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June 3, 2003

How to Formulate a Knee-Jerk Reaction

Presently I am a registered Green Party voter. My email flame filter redirects to "/dev/null", so go right ahead and complain, it is your right.

Anyway, I took a look at the Libertarian Party website and I find it interesting how my personal beliefs, based entirely on personal experiences not related to politics, affect my reading of the Libertarian list of "Commitments" on this site.

Examples ["The Libertarian Party is committed to...]";

"...Individual liberty and personal responsibility"
Right. "I prefer individual imprisonment and also total chaos where no person is compelled to feel responsible for his own actions!" Duh, who isn't committed to liberty and personal responsibility? Why even include this in your list of commitments? I perceive a hidden agenda which reads more like; "I am sick of supporting welfare-grubbing Moms with 12 kids, while we're at it let's get rid of social programs entirely so I can be personally responsible for a new golf bag!"

"...A free-market economy of abundance and prosperity"
Again, no problem there, on the face of it. My personal experiences chime in once again, however, and all I hear is; "I feel like becoming 'abundantly prosperous' by patenting my AIDS drug, then keeping the price high, also making it illegal for a generic version of my drug to be sold in countries where people are too poor to afford to buy it from me, even if millions of people might benefit from a generic version. What? What are you looking at me like that for- it is a 'free' world! What? Patents are the antithesis to a free market, and have nothing to do with individual liberty and personal responsibility? Pah! I have golf bags to buy, let us continue this discussion another day."

"...A foreign policy of non-intervention, peace, and free trade"
An insular and selfish statement. Whoops, that is my personal opinion again, not necessarily a factual conclusion. "I won't bother you, or support you, if you don't bother me. Meanwhile, I would like to extend my greed across international borders if you please; Hey, if I want to tear up South American trees at $1 an acre to make Swiffer Dusters, that's fair because they accepted the $1, right? Free trade! Fairness! Liberty! Abundance! Prosperity!"

My best friend in high-school thought of himself as a Libertarian, which is where I get most of this stuff. He had many classic one-liners, such as, in defense of European colonialization of North America;

"Hey, those Indians accepted beads as trade for land, that's stupid, but fair!"