By Remso W. Martinez
“What if the new political spectrum has on one side those people who want to be left alone, those who want to be free, those who don’t hurt people or take their stuff, and on the other extreme of this new scale stands anyone who wants to use government power to tell you how to live your life?”
― Matt Kibbe, Don’t Hurt People and Don’t Take Their Stuff: A Libertarian Manifesto
Recently I declared my independence from political parties; what this did was create a wave of criticism from those in the Liberty Movement as I publically endorsed candidates across party lines, all whom I felt best advanced the message of liberty.
Many have called me “conservative”, a “right winger”, more humorously a “libertarian in name only”. As an individual who cares not for titles, an individual who has actively spoken against partisan loyalty, I feel confident when I proudly call myself a libertarian due to my commitment to the 5 Principles of Liberty over any man, movement, or party.
I am not a conservative for the same reason I am not a progressive, I do not support the use of state coercion for private gain against other individuals who are not a threat to my life or property. While the conservative claims to support the individual, it is entirely hypocritical to say you are free when you do not have your intrinsic right to self ownership respected. Whether it be the topic of the drug war, marriage licensing, or even educational freedom, the conservative only supports the individual freedoms that conform to him.
In F.A Hayek’s essay “Why I Am Not A Conservative”, Hayek states in the beginning:
Conservatism proper is a legitimate, probably necessary, and certainly widespread attitude of opposition to drastic change. It has, since the French Revolution, for a century and a half played an important role in European politics. Until the rise of socialism its opposite was liberalism. There is nothing corresponding to this conflict in the history of the United States, because what in Europe was called “liberalism” was here the common tradition on which the American polity had been built: thus the defender of the American tradition was a liberal in the European sense.This already existing confusion was made worse by the recent attempt to transplant to America the European type of
conservatism, which, being alien to the American tradition, has acquired a somewhat odd character. And some time before this, American radicals and socialists began calling themselves “liberals.” I will nevertheless continue for the moment to describe as liberal, the position which I hold and which I believe differs as much from true conservatism as from socialism.
The true reason I stand as a libertarian instead of a conservative, is that I swear on my life and my love of it, I will not be put into forced servitude for another man, nor will I force another man to serve me.
I am not a conservative for the same reason I am against the draft, the welfare state, economic interventionism, and unconstitutional growth in government; I place the individual, regardless of how I think one should conduct one’s life, as the most important part of civil society.
*This blog was republished with permission of the author