“New” to Libertarianism, looking to learn more.
TL;DR – I am disappointed in both major American parties and am re-examining Libertarianism without my preconceived biases and would appreciate book suggestions to help me develop a better understanding.
As the title says, I’m “new” to Libertarianism, and I’m trying to learn more. I grew up in a family that claimed to be at least somewhat Libertarian, but whenever they had the option to vote for anything they felt might increase freedom that also happened to disagree with how they felt people should live their lives, those chose the more authoritarian route. Currently, I think they’ve given up claiming to be Libertarian and simply call themselves Conservative.
Considering that, at the time that I was initially developing my own political views once I got out on my own, they still claimed they were Libertarians, and I didn’t really have any other examples that I was aware of, I ended up steadily going increasingly liberal. And would, honestly, still consider myself a liberal. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the American “liberal” party, the Democratic party, is, in fact, really liberal. Maybe about some things, but it’s mostly pandering and they rarely actually follow through with their promises.
I voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 election, and stand by my choice to do so. I followed my conscience, which I feel every voter must do. Unfortunately, while I knew that he wouldn’t be an “amazing” president, I expected some competence. I also expected him and VP Kamala Harris to actually work to follow through with their promises. I have been… Disappointed. They’ve just continued the shit slinging competition they’ve got going on with the Republican party, nothing good is happening, people are still dying, kids are still in cages, international tensions are only getting worse, and… Like I said, I’m disappointed. I can’t, in good conscience, vote for the current batch of Republicans, and can’t in good conscience, vote for the current batch of Democrats.
This conundrum has led me to re-examine Libertarianism, on its own merits, without allowing my biases learned from observing my parents to interfere. And, I generally like what I see. I definitely see those who adhere to a version of Libertarianism that I can’t quite get behind (these appear to be mostly anarchists under a different name), and I have issues with the idea of simply letting the free market sort itself out (which I could, honestly, be misunderstanding). I do, however, greatly appreciate the concept of non-aggression, that nobody, not even the government, has the right to use force to infringe on a person’s liberty, so long as they themselves are not infringing on anyone’s liberty.
The thing is, right now, my understanding is limited to what I’ve learned from a few YouTube videos, a talk by Rand Paul (who I’m also not the biggest fan of…), articles I’ve read online, and what I’ve read on this sub.
I did just start reading Capitalism and Freedom, by Friedman, which was suggested in a YouTube video I watched, and plan to take notes as I continue reading. I would appreciate it if those that have a better understanding of the Libertarian philosophy, and of the Libertarian party in America, would recommend books that helped them along the way. Any other learning resources that you found useful would also be appreciated.
Thank you for any help that you’re willing to provide, and thank you for taking the time to read this post. 🙂
Article from r/Libertarian: For a Free Society