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Post your "political past"?

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RothbardsDisciple Posted: Fri, Jul 8 2011 11:47 PM

I am certain this has been done before, but I suppose I will start a new thread for this.

I personally have always been a Libertarian.

Minarchism ["night watchman"-ish] --> Monarchic Minarchism [no taxes; no violent monopolies on any industry; technically anarcho-capitalism but with a powerless king] --> Rothbardian Anarcho-Capitalism

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 12:03 AM

Democrat to moderate libertarian to anarcho-capitalist to Nietzschean anarchism to mutualist to Individualist anarchist/minarchist.

I would like to say though that with the exception of my first step each evolution has retained important elements from the previous one(s)

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Clayton replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 12:03 AM

These threads are always fun. I'll re-post an edited blog post from 2008:

I am an anarchist. Let me clear away the stereotypes. I am not an angry teenager, I have a career, I have children. I do not want chaos, I want my children and grandchildren to live in the best of all realistically possible worlds. I am not emotionally maladjusted, I have a normal relationship with my parents, I don't have a problem with authority, having only been fired once (for love!) and my most serious run-ins with the state have been speeding tickets (none in the last five years). I am not an atheist.

The 2000 Presidential election was the first time I was old enough to vote and, as a good Republican, I cast my vote for W. I was raised a small-government conservative and I believed that the Republican party genuinely stood for small-government conservatism since that had been its platform since at least the time of Ronald Reagan. In the eight years which have passed since I first voted, I have seen Federal spending balloon to unprecedented heights. For six years, Republicans controlled both Congress and the Presidency. The Republicans broke record after record for fastest budget growth, largest total Federal budget ever and so on. It became painfully obvious that the Republican Party was using the same recipe the Democrats had used to hold Congress for nearly forty years before 1994: buy the incumbency. But if the party of small government used exactly the same tactics as the Democrat party once they obtained power, instead of using their power to scale back the Federal government, decentralize and delegate power back to the states and so on, then neither party represented small government. The idea of a small government party was a myth created by Republicans to obtain power in the first place. That is, the Republican party talked about small government only because they knew there were a lot of disaffected folks out there who wanted smaller government who would vote for anyone who appeared to be in favor of scaling back government.

Then it struck me that it was a matter of course. Why does someone go into politics except to govern? And once power has been achieved, by whatever means, what incentive is there to scale back one's own authority? Franklin D. Roosevelt rode his wave of popularity to a lifelong Presidency (think about it). The vast majority of people, if given a groundswell of popular fervor like that which greeted FDR during his Presidency would have made the same choice as FDR - ride it out for as long as it lasts. We all like to imagine that, given the choice, we would not choose like FDR but this is just a symptom of our own narcissism. We love to flatter ourselves on how selfless, giving, and others-oriented we are. When you look at the historical record, and how people actually choose when really faced with the choice between power or self-restraint, the choice, with extremely rare exceptions, is power.

Sometime before Christmas last year, I was at Barnes & Noble and I happened to be looking at the discount books. I noticed a pile of political books and, since I fancy myself a philosopher of religion, politics, etc. I gravitated towards it. One book, Basic Economics, caught my eye both because I had been thinking I needed to better understand how the economy works, and because I noticed its author was Thomas Sowell, who I had heard interviewed on radio and TV on several occasions. I had been impressed with his concise reasoning and no bullshit mentality. I bought the book, hurried home, and started reading voraciously.

As I began reading, I began to have my mind blown by the simplicity and far-reaching consequences of economic philosophy. Sowell's book has no math equations and does not present a mathematical case for a particular school of economics. Rather, his book makes philosophical arguments about human behavior. The first principle he introduced which thoroughly rewired my way of thinking was this: People tend to do more for their own benefit than for the benefit of others. I have since run into this principle in many different forms. Milton Friedman in an old television interview I saw on YouTube says it this way, People never take care of the property of others as well as they take care of their own property. Or, stated another way (David Friedman, Milton Friedman's son): People have goals and tend to make the choice among the alternatives facing them which best achieves those goals. When these principles are consistently applied to all people - whether police, government bureaucrats, elected officials, charity workers, clergy or business owners - the change in one's perspective is revolutionary. I would go so far as to say that, despite finishing a bachelor's degree in computer engineering, I had not really learned to think critically until I began studying economics. I had never learned to analyze the "irrational" choices that other people make which I would not have made in their circumstances. I assigned the "crazy" actions of other people to wickedness, stupidity, ignorance, insanity, corruption or any other number of human maladies. While human behavior is not completely predictable, there are predictable elements to it. By assigning the choices which people make that I don't understand to irrationality, I was giving up and failing to think critically about why, really why they make the choices they do.

I think part of the reason for this sloppy thinking is what I call the myth of vulgar altruism. We each like to believe we are humble, selfless, self-effacing, giving, altruistic, caring, trustworthy individuals. A biblical example is Jesus's discussion of the Pharisees who make a pretense of giving, but blow a trumpet before doing so to make sure that everyone around sees how good and laudible they are. This is an obviously self-interested act, since it is motivated by the desire to be perceived in a certain way by others. It is the result of a simple cost-benefit analysis: the benefit of being perceived as good by other people exceeds the cost of the money being deposited into the temple treasury. This hardly seems like true self-sacrifice, giving despite pain and real, net loss to oneself.

To bring this back to the Republican party, I began to think critically about why government had grown more under the Republicans than it had under the Democrats when a vital component of the Republican platform had been to scale back government once they attained power. 9/11 is no excuse for the overall budget growth we've seen. The reason, really, is simple: Both Democrats and Republicans have an interest in increasing the size of government. The difference between them is which government programs they champion. That's it. Since people tend to act more in their own interest (political gain) than in the interests of others (constituency), it is inevitable that elected leaders - whether R or D - will always increase the size and scope of government.

That's when I realized that there is no hope for limited government. The Libertarian Party and other independents sit on the sidelines waiting for the "some day" when Americans start voting for something other than Republicans or Democrats, but it was clear many years ago that this is futile. There is no political solution to the problem of political government. Government, by virtue of the fact that there is no force which may oppose it, always grows.

So, I began to think about what if there were no government. What would happen? Would chaos ensue? Would we have "nature red in tooth and claw" or the all-against-all jungle predicted by Hobbes? I think the answer, given sufficient qualification, is no. I will try, however, to compress into one sentence the basic reason why it is possible to imagine a realistic (not idealistic), ordered anarchy. The reason is this: The free market can provide all the services which government currently provides to maintain peace, law, order, safety and the public welfare at a lower cost, better quality or both by inducing organizations which perform these services to compete with one another under the constraint of profitability.

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Eric080 replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 12:17 AM

Michael Savage conservative (embarrassing I know, but it was early in high school for me) -> Ron Paulian -> Cato Institutey minarchist -> Anarcho-capitalist.

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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redwine replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 12:34 AM

Liberal

Socialist

Communist

Anarcho-Communist

Left Communist

Liberal

Libertarian

Anarcho-Capialist

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 12:42 AM

redwine:

Liberal

Socialist

Communist

Anarcho-Communist

Left Communist

Liberal

Libertarian

Anarcho-Capialist

WOWWW nice save there!

What in the world got you from communist to anarcho-capitalist?

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@Eric- To be honest, your biography inspired me to make this thread. xD

@Neodoxy- Ha, I would also like to know the answer to that question. Redwine has a very interesting political past!

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redwine replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 1:17 AM

I just started becoming less and less authoritarian, and the path naturally leads to anarcho-capitalism

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I wrote this a little while ago, detailing my journey. Basically, apathetic -> "Ignorant Constitutionalist" -> minarchist libertarian -> liberal anarchist.

Though I recently convinced myself that nothing good comes from using 'anarchist' and that I should stick with 'polycentrist.' Names are important!

"People kill each other for prophetic certainties, hardly for falsifiable hypotheses." - Peter Berger
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Michael:
Though I recently convinced myself that nothing good comes from using 'anarchist' and that I should stick with 'polycentrist.' Names are important!

I too would never use the word anarchist. I would use Libertarian and Rothbardian (or maybe "Market Emergentist") to describe my stances in any public setting. Now, around family or friends I might use anarcho-capitalist, but I make sure they know what it means.

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Bert replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 1:53 AM

Always had a free-market view with a bit of an odd stance on decentralization and natural order, but before I started reading books on politics and economics I couldn't really form it into I needed it to be.

My stance is on the whole free-market, but again an odd mixture of being anarchist among other things.  I always push the anarcho-capitalist position in any debate when it's within the range of discussion, but this is also along side tribal law codes that would be set up in different provinces amongst various monarchs and councils.  Essentially, Anglo-Saxon law.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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"I just started becoming less and less authoritarian, and the path naturally leads to anarcho-capitalism"

Exactly.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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I used to be fairly liberal (mainly because I was ignorant of the human race, and because it sounded great on paper combined with the fact that I had no sense of ethics) and then lost faith in them because I realized it was "always do as they say, not as they do", then I learned about Dr. Paul for the first time in the GOP debates in early 07, and saw what an honest theologically conservative anarchist he was, and then that changed me to a theologically conservative anarcho-capitalist.  Unlike most Anarcho-capitalists, however, I am willing to accept a very minimal state if a minimal state were possible, although it's not.  I could tolerate wasting maybe 2% of my income on police, libertarian legislators, libertarian judges, and libertarian courts, and punishment of people for violating property rights, but that's pointless and government becomes outright intolerable when you're paying more than 2% of your income to enforce tyranny..

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Student replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 9:20 AM

``

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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I fluctuated between angsty punk anarchist and compassionate left liberal throughout high school and college, but I didn't really put much thought into it.  I read Thoreau my senior year in college and started to consider myself an individualist.  I discovered austrian economics, libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism from visiting the anti-state.com forums, and became a full blown Rothbardian and amatuer political philosopher.  I'm still an anarcho-capitalist, but not on moral grounds.

they said we would have an unfair fun advantage

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Economically I've always been a free marketer, I went from a Freidmanite to a Misesian. Not a ahuge leap there, more of a natural progression.

Foreign policy wise I was a neo-con and now I am a pacifist... Go figure

I credit Mises, Rothabrd, and Hayek for my progreesion into pacifism, but guys like Thoreau, Emerson, Spooner, Tolstoy, Darrow really took me over the edge.

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My young punk days is why I still like the word Anarchist, even though I wasn't truly an Anarchist back then. I just like being the anti conformist rock n roll rebel and thought anarchism was about dyed hair, torn clothes, and spray painting Circled A on private property. smiley

 

I was pretty much an idiot until I went to work and started aquiring my own earned property. I discovered Libertarianism accidently on the internet and out of curiosity I got interested. I'm on a much clearer path now even though I still have plenty to learn.

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Eric080 replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 1:52 PM

Hey LibertarianCowboy, at least you were a relatively consistent anarchist unlike the ones in Greece protesting over government spending cuts wink

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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I used to be basically a classical liberal/right-libertarian.

I've always disliked both corporations and government. For awhile I thought that meant I was a moderate. Heh.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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I was apathetic for most of my life. In 2000, with the presidential elections looming I felt the social pressure/peer pressure to vote. I voted for the Green Party/Ralph Nader because it was the only party/platform opposing the death penalty. Over the next 4 years I realized that people should be left alone, and I read Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell (thanks, Grandpa). I was a small-government libertarian without realizing it. I voted Republican because they seemed to talk-the-talk on economic issues of non-intervention, which I decided were ultimately more important. I reasoned that I would rather live in an opressive society (militarist, sexist, theocratic) with a high standard of living than a liberal society where everyone is poor. After the 2008 election, I stumbled across Lewrockwell.com and from there I learned about libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism (and mises.org). I read Economics In One Lesson, Human Action, The State, Man, Economy And State, For A New Liberty, and other books of the Austrian school. I prefer the anarcho-capitalist appellation despite the possible negative reactions (or in spite of them). I am not trying to win any friends and if someone makes conclusions about me without examining the actual content of my position then they are someone who cannot think for themselves. Let them rot, I say. Political economy requires critical thought.

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jay replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 7:04 PM

"I am an anarchist. Let me clear away the stereotypes. I am not an angry teenager, I have a career, I have children. I do not want chaos, I want my children and grandchildren to live in the best of all realistically possible worlds. I am not emotionally maladjusted, I have a normal relationship with my parents, I don't have a problem with authority, having only been fired once (for love!) and my most serious run-ins with the state have been speeding tickets (none in the last five years). I am not an atheist."

Except for the being fired part, this is me as well. I'm pretty normal.

"The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis
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Eric080 replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 7:19 PM

I am not trying to win any friends and if someone makes conclusions about me without examining the actual content of my position then they are someone who cannot think for themselves. Let them rot, I say. Political economy requires critical thought.

+1 yes

"And it may be said with strict accuracy, that the taste a man may show for absolute government bears an exact ratio to the contempt he may profess for his countrymen." - de Tocqueville
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I was a socialist when I was a teenager.  I was just trying to think through what works, because from what I saw capitalism didn't.  (I know, I stand corrected.)  I still kept that with me when I went off to college, and even attended meetings of the socialist party when I was at NYU.  I know, about as far left as you can get!  (Although I still was kind of on a superficial level on the whole theory and everything.  ...I remember even asking someone at a protest, "How are goods distributed in a socialistic/communistic society?"  And no one had any idea!  Tells you how deep the general theoretical knowledge is over there.)

Anyway, the financial "crisis" came in 2008 and I wanted to understand.  I listened to some This American Life episodes about the crisis, then watched the movies "Money Masters" and "Money as Debt" and that, and hundreds of hours of reading at a boring temp job, sent me off to where I am today.

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Luke B. replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 8:13 PM

A few years ago, I was a typical Republican. Then i discovered Ron Paul and became a Constitutionalist. After that, I joined the libertarian club at my school and discovered anarcho-capitalism and decided that it is the only system that makes sense to me.

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Dean14 replied on Sat, Jul 9 2011 9:21 PM

I'm 22

I was originally a conservative (fiscal conservative/social liberal) influenced by my parents.

Encountered Milton Friendman and became a minarchist libertarian then encountered Rothard and became anarcho-capitalist.

 

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Chyd3nius replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 8:45 AM

Nationalist leftist (I didn't know anything about economics and were very young)

Nationalist semi-free marketeer (I lost a debate to some libertarians and started to support free trade but still supported many public services)

Nationalist minarchist (I realized that public services suck)

Minarchist (I found austrian school and bought Economics in One Lesson)

Anarcho-capitalist (I read some D. Friedman, Rothbard and Hoppe)

Still, I always hated communism.

-- --- English I not so well sorry I will. I'm not native speaker.
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Raudsarw replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 3:18 PM

Nationalist(Something I am quite ashamed of now) -> Nationalist supportive of free markets-> constitutionalist -> objectvist(Very brief period) -> anarchist.

 

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magnetic replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 3:31 PM

Nationalist(Something I am quite ashamed of now) -> Nationalist supportive of free markets-> constitutionalist -> objectvist(Very brief period) -> anarchist.

I am often considered by others to be a follower of Ayn Rand, even though I have not read any of her works and have no idea what she stands for. Simply supporting free enterprise in an argument leads my opponents to associate me with Ayn Rand. From what my opponents tell me about Ayn Rand, she supported some sort of aristocratic society, a minarchist state in which a handful of individuals would dominate the masses and consume the greater part of the wealth. Not at all what comes to mind when I think of capitalism. She sounds more like a communist than a supporter of free markets.

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Phaedros replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 3:38 PM

magnetic-

Ayn Rand did not support anything like that. Leftists, and pretty much everyone else, misrepresent her positions.

Tumblr The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants. ~Albert Camus
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magnetic replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 3:52 PM

I consider myself to be a strong supporter of free trade and the free market, as I think everything should be privatized or open to homesteading, including roads, law, the oceans, identity documents, and so on. But just a cursory glance at Objectivism gives me chills.

 

For instance (from http://www.atlassociety.org/what_is_objectivism):

 

Objectivism is the philosophy of rational individualism founded by Ayn Rand (1905-1982). In novels such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, Rand dramatized her ideal man, the producer who lives by his own effort and does not give or receive the undeserved, who honors achievement and rejects envy. Rand laid out the details of her world-view in nonfiction books such as The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal.

 

The positing of an "ideal man" is a utopian and socialist fantasy. What is usually necessary to bring about this "ideal man" is an "ideal society.".

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Zizzer replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 8:43 PM

Run-of-the-mill conservative in high school and first two years of college

Read Ron Paul's book Revolution: A Manifesto last November where I was directed here

Grew progressively more libertarian while resisting giving up on the state entirely

Anarcho-Capitalist as of about a month ago

 

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Clayton replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 9:17 PM

Grew progressively more libertarian while resisting giving up on the state entirely

This is nearly universally reported by people from mainstream political persuasions (myself included). I am fascinated by this. Why are we so emotionally vested in the State, as if the Universe gives a shit whether there's a State or not? One important component of this for me was the desire to not disappoint my family. My family pretty much treats me like a religious family treats an atheist family member... somewhere between condescending, patronizing, disappointed and bewildered. I suspect this may play a role in the psychological resistance that others experience in just "going all the way."

Clayton -

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LeeO replied on Sun, Jul 10 2011 10:08 PM

One important component of this for me was the desire to not disappoint my family.

I'm dealing with this right now. I sort of decided that my family relationships were more important than having the "perfect" political philosophy. As a result, I have been reading less Austrian literature lately. Not sure if this is a good thing...

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C20H25N3O replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 2:41 AM
Where to start? Swear I have multiple personality disorder. Right-wing, "libertarian", hard-communist, back to right-wing, to dabbling in anarchism to my now content philosophy "as long as peole are not hurting each other and everything is voluntary, then we, as a civilisation can, achieve great things and the greatest ones are yet to come. But at he moment Objectivism and nihilism are competing for my attention.
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First election I was old enough to vote in was 2004, I voted for Bush because he calls himself a Christian and talks about the free market. Later, I read a book called Freedomnomics by John R. Lott, basically a response to Freakanomics; its repeated call for freedom was intriguing to me. I watched a lot of the classic Milton Friedman clips on youtube (eg, "where are we going to find the angels to organize society?"), which led me to his Free to Choose television series, which led me to read his book Free to Choose. Soon after, I read Robert Murphy's The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, which was extremely influential, not so much in the ideas within, which to me sounded a little extreme, though thought provoking; the real value was all the cited works throughout the book that I searched for. It was there I heard of Mises and Hayek and Hazlitt, as well as others. I got a hold of Economics in One Lesson, and from there I was hooked. It was around that time (2007ish) I found mises.org and there was no turning back.

As for my beliefs, I'd say: apathetic in HS>extremely ignorant Conservative>"Republitarian", which is basically a libertarian who believes the US has the duty to be Team America World Police, but should be extremely laissez-faire domestically; talk about untenable> then, Free Marketer, which was my phase of holding out against finally calling myself an anarchist, which sounded too scary; the night watchman state appealed to my sensibilities> now I call myself an Anarcho-capitalist, though due to its violent, chaotic connotations, I tend to avoid the use of the word anarchy in polite conversation. I tend to hammer home the concepts of non-aggression, voluntarism, private property. If somebody calls me out I admit that yes I am opposed to top-down, violent control, and if that makes me an anarchist so be it.

For what it's worth i too consider myself to be a well-adjusted individual, though who doesn't? :-)

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jay replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 1:23 PM
no opinion > Rush Limbaugh conservative > centrist > Glenn Beckian/talk show conservative > flirtation with Objectivism > libertarian/an-cap/voluntaryist

Although while in my uneducated opinion I "vote" for an-cap, I wouldn't mind living in a minarchist state. It would be much more preferable than the way things are now.

Also, what else is neat is that my opinion on political issues is very simple: "ditch the state and let the market decide". I think it frustrates some people because they are looking for a complex solution, which almost always means a planned solution.
"The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -C.S. Lewis
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I've always favored liberty, but never knew how to articulate it: what my views were, my philosophy etc. One day my dad told me that the best book he had ever read was an essay by John Stuart Mill called "On Liberty." So, he bought it for me and I read it. That essay hooked me into politics and liberty: the essay was such an influence that when I was in high school, I would title my essays "On (Insert Subject)" All of them sounded like some educated thesis based pamphlet handed out in the streets in the nineteenth century. To me, they all sounded pretty BA.

The one thing that I couldn't get was how people divided themselves. Liberals, to me, seemed to seek liberty for social matters but heavy regulators on the economy; Conservatives, to me, seemed to seek a liberated market and a regulated social sphere. This made NO sense to me at all. I thought "One can't come without the other." So I decided then that I must be all regulation or all freedom. I chose the latter.

I heard argument all day every day, but had no base. Inspired by Mill, I decided that I had to get brushed up on the classics before I could even hope to focus on what happens today, much less understand it. So, here goes:

Politically, my family was pretty conservative. Our favorite was Dubya. I got really mixed up however when he started his spending and the media was relentless on him. My Dad used to listen to a guy named Mark Levin in his car and I thought he knew what he was talking about (after all, he is a Constitutional Lawyer..). I really liked how he'd tear into people who had no idea what they were saying, plus he was pretty good on economics for the most part. So, I started listening to him. After a while, I bought his book "Liberty and Tyranny" and read it. I thought it was so good, I started copying it in a notebook (the original was a library rental and, in retrospect, screw IP). I read the Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, Leviathan, Two Treatises on Civil Government, Common Sense, Democracy in America and got my base in politics: ultimately, freedom makes for shiny, happy people. Something didn't sit right though. I didn't like his views on foreign policy, and grew out of his rants over time. Over some time, I found a congressman named Ron Paul who seemed to know a thing or two about a thing or two. He explained his constitutional voting record, his laissez-faire economic views, and liberty for the individual. So, Paul was the first politician that I was actually enthusiastic about. He's old and a weak speaker but he seemed very bright and in line with my views; IMO he's gotten to be a better speaker and his age doesn't bother me at all. Mark Levin hates him. I thought "How could a Constitution praiser like Mark hate Ron Paul so much?" I stopped listening to Levin and kept listening to Paul. However, I still maintain that Levin's good once in a while. I don't listen to Levin as religiously as I used to (rarely ever), but if there's nothing better on and I'm in the car, I'll turn it to Levin for a bit at least just to see what's on his mind. So, with my political philosophy set, I'm comfortable labeling my views as libertarian.

When the downturn started,  I got interested in economics. Something was wrong and I wanted to know why. I looked up all I could on economics on Youtube. This one guy kept coming up named Milton Friedman. he made so much sense philosophically: naturally looking towards freedom, stressing the importance of the individual, standing up to question from college students, plus many pro-govt trolls in the comments section picked at him so I naturally thought he was a good guy. I found out that he had a tv series called "Free to Choose" which I promptly sought and watched it entirely. I saw that there was a book written by him, same title, and that's where I'd say it really got rolling. I would come home from school and start watching/reading. How do ya like that: Kids my age on Fridays were getting smashed, partying or worse and there I was studying Economics, watching Milton debate the principles behind helmet laws and reading his examples of the futility of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Something that really didn't sit right was Friedman's views on how the Depression should have been handled. When I read that the Federal Reserve should have stepped in to create more money, I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It felt like Friedman was admitting defeat. After all this appraisal of the free market, and the individual, it turns out that the government needed to step in to save the day. Then I learned that Friedman was a Monetarist and what that meant- Keynes' cousin. I felt pretty bad for a while. For a while I kept watching videos and found a commenter who really seemed to know his stuff. I friended him, and saw that his "School(s)" was filled out as "Austrian (for those who get that)". I didn't- not that I cared at the time. But I kept in contact with this guy and asked him for a reading list. He recommended "That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen" by some cat named Bastiat, and  Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Those ae still some of the best writings that I've ever read. I read those books and looked them up on Youtube and saw some speakers from something called the Mises Institute (anyone else heard of it?). One of them was such a good speaker and seemed really bright, and funny. He was the first to piece together the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. After watching a few times, I started reading articles from this site. Tom was such a good speaker, I bought the book he was advertising throughout the speech- Meltdown (interestingly, from a dude with a ponytail who was not shy to share that he was libertarian! He told me that Meltdown was an excellent book). I consumed the book in a couple of weeks, mostly because I didn't understand how great it was when I bought it (had I known, I wouldn't have put it off and would have read it in a night)- That was when I knew I was Austrian.

Since then I've read Murphy, Mises, Hayek, Hazlitt, Rothbard, Sowell, Bastiat, Friedman, Woods, Read, Tucker, Rothbard, Smith, Ricardo, Cantillon, Menger, Bohm-Bawerk and I hope to add many, many more.

 

Politically: Not much opinion--> "Bush Republican"--> Mark Levin conservative --> libertarian

Economically: Not much opinion--> "Surely, there's gotta be some regulation"--> Milton Friedman laissez-faire--> Austrian

 

I don't know if it makes sense to put myself in two categories or just call my self a Classical Liberal, but, it is what it is.

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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ladyattis replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 2:33 PM

I started as a neocon in my teens, went quasi-fascist, then socialist (is there really a difference? LOL), and finally settled on market anarchism in my late twenties to present (31 this year). 

"The power of liberty going forward is in decentralization.  Not in leaders, but in decentralized activism.  In a market process." -- liberty student

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Hard Rain replied on Mon, Jul 11 2011 2:46 PM

I considered myself a classical liberal in the Jeffersonian tradition. I believed that constitutional republic, egalitarianism and free markets were fundamental tenets. Once I became knowledgeable about economics I realized that the latter was impossible with the two formers present and that the full expression of the latter nullified the formers.
 

In the end, to answer Rothbard's challenge, yes, I do hate the state.

"I don't believe in ghosts, sermons, or stories about money" - Rooster Cogburn, True Grit.
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