Volunteerism over Coercion – Back to the Basics
Trigger Warning: I am sure that I am going to cause a lot of eyebrows to raise from the second sentence, but please bear with me for this very succinct article.
A lot of libertarians and non-libertarians alike have the misunderstanding that libertarians are against collectivism, socialism, redistribution and “social justice.” Additionally, liberty, freedom and rights are some of the most ambiguous concepts within the studies of political science, ethics and philosophy. In actuality, the basis of libertarianism is the concept of liberty which contends that everyone has the capacity and autonomy to achieve and pursue whatever their inclination or preference as long as it’s not at the expense of anyone else’s liberty. Henceforth, if someone has their liberties violated, then this is what I call coercion and even extortion whether that’s from a private individual, an aggregate of individuals, bureaucrats, the federal government, governments abroad or anyone!
In this case, some may argue that the concept of liberty does not denote or connote true freedom which is the power or right to act, think or speak in anyway without any hindrance or constraint and they are actually right. The reason being the most quintessential component of libertarianism is the non-aggression principle, an axiom meaning that it is iniquitous or immoral to violate the liberty of another individual or group of people. In this case, if a group of people wants to practice redistribution and practice or catalyze an outcome of social justice within their own societies, then ideally, they should have the prerogative to do so under the contextual and paradigmatic framework of libertarianism.
The only times that these aforementioned ideals that are lauded by the left become problematical and adversarial to the liberty movement is when government, corporations, terrorists or any group of people coerce other people to abide or acquiesce to universal healthcare, socialism, bureaucratized charity (welfare), redistribution, etc. To force someone to do something against their will is criminal and no one or entity is an exception.
Therefore, volunteerism is another essential ideal to libertarianism because people should have the right to provide mutual aid in the form of finances, healthcare, jobs, food, housing, air condition/heating for one’s property, clothing, security protection, education and other necessities and amenities to someone or others if that’s their inclination to do so.
If people volunteer to provide resources to others then it’s their right to do so, but when government forces society to pay people that are impoverished, then this violates the non-aggression principle and this is unscrupulous and criminal. If we look at this on a microcosmic or miniature scale, this is like an extortionist pointing a pistol to your head and forcing you to withdraw funds from your savings account to give to the extortionist because he wants to feed his family and friends! The definition of a right is a moral and legal entitlement to life, liberty and the pursuit of property and happiness as long as no one else’s rights are violated.
In closing, people have the right to redistribute their resources, universalize healthcare and do other socialist oriented initiatives as long as they don’t violate the rights of us freedom loving or non-freedom loving individuals. To coerce a group of people from practicing socialist or redistributionist initiatives within the private sector is anti-libertarian. In this case, let’s go back to basics and focus on the non-aggression axiom and prioritize volunteerism over coercion.