I love people. If you had known me 15 years ago, that would sound like a shocking statement coming from me. But that was before a few things changed in my life to bring out the best in me.
Within a period of a few months I discovered there is a name for how I had always pretty much believed anyway: “libertarianism;” I discovered I wasn’t the only one in the world with this philosophy, and I started going out and being sociable.
Before those things happened I had thought I was a disgruntled conservative — tired of being stabbed in the back by politicians I assumed were on my side, and disgusted because of seeing so many people refusing do what I thought was right. I also considered myself a hermit.
I wouldn’t go back to either of those ways for anything.
I still don’t like the choices a lot of people make, and I’ll criticize those choices. Sometimes it sounds like I am criticizing the individuals who make those choices, but all they’d have to do is stop initiating force or stop violating property rights and the criticisms would no longer apply to them. It’s simple, really.
Sure, some people are so invested in their life of theft and coercion that it is hard to distinguish between the act and the person, but it’s still nothing more than a bad choice they are making. They are not what they do.
If I say I hate green shirts, I am not talking about the people wearing those shirts. There’s no reason to get angry over something that is separate from you and could be taken off and tossed aside if you wanted to. If you wear green shirts and my lack of approval offends you, either don’t let me see you wearing a green shirt, or just shrug off my comments.
But my criticisms are not quite so trivial, are they? After all, you would probably criticize the same behavior I do if the person committing the act didn’t have a government job that supposedly justified the behavior.
I know how much better life can be when you stop advocating sending armed people to coerce others on your behalf “for their own good.”
All I want is for you to discover the same truth for yourself. Because I love you as a person, even if I don’t always like what you advocate or do.
Try it for yourself and have a happy new year, and a happier new you.
Farwell’s Kent McManigal champions liberty. Contact him at: