absolute—that forcing* everyone to comply with my personal morals is wrong. Which is why I am a libertarian.
* Please note that I have no problem with voluntary collectivism—indeed, I think that it is an excellent thing and would always encourage it (or, indeed, take part in it).