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Love, Libertarian Style

heart statute of libertyAt the age of 23, I tied the knot. My wife was beautiful, glowing, intelligent, self-strong, and most importantly, a libertarian just like me. At the time, this was exactly what I wanted – everything she was, I responded to. We were so alike, and yet, social deviants that we were, we respected each other’s independence of mind and body and lived a very modern, liberal, inhibition-free lifestyle. The details at this point are things I wish to keep private, but those closest to us knew that we were “that” couple – nothing judgmental meant by it, necessarily, but nevertheless, the stigma had its claws in us. Because my wife and I wouldn’t conform to the social norms of our immediate cultural surroundings, there was confusion and distrust. It just kind of became expected. Even those we were closest to, family included, had to ponder a bit on our situation before they could personally come to terms with it.

Of course, as social libertarians, the two of us simply shrugged this off as ignorance of the masses – for us, the most liberating thing about living as “out” libertarians was the fact that our love didn’t have to be contained in a box of any making other than our own – we could stay perpetually in the liminal, gathering our short, simple annals, and forging memoirs that at times might have been considered too prodigious for the page. But I can assure this: nothing was more simultaneously frightening and succoring in my entire life, and I was able to live it to the fullest, unencumbered by the superfluous dramaturgy of those around me.

To them, my lifestyle and love life were surely seen as “incorrect” by the standards they believed and perpetuated in their own lives, but the beautiful thing about libertarian philosophy, especially on social issues, is that one doesn’t have to conform to said standards in order to feel valid and alive. In fact, such feelings in our case were often discovered precisely because we chose to make ourselves happy rather than assuage the familiar strangers who thought themselves better positive actors than us. Something my wife and I never understood was how anyone could justify making decisions for another person’s life without invitation. Fortunately, we were both libertarians, so we never gave a single shit.

But the question for passerby may then become, “What of those more traditional marriages? What of a more traditional social outlook? Are these things not welcome in a libertarian perspective?” But of course, the initiated know already what is so wonderful about voluntary social interaction – there is no judgement; only freedom to choose. If you want a traditional marriage, have at it – just don’t judge someone else for not sharing the same personal taste. It’s really that simple.

And while the conservatarians have had their way a lot of the time, this fact remains, that the freedom to discriminate they love so much also allows for the freedom to disassociate themselves from those who might judge them as people simply because of how they choose to approach the greatest human experience of all: love.

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Micah J. Fleck is a journalist and political writer who has spent the past several years developing his sincere-yet-indecypherable political outlook through independent research. While an enthusiast of both American history and economics, Mr. Fleck typically comes at his topics from a more anthropological perspective. His writings and interviews have been featured in various publications - including The National Review, The Libertarian Republic, The Wall Street Journal, and The College Fix - and he is currently earning a degree in anthropology at Columbia University. To support this author's work, visit his website.

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