Monday, October 02, 2006


A recent comment requested that I suggest a book on libertarianism. I have to confess that until that time I had never specifically read a book on Libertarianism. I've read several books on philosophy and political science as well as several books and research projects on Hobbes and Locke that helped me to form my libertarian opinions. I also subscribe to an newsletter from I have been a "card carrying" member of the party since 2000. I've aggressively studied and defended the party platform ever since.

In an attempt to remedy my apparent lack of scholarship on the subject I read The Great Libertarian Offer by Harry Browne and What it Means to be a Libertarian by Charles Murray. If you'd like to read a well documented defense of the party platform complete with charts, graphs and extensive footnotes then read Harry Browne's book. However, I thought that Murray's personal narrative and his deliberate lack of footnotes made for a much easier to read and persuasive book. If you are new to the philosophy and you would like to know a little bit about what they believe and why they believe it then I think you would also like Murray's book. If, on the other hand, you are looking for charts and graphs to convince you then read Browne's book.

Murray considers himself a lowercase libertarian as opposed to the uppercase Libertarians. I'd never heard this distinction made but, I believe it applies to me too. In spite of the fact that I'm a card carrying member I have always been attracted more to the philosophy rather than the party. I have several issues with the strategy and motives of the party. I am also under no delusion than the Libertarians will have chance at toppling either of the established parties. I do however believe that if we are going to return to the values and philosophical goals of Jefferson, Franklin, Hobbes and Locke that it will be a return to libertarian ideas that takes us there.


  1. I started to think of myself as a lowercase libertarian over the last two years, although, I didn't refer to it by that label. When the Libertarian party threatened to uninvite Neal Boortz from addressing the Libertarian Party convention due to his stance on the war. I don't support Neal's views, but he is one of the biggest advocates for the party and almost singlehandedly responsponsible for it's level of popularity. When the party considered removing him from the list of speakers, it showed me the Libertarian party was just another political party, with all the flaws and failings of any political party. I think we will see more accomplished towards libertarian ideals by electing major party candidates with libertarian platforms, and re-electing libertarian minded politicians, rather than electing Libertarians.

  2. My biggest issue with the uppercase Libertarians is in their strategy. The run adds during Saturday Night Live targeted to get the "pot-head" vote. I agree marajuana should be legaized but deliberatly pandering to that market just makes the party look like a bunch of drug addicts and hippies. Legalized drugs is just one small aspect of self government that libertarians support.