Every political ideology has its own factions. In order to define themselves, members of these groups often engage in the “No true Scotsman” fallacy. This basically amounts to declaring political exile on one’s ideological frenemies; they’re not really on the same side as us because of their stance on this one particular issue. We see it with Hillary being called “Republican Lite.” On the other team, both Mitt Romney and John McCain are denounced by the far right as Republicans In Name Only (RINOs)—despite being the party’s presidential nominees.
The same phenomenon holds true in libertarianism. This is true despite that fact that libertarianism is far more coherently defined than Republicanism. Leonard Read, longtime chairman of the Foundation of Economic Education, called for “anything that’s peaceful.”
“Getting the government out of the boardroom and out of the bedroom” is another, as is “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” The most popular definition among libertarians is adherence to the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP), stipulating that no one may initiate force against another person. Simple enough, no? No. Because no true libertarian would disagree about:
1. The Civil War
Slavery was by far the greatest affront to individual liberty that America has ever seen, a horrific condition instituted and maintained through vigorous state action. Any real libertarian therefore knows that the Civil War—despite some of the issues inherent with it—was an enormous net benefit for liberty.
The Civil War was a grossly unconstitutional assault on freedom and another step toward the federal government dominating the populace. Any real libertarian knows that the Civil War was never about slavery, as Lincoln said constantly, and was unnecessary since other nations freed their slaves without mass murder, destruction, and martial law.
2. Milton Friedman
Milton Friedman in his Free to Choose book and TV series became one of the public’s greatest champions of freedom. He helped bring free-market ideas to the populace at a time when belief in the state was at very high levels. Despite his flaws, any real libertarian knows that, but for Milton Friedman the battle for liberty would be much more difficult.
Milton Friedman treated his ideological antipodes as people with whom he merely had differences of opinion—as opposed to the monsters of humanity that they really are. He also introduced income-tax withholding, allowing the state to steal wages before the recipient ever sees them. Any real libertarian knows that arguing even for a minimalist government (as Friedman does) is already giving away both the entire argument and the moral high ground. The difference between FDR and the Fuhrer is merely one of degree, as both were dictators in their own way.
The more that governance is devolved to the individual, the better. If someone wants to voluntarily join a sharia-law community, more power to them—so long as they have the freedom to leave. As such, in a libertarian society, many communities will have traditions and practices that seem senseless to outsiders. Any real libertarian knows that, for example, Jewish communities will practice Jewish tradition, and to try and force them to change is like trying to force-feed them pork and shellfish.
Circumcision is a barbaric act of torture and mutilation that causes psychological trauma when a person is most vulnerable, inflicting permanent physical damage for absolutely no reason. Any real libertarian knows that one’s children aren’t one’s property, and their rights and well-being must be respected as much as any other human being’s—if not more.
Feminism is a great libertarian example of how social change can be enacted outside the auspices of state actions. Feminism allowed women to regard themselves as having legitimate goals and desires of their own and convinced men that 51% of the population had far more to offer than they’d previously thought. Any real libertarian knows that feminism and libertarianism are inseparable, and that equal rights apply to all human beings regardless of gender.
Feminism is yet another cloak that statists use to further their control over men and women alike. It is merely another attempt to control both the boardroom and the bedroom, as demonstrated by recent movements to both enact gender quotas and to revoke the presumption of innocence in assault cases, respectively. Any real libertarian knows that feminism is blatantly statism in a skirt.
Oppression in practice is the domination of the many by the few. The more power that is thereby vested in the broad populace, the greater the safeguard against dictatorship becomes. While democracy isn’t perfect, it’s still a far better system than any alternative. Any real libertarian knows that actual change can only occur working within the system that already actually exists.
One’s rights are not open to discussion—much less a vote—and the canard that is democracy merely encourages the populace to imagine themselves as miniature Stalins and then urge legislation accordingly. Any real libertarian knows that the state will act as it sees fits regardless of the wishes of its serfs (i.e., “citizens” lol), and legitimizing democracy is directly opposed to defending individual rights.