It’s easy and all too convenient for people to think there is only one kind of “Libertarian”. Those who choose to believe this seem all to comfortable grouping all Libertarians into one monolithic, group-thinking mob. They would admit that it would be unfair to treat other groups this way. Truth be told, it’s partly the fault of us Libertarians, but yet, here we are.
Humans attempt to group people into tidy little groups because it is in our nature. Whether its foreigners, blacks, whites, women, illegal aliens, Asians, ex-cons, cowboys, Hispanics, politicians, cops, Muslims, gays, teenagers, the French; we group them because they generally deserve it (Ah, You didn’t expect that did you?!?!). But alas, it is true! Blacks, we like ribs, looting stuff (apparently) and big butts. Whites like sandals, creating new drugs (huffing paint & licking frog backs), and the mellow musical stylings of Coldplay. Hispanics like tortillas, Oscar De La Hoya, and chubby chicks. Asians like to denigrate other kinds of Asians, noodles, and used-schoolgirl-underwear-vending-machines. Muslims like subservient women, Lamb meat, and… I don’t know, beheading stuff! The truth is, that we humans, just as does every other animal, stereotype, profile, and catalog things as a means of self-defense. As an example, we all know the type of people who will get on your airplane and try to blow it up — Whether you’ll say it out loud or not.
So some of the stereotypes of Libertarians must also be right! Right? Well, Probably! We do tend to dress differently, distrust all government, question the motives or intelligence of those who do trust government. We also standout as unique characters — but that’s about it because there are multiple kinds of Libertarians. They don’t believe the same things, they haven’t all had the same experiences, and they think diversely, just as free people do. But they do share some basic tenants, such as the belief that, “A free person should be free to do what they want — so long as it doesn’t interfere with the rights of others”. Libertarians can be categorized into one of 8 general categories of Libertarian.
Those general categories would include the (1) Conservatarian, (2) Utopiantarian, (3) Logictarian, (4) Barely-Libertarian, (5) Miltonian Libertarian, (6) Libertari-Ayn, (7) Darwin-arian, and the (8) Founding Libertarian.
The Conservatarian (Type One)
Both Libertarian and Conservative. They understand that government cannot be used against anyone who is living their lives in peace. Conservatarians bridge the gap between the Republican Party and the Libertarian Party in philosophy. They despise the Democrat Party (as do all Libertarians), but they also weigh and appreciate the economic beliefs of the Libertarian Party.
Conservatarians understand that the First Amendment freedom of religion is a limitation on Government, and not on the individual. They are religious but, recognize that they can not force others to believe as they do, and they acknowledge it is not government’s job to treat citizens differently due to their religions. Conservatarians are likely Republicans, or former Republicans who’ve come to the realization that the Republican Party does not share their Conservative inclinations BECAUSE, the Republican Party will choose Party over the Individual’s Rights. People used to suggest that Libertarianism and Religion don’t mix but those same people are now beginning to realize that the purpose of being a Libertarian is that you live your life the way you choose regardless of what others may think. ‘And the right to ones religion is not only a founding principle of the US, but it is also a Constitutional Right.
This type of Libertarian is growing fast as more and more Republicans realize that they don’t have to be a Republican merely because they are Conservative. They’ve seen value in both, the group of people who align themselves with the “Tea Party”, and Libertarians. Both groups of which have been somewhat successful in forcing change within the Republican party. Individuals like Ted Cruz are considered to be Wacko-Birds by the more main-line members of the Republican party because they are willing to stand for the beliefs of, and fight for limited government and individual rights. The Conservatarian has come to the realization that they can vote Republican FOR NOW, but they can also try to push the Republican Party to become more Libertarian from within.
…And because they are Conservative, would-be military opponents and/or geopolitical foes are cautious when threatening them because, the “Conservative in them” will fight when they need to. Whereas foreign governments are willing to harass highly liberal Presidents such as Carter or Obama, they are unlikely to harass conservative Presidents.
The Utopiantarian (Type Two)
The Utopiantarian is the type of Libertarian who claims that if the world were to become Libertarian, Utopia would be the outcome. It is a standard Libertarian meme to suggest that Libertarians are: “Trying to take over the world so they can leave everyone alone.” They believe that it is possible to create this utopia despite the fact that this will NEVER happen because many of the concepts within Libertarianism can NEVER come to fruition without forcing it upon others. Although Socialists, Communists, and others are quite comfortable using force against those who disagree with them, Libertarians recognize that force should not be used against anyone, merely because you want them to live the way you want them to live.
The Utopiantarian has a good heart, but they must be reminded that one mans Utopia is another mans hell. Just ask a Socialist! Despite the fact that every Socialist government has failed or is failing, there will always be those socialists that believe they can make a society better through a Socialist Government.
The unfortunate part of this all is that the Utopiantarian actually “believes” in a Utopia when there is no such thing. An unfortunate byproduct is that they find little important enough to fight for. Libertarians are pretty specific about how/when wars should be waged, however, when many people think of Libertarians, they they think that Libertarians are opposed to any and all usage of force against other nations by the US Government, but they are thinking of the Utopiantarian Libertarian because they are willing to protest, hold signs up, and give the rest of us a bad name. This is why Rand Paul will NEVER be President… Foreign Policy always ends in a threat of force and National Security is role for the US Government. Of course, Government should ALWAYS attempt to convince Americans prior to entering a war, BUT not even Libertarians will deny that the Constitution gives the Federal Government the standing to wage wars.
Admittedly, these Libertarians understand that Utopia is not for this world and a Libertarian Utopia may not (by which we mean, Will Not) be utopia for all, but it is the only way in which people can be free. Freedom does NOT mean that everyone will thrive or be happy; because some people will always think as Subjects do, and sadly, some people will always think as Slaves do.
But be clear… Just because someone is a Libertarian, DOES NOT MEAN they are against all wars or conflict. Lets be real!
The Logictarian (Type Three)
The Logic Libertarians – are the polar opposite of the Utopia Libertarians. They recognize that they cannot force others to believe as they believe and that they will NEVER force others into living Libertarian values. To this Libertarian, it is not whether one is right or wrong, it is only about the fact that WHATEVER an individual chooses to believe, others may/will choose to believe something else. The “Logic-tarian” understands that even if it
were proven 100%, that living as a Libertarian was the best way to live EVER THROUGHOUT HUMAN HISTORY, that there would still be disagreements, problems, and skirmishes in the way people deal with each other because being a Libertarian is not enough to negate humanity.
Logictarians recognize that humanity brings “Choice” and choice ensures that the individual human must be able to choose how he or she wants to live, and that the individual human must live with the consequences he or she has made. A Libertarian who might fit this description is Penn Jillette of (Penn and Teller Fame). He is always logical and has shot holes though arguments in a way that only Libertarians can with his show entitled, “Bull Shit”.
As an example, ALL Libertarians know that there is a point when “taxation” becomes theft, and they wonder when the moment will arrive where non-Libertarians realize that their government is seizing their money from them. The Logictarian is dumbfounded by non-Libertarians who think it makes sense for individual citizens to have their money seized by government, so government can take a cut and give the rest to others. This is beyond being logical, and the Logictarian sees this as a government-sanctioned fraud or Ponzi-scheme (That MUST eventually collapse).
The Barely-Libertarian (Type Four)
Once a person initially decides they are a Libertarian, they are stereotyped. They are immediately dubbed a “Barely-Libertarian” by those they speak to until they prove they have some actual Libertarian-knowledge or Libertarian-perspective. Yes, it is unfair perhaps, but they are even stereotyped this way by other Libertarians.
The Barely Libertarian – is sometimes dubbed a silly, crazy, or identified as that drug using Libertarian in college that taints the rest of the Libertarians. Marijuana (MJ) is a great example in identifying them though. The Barely-Libertarian would say MJ should be legal because “it’s none of the government’s business if someone uses drugs.” A Libertarian (with Chops) would say MJ should be decriminalized because people own their own bodies and if they cannot make the decision of what happens to their own body — when they are not affecting anyone else’ rights — then how can they be free? In the end, just as in Society, the vast majority Libertarians DO NOT do drugs… But they don’t see how government retains the right on how people use their own bodies.
As a stereotype, this individual claims he’s a Libertarian, but does not know the actual premise of being a Libertarian. He believes that Libertarianism requires him to be different than everyone else. They spend their time rebelling. From society, from convention, rebelling from the Democrats (in his college classes), and from his Republican Parents (who are paying for his education). Don’t ask him if he knows anything about Hayek, Friedman, or Ayn Rand… because he doesn’t.
The Barely-Libertarian must be watched because they CAN inadvertently give the rest of the Libertarians a bad name because they are generally Atheist. Although, a large percentage of Libertarians may not be religiously inclined, the Barely-Libertarian has not yet learned that one can believe whatever he or she wants without attacking the ideals of others, especially when those beliefs hurt no one else. Their Libertarian ideals are not mature enough to accept that others should not be attacked for their beliefs just as they should not be attacked for their Libertarian ideals.
But the Barely-Libertarian is important, because they’ve already accepted that there is a group of people out there that call themselves Libertarians. They have already moved past the idea that one MUST be a Democrat or Republican. They are a pivotal part of the future of the Libertarian Party because they are LEARNING and may eventually build on their Libertarian foundation (because once you go Libertarian, you can never go back). The Barely-Libertarian is another part of the reason the Libertarian Party is the fastest growing political party in the United States.
The Miltonian (Type Five)
Milton(ian) Libertarians are the financially based logically driven Libertarians that began to understand Libertarianism through the prism of economics. Milton Friedman was an economist and Nobel Prize winner who believed that Liberty is tied to the Market – that in the only recorded cases in which the most poor people were pulled out of poverty, is in countries where the market economy was free to naturally expand with little government planning and regulation. Friedman saw that government economic policies were effecting the lives and freedoms of everyone and that if a free people could not keep the money they earned because government seized it, that individual freedom and liberty would be minimized.
Milton Friedman once responded to a question, by asking the questioner if he really wanted an efficient government. His point was that an efficient Federal government would allow them to consume liberty in a more efficient way. He pointed specifically to the IRS. Would anyone want a highly efficient IRS? I think not!
Miltonian Libertarians believe we are living through a time in which it is becoming more and more understandable and reasonable for individual Americans to follow their Libertarian inclinations because it is becoming obvious that government manipulation into the economy is harmful and it only invites government to further interfere to address the bubbles and unintended consequences of the manipulation they previously made. It should also be noted that every year, there becomes less usage of the word libertarian with a small “l”, and solidifies the word “Libertarian” with a capital “L” into the mainstream. Milton Friedman once stated:
“I am a libertarian with a small “l” and a Republican with a capital “R”. And I am a Republican with a capital “R” on grounds of expediency, not on principle.”
When he stated this, he was noting that he is a Republican because he has to be, but he is a Libertarian based upon his conventions and beliefs. Milton Friedman is the King of Libertarianism, if only because he was alive during a period in time when he and his ideals could be captured on film and video.
The Libertari-Ayn (Type Six)
The Libertari-Ayn – This person knew something was wrong with the Democrats and Republicans, but didn’t know what it was until they discovered Ayn Rand’s books, The Fountainhead (Movie Trailer) and/or Atlas Shrugged and they touched a nerve. They found a political system that allows them to explain the difference between liberty and slavery. They believe the threat to the individual is based upon a society that is willing to seize the rights of the individual citizens, in an attempt to benefit government. Ayn Rand sees that EVERY totalitarian government that has EVER been, had this same goal – to be able to force individuals to do what that government believes is most important, not what the individual believes is more important. Ayn Rand saw that the natural extension of government growth is Socialism.
These Libertarians tend to believe what Ayn Rand believed regarding the idea that the individual is not his brothers keeper, especially if that brother, does not want to be kept. ‘And that just as you cannot FORCE someone to take your “help”, you cannot FORCE people to “help” others.
Many Non-Libertarians HATE Ayn Rand, despite not knowing a damn thing about her or her beliefs. They believe her to be anti-government, or somehow evil because she believes that the individual should be able to keep the money he/she earned. They have not been able to make it through the book Atlas Shrugged, and think that Ayn Rand was somehow extreme, radical, or illogical. They are not ready to accept, that just as they (presumably) believe in a Separation of Church and State as a concept, that Ayn Rand merely believed in a Separation of Market and State — for the same exact reasons. [Because those with the power, will eventually become the State, and the State, will manipulate the Market to solidify their control over the individual.]
If Milton Friedman is the King of Libertarianism, Ayn Rand is the high-priestess (not merely the Queen) of Libertarianism. One of the goals of most Libertarians is to push their way through the book Atlas Shrugged (no, the movies are not good enough-although we appreciate them) because her writing represents the Libertarian values that we all espouse.
The Darwinarian (Type Seven)
Most Libertarians get labeled as being “cold”, “uncaring”, or “heartless” for not wanting to help the poor, homeless, or the children. But what people who call Libertarians these names really mean that, “Libertarians are cold, uncaring, and heartless BECAUSE they don’t think government should take their money” in order to give it to others merely because others want it. They see a problem when some people who do not want to work and do not have a job can live “better” (more easy, carefree, and financially isolated) than those who work and have less financial assistance from government sources.
This Libertarian recognizes that although
Americans may not like it, the survival of the fittest applies. They may care about others on a personal note but have come to understand that you cannot help someone who does not want to be helped and that one individual’s idea of help, may not coincide with another’s idea of help. That the fit (smart, trustworthy, dedicated, focused, creative, or even lucky) people should not be punished because they have proven to be successful.
The Darwinarian does not agree that it is possible or necessary for the strong and/or successful to support the weak, but they are more matter-of-fact about WHY you cannot help everyone. They recognize that you CANNOT, and should NOT attempt to help everyone, because there is a point in which you are helping those who are temporarily unfortunate or needy (lost a job, or had a medical issue), and there is a point (long-term welfare) in which you are further weakening the poor and ensuring that they will have less productive lives over the long run – Just as common sense dictates for animals.
The Darwinarian is strong on National Defense and while most Libertarians have demonstrated that they are opposed to force regarding threats that have not SPECIFICALLY and DIRECTLY impacted the country, the Darwinarian, understands that the fittest will survive and that some countries, individuals, or entities must be dealt with physically because that is how they choose to be dealt with. The Darwinarian understands that even if you say you will not use force against others on a battlefield, that the enemy can still decide they will use force against you.
The Founding Libertarian (Type Eight)
The Founding Libertarian – are the Libertarians that government hates and fears. These are the Libertarians that will end up fighting for what they believe [FIRST] — just as the Founding Fathers did. The Founding Libertarian believes in the principles of the Constitution more than they believe in the US Government. They will choose the Constitution over what the US government decides to do on any given day. They overwhelmingly believe in the Second Amendment and are prepared for the idea that liberty is on a collision course with government – as it always has been. They see police becoming militarized, they understand the dangers of the PATRIOT Act and it’s ramifications, they see the dangers of the National Security Agency breaking the 4th Amendment and recognize that all governments throughout history believed that only if they had more power, that they could have solved all problems that their citizens had…
The Majority of Libertarians believe there WILL come a point when they must fight government, but The Founding Libertarian has a lower threshold of when this will come. They believe that it is likely time to fight when Government begins to demonstrate its contempt for the founding of the country. This Libertarian will not accept the dismantling of the Bill Of Rights or the rest of the Constitution. The government calls these Libertarians “Extremists” because it recognizes that everything government wants, is opposed by them.
Founding Libertarians can quote Washington, Jefferson, Adams, along with the other Founders. They know what the Bill Of Rights’ purpose was. They can tell you what the Federalist Papers are and they know the United States IS NOT a democracy, but a Representative Constitutional Republic. They know that ANOTHER American revolution would be horrific, but they recognize that if human history is a roadmap, that the government and the citizens MUST have an armed confrontation because every government in history has had that same confrontation.
In The End?
What all of these types of Libertarian show, is that Libertarianism is the ONLY political system in which all other political systems can survive. One can live in a Libertarian society and be a communist or any other type of socialist. But you can’t be a Libertarian and live the way you choose under a socialist or communist government, because they do not allow people to live as the individual chooses. As the US government becomes more socialist, regulatory, and the individual looses more liberties to an overwhelming government, they will learn that it can only create more Libertarians.