People in the liberty movement would probably find the idea that liberty unites them a little bit comical, given that if you put two libertarians in a room together, they are going to fight about something. Despite this fact, it isn’t the liberty driven ideals themselves that divide libertarians. but rather the fact that most of those attracted to the movement happen to be staunchly independently minded people who arrive at their ideas only after lots of thoughtful contemplation and study. Libertarianism, however, is actually the most uniting political philosophy that there is, and I don’t mind saying so as an absolute, without caveat.
People who are not involved in the libertarian movement don’t quite seem to understand the difference between supporting the right to do as you please so long as you do not harm others, with whether you actually support what people are doing or how people associate.
For example, the right cheered, along with most libertarians, when a baker was supported by the Supreme Court in his stance against baking a cake for a gay wedding. Yet, they were silenced while the left cheered when businesses were supported in allowing refusal of service to people wearing a hat with the Trump campaign slogan emblazoned upon it.
Many people demanded government intervention for Starbucks in hosting people who were not shopping there to have access to their property for the use of restrooms. Many people have demanded government intervention for the protection of an employee ousted from Crossfit for verbalizing a belief that people in the LGBT movement are “sinning”.
There is a big disconnect in understanding that we can all get along and that we can all coexist in our personal beliefs under a libertarian society. Libertarianism advocates for all people to exercise their beliefs – whatever they are – in ways that do no harm to others and do not force the beliefs on others. Under libertarianism, businesses are allowed to create and maintain their own peaceful policies, without interference from others – whether those policies support cultural ideas on the right or on the left.
While the Constitution does guarantee service without discrimination toward individuals for race, religion, sexual preference, etc., it does not guarantee a lack of discrimination in general terms. In other words, a baker must be willing to sell to a gay couple, but he does not have to bake a cake for their wedding. He could offer to sell them items for their consumption. An employer cannot discriminate whom they hire or fire based upon religious beliefs, but they can fire someone for speaking certain things allowed, even if we think their reasoning is stupid. There’s a difference between discriminating and providing service or hiring and firing practices. Not to mention that, people can always take their business (or employment) someplace else.
Under libertarian thought, there is no divide. Whether your ideas lie on the right or the left, you are free to practice whatever your philosophy, so long as it does not involve injury and harm to other parties. That does not include societal injury, regardless of whether you believe it is injurious to society. Libertarians believe in the necessity of thinking of people as individuals and not as a collective group. Both conservative and liberal social values, and everything in between, are easily supported under libertarianism. So long as people understand this, everyone can get along.
Libertarians mostly even support ideas that might be completely opposed to the spirit of the philosophy. For example, if you want to have some sort of socialist commune, while libertarians would rankle at the thought, if you buy land as a group of people, no libertarian would want to stop you from using that land in common or using any of the group’s possessions and means of production in common. So long as these things are voluntary and do not force them onto others, libertarianism supports them.
Want to keep from baking a gay couple a cake for their wedding? Want to refuse service to someone wearing apparel with which you disagree? Want to refuse to allow people to use your restroom in your business if they aren’t buying anything? Want to fire an employee for saying something against company policy that others believe is an affront to their religion? Want to voluntarily share everything in common with a group of your friends and acquaintances? If you’re a libertarian, you support everyone’s right to do so. There is nothing more uniting than allowing individuals to act peacefully in accordance with their own sets of standards and believes. If everyone is allowed to exercise those, then there really is no need to fight. Argue, yes. But, no need to fight. Rather, everyone can support one another in a single unifying force.
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