By Mason Mohon | FREEDOM
Along the lines of what Lawrence W. Reed said at the beginning of FEEcon 2017, there is no more noble worldly cause that of advancing the values of liberty and individual autonomy. I am completely in agreement with this statement, and so are many other people from nations all across the world. The fact that so many people advocate for libertarian values in this way should be celebrated, but like many movements throughout the history of the world, the liberty movement has its flaws.
The most major flaw of the liberty movement is not fatal, and hopefully, won’t hinder its progression, but it exists nonetheless, and that is what I hope to address in this article. The flaw I speak of is division. Libertarians and other liberty-minded people everywhere are divided as to what the best way of advancing freedom is. This division is especially highlighted with Austin Peterson’s recent announcement to run for the United States Senate in Missouri, which you can watch here.
Austin Peterson ran for president as a Libertarian during the 2016 presidential election, falling second to Gary Johnson, who gained 55.82% of the LNC vote, leaving himself at 21.88%. Now, he is running for Senate as a member of the Republican Party. You can read his reasoning for making this party decision here. This decision, though, has caused an outcry from some Libertarian Party loyalists. The outcry hasn’t necessarily come from any particular influential individuals, but instead the Facebook libertarian populous.
These people, and the people who think similarly to them, in that they get upset over the way a libertarian chooses to advance freedom, are the flaw to the libertarian movement. There may very well be a best way, and that way may be discoverable by extensive politically scientific and mathematical calculations, but as far as I know, nobody has bothered to do those calculations. But when it comes down how we’re going to advance liberty in the here and now, with an overreaching government, an out of control central bank, a horrific war on terror, and a useless war on drugs, it is imperative that we act on liberty and make those calculations when the threats to our liberty have actually been curtailed.
There is no perfect way to advance liberty because the advancement comes in many different forms. We’ve already discussed Austin’s senatorial campaign announcement, but that is not the full extent of how people are helping freedom. Larry Sharpe discussed in 71 Republic’s launch live stream how he thinks that people who value liberty should promote local officials running as Libertarians and get converts on the political side. On the other hand, organizations like the Mises Institute work to advance the ideas of Austrian Economics and free association, yet remain untied to any political party. As I discussed in one of my earlier articles, one of the main goals of all of Ron Paul’s presidential campaigns was to give libertarian ideas to the next generation. These examples barely scratch the surface, though.
The point is, there is no “right way” to spread liberty. With the exception of Peterson’s senatorial campaign announcement (seeing as that at the time of this article being written it happened yesterday), all of these examples have reached their goals to an extent and spread libertarian and freedom-focused ideas. If you’re going to take anything from this article, take that not everyone is going to fit into your cookie-cutter libertarian method, and that’s ok, as long as they’re fighting for freedom.