A Libertarian Manifesto

1. To force someone to do or say what one believes is right but the other person believes is wrong, far from promoting civil liberty, actually takes away the civil liberty of others. Whereas this is sometimes necessary, it must only be done when it is absolutely necessary.
2. Whereas it should be recognized that discrimination against people is always unacceptable for certain things (for example with regard to race or ethnicity), in other situations it can be acceptable at times but unacceptable at other times (for example with regard to sex or sexual orientation, see note below), and should always be accepted in some cases (as in denying the liberty of murderers, rapists, pedophiles, drunk-drivers and other duly-convicted criminals, regardless of color, or in allowing people to form private associations and determine the membership qualifications and requirements for such).
3. Whereas civil rights legislation sometimes is necessary to counter illegitimate discrimination (as with racial discrimination in the 1960’s in the U.S. and elsewhere today), it should be recognized that laws in themselves don’t usually change people’s minds. And for people to change their behavior requires them to change their thinking. This change in people’s thinking is the real reason for the real progress we have made in racial and religious relations since the 1960’s.
4. The United States of America was not set up either to be a Christian or a secular nation, but a nation which sought to guarantee “liberty and justice for all”, both religious and non-religious, as far as this is possible. This liberty must include the right of both religious and non-religious people to do, say and think according to their beliefs both in private and publicly. When there are conflicts as a result of this “free-exercise” of religious or secular beliefs (as there inevitably will be), every effort must be made to find compromises which do not violate the freedom of conscience of all parties.
5. The United States of America was not set up to be a nation in which the government was to rule over all aspects of people’s lives, but a nation in which a limited amount of government, with balanced and separated powers “of the People, by the People and for the People” would protect and promote both the personal and economic liberty of all from tyranny, whether from external or internal threats.

Are you a true Libertarian? Sadly, organizations like the ACLU and Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AU) often fight against the liberty of those who dissent from what is regarded as “politically correct” today. Insofar as they do so, they promote tyranny rather than liberty. A true Libertarian must always allow others “the right to be wrong” with respect to their own beliefs and values.

I welcome discussion of this with anyone willing to have a reasonable, respectful discussion. But if you aren’t willing to do so and, furthermore, would exclude this discussion and marginalize anyone who would raise these issues, then you are acting like a tyrant, not a freedom-loving libertarian.

Christopher Andrus

Note to point 2: It’s wrong not to give women the same opportunities as men (and vice-versa) in most cases. But it’s right for the Women’s National Basketball Association to ban male players. And it’s right to protect people from being persecuted for their private, consensual behavior. But it’s wrong to persecute people for not approving of and to require them to support behavior which they view as wrong and destructive. The latter is wrong because it can’t be demonstrated that sexual orientation is akin to race as a natural, unchangeable characteristic. Indeed, it can be shown that sexual orientations can change in a variety of ways.