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The libertarian point of view is based on one main rule: Never initiate the use of force. This is sometimes known as the non-aggression principle.

The reason I brought this up is that over in another thread, libertariansim was described as being mainly a system oft 'every man for himself'. I feel this is a caricature of libertarians that has taken root in political discourse and I'd like to refute it.

To start off, I'd like to post a short video that talks about the perils of using force to do good, and the (lack of?) morality involved in the idea that it's OK to do good with other people's money that has been taken by force.

The reason I picked this video to start is that it keeps the focus on the issue of force. You would never use force to compel your neighbor to donate to the homeless shelter where you volunteer. You would probably consider that immoral, even if it wasn't you holding the shotgun, but a mayor, But it seems like once we move away from the personal to the community, the societal distance makes many people let go of that simple idea that it's wrong to force people to do things.

And that's where libertarians separate from most. We LIKE charity and helping and cooperation and society and big projects of historical scope. We just think that the only moral way to do it is through voluntary participation.

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Forgive me for spamming videos, but I have good internet in my little South American hidey hole for the first time in a looooong time, so I'm going a little manic with the Youtubing. Plus I'm high on pseudophedrine.

Milton Friedman goes a little deeper on the idea of using force to create equality as opposed withholding force and allowing inequality.

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That's not really how I'd define libertarianism.

Never initiate the use of force is a reasonable starting point but it is more about the sanctity of individual rights.

The reason libertarianism is growing is that both of the two main parties seem to be ignoring or disregarding the constitution and that is a very scary trend.

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Well, I'd say the respect for the sanctity individual rights creates the non-aggression principle. If someone had a right to property, then you can't take it from them. If someone has a right to live, then you can't just declare war on their country. If someone has a right to speak, then you can't start restricting who is a journalist and who's not based on arbitrary criteria.

And so on.

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