Tag: Liberalism

Libertarianism: What Do People Know About It?

Teagan Fair | United States

Obviously, libertarianism is not as popular as modern liberalism or modern conservatism, nor is the Libertarian Party as popular as the Democrats or the Republicans. But if it’s not this well known, how known exactly is the ideology? What do youth know? What do adults know?

If I were to personally define libertarianism, I would say a philosophy and/or consistent ideology advocating for liberty and minimal government intervention in the lives of the citizens, economically, socially and politically.’

I interviewed both minors and adults alike on the subject, receiving very diverse responses between the two groups. Obviously, the adults were generally more informed on what the ideology was, however, tended to be more biased towards it since obviously, they had already formed their own political opinions over time.

I interviewed 15 students, most of which were in middle school. Many of those students could not identify with any particular political ideology or party, as well as the majority of the students did not know what the term ‘libertarian’ meant. I had several students identify as centrists, one as a Democrat, one as a Republican, one claimed ‘socially liberal and fiscally conservative’ which some would argue is what libertarianism itself is. The rest claimed that they did not know a political ideology to affiliate themselves with.

When asked what the term ‘libertarian’ meant, the student who identified themselves as a Democrat responded, “Libertarians dislike government intervention and they advocate for more rights.” I then followed up by asking him if he thought libertarianism was a good thing or a bad thing, and he responded with, “To some degree it is good, but only if it is moderate. Not if it gets out of hand.” This makes me question what his idea of moderate libertarianism was.

The one student that identified as a Republican also gave a response as to what the term meant. When asked for the definition, he responded with, “Well I know there are different types of libertarianism. They’re kind of like conservatives, but they want a small military and other stuff but I’m not sure beyond that.” When asked his personal opinion on the ideology, he responded that it was good, ‘I guess.’

There was a student that claimed that they didn’t know of an ideology to affiliate with, however still gave an interesting response. When asked what the word meant, they responded with, “They’re feminists. Kidding. It’s like, freedom, yay. Well, all of the parties are but like, it’s their core thing, I don’t even know.” When asked what their personal opinion on it was, they replied with, ” It’s good in principle, and bad in execution. Well, not necessarily bad as an ideology, but their supporters kind of make it a joke. They take their core values and blow them up to the point of hilarity. Except they’re dead serious. Which ends up in people not taking them seriously. Which is bad for whatever they’re trying to pass through. Stereotypes can have an unconscious effect in peoples’ minds.”

There was a student that identified themselves as a centrist. When asked what the term was, they responded with, “I think it’s a more conservative ideology because people I’ve seen identify as conservative before have also identified as libertarian later.” When asked their opinion on it, they said, “It’s kind of a good thing I think, because I know I share at least some opinions with them.”

As for one more somewhat humorous response, a student who claimed they didn’t have a political ideology, when asked what the term was, took a guess along the lines of, “I think it has something to do with a library. Oh, wait! Is it liberty? Either library or liberty.” Since they didn’t exactly have any idea what it was, obviously I did not ask them their opinion on the term. Several other students had claimed they had heard of it but had no clue what it was.

One adult who leaned liberal defined the term as, “Libertarians are kind of against rules and laws or certain things within society, and they push to deregulate a lot of things.” When asked their opinion, they said that it could be good, but it could get dangerous or out of hand if left too deregulated. You get the point. Every person who had a definition on the subject that I talked to, had a response along the same lines. I could throw in the words of every single person I talked to, but since it is all so similar, that would get redundant pretty quick.

We see a consistent idea that libertarianism is about less government intervention, which definitely isn’t wrong. As for opinions, we saw that out of the responses listed, several of them had talked about the idea that it is good to some extent but can get out of hand if taken to higher levels. Of course, no one that gave a response identified as a libertarian themselves, so it is understandable that many of them would see moderate forms of it as more reasonable, as any ideology would say of another. It also strikes curiosity in me as to what people would define as ‘moderate libertarianism.’ However, the consistent idea that a level higher than ‘moderate libertarianism’ would get out of hand quick, more than likely comes from a personal bias, which is predictable. Of course, there are hints of personal bias all around the answers if you look carefully enough. For example, the student claiming to be a Republican specifically mentioned that libertarians advocate for a smaller military, which likely comes from the fact that he may disagree with that aspect of it, even though he said that he thought that the ideology, in general, was good.

Obviously, as mentioned before, our youth and adults alike are exposed to the two main parties and their platforms much more than to the ideas of liberty. Perhaps in the future our youth and adults alike will be exposed to what I would say is a more liberating and moral option.


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California Leftists Want To Control How You Eat

Indri Schaelicke | United States

In an effort to promote the local restaurant industry, the city of San Francisco, California is considering adopting a new law that prohibits employees of large tech companies from eating in cafeterias on their campus. The proposed law will achieve this by banning companies from maintaining on-site cafeterias, forcing employees to bring their own food from home or leave the corporate campus to get lunch. Proponents say that enacting this legislation will help the restaurants in the area, which have lost business as companies build on-site cafeterias, to recover and thrive again.

While this move seeks to help small businesses and restaurant workers, it may, in fact, hurt them. Jobs in catering and cafeteria service tend to pay more than those in traditional restaurant settings. Ending jobs in this industry could limit upward mobility in the world of entry-level restaurant jobs.

Companies first started building cafeterias in their buildings in an effort to boost worker productivity. If employees can cut down their lunch break, simply by eliminating a long round trip drive to lunch, they can spend more time working and networking, something that all companies seek to promote. If the proposed legislation passes, workers will be made to take time away from their work habitat which could stunt social enterprise.

Driving off campus decreases the time workers have to be productive and imposes extra costs. Employees will have to spend money on gas and overpriced restaurant food, at a time when the cost of living is already so high. The high volume of employees leaving work to go to lunch will no doubt worsen existing traffic issues. Twitter’s location alone has over 2000 employees, and although the ban only impacts future workplaces being built, imagine the amount of congestion if 2000 employees all descended upon the city at the same time to eat lunch. Forcing people to leave work and eat is not only immoral but will worsen existing traffic.

The fact that the ban only applies to the building of workplaces in the future means that companies will have a hard time starting up or even expanding in Silicon Valley. Businesses will not be able to build new workplaces that have cafeterias on site, which is a huge blow to businesses. Companies offer free on-site lunch as a perk to potential employees, and if they cannot offer this, they cannot attract workers. It is in this way that this ban limits future growth.

The success the proposal has had thus far is concerning as it is a classic example of one group trying to take the rights of the other. Restaurants are trying to take away the right of private property owners, in this case, tech companies, from engaging in whatever business practice they choose to on their own property. It is no business of the state to determine what someone can do on their own property, so long as it does not cause harm to their life, liberty or property. This proposed ban is a direct attack on the principles of private property rights and should not be adopted.

This is just another example of the strangulation that California legislatures have placed on the open market. This past week, Santa Barbara passed a law that will outlaw plastic straws. Along the West Coast of California, the grip of government is becoming ever tighter. Great effort must be made to save whatever shred of liberty is left if totalitarianism is to be avoided. Knowing California’s disdain for liberty and lack of respect for individual rights, it is unlikely that much will be done to stop it.


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Diversity is a Cash (Not a Sacred) Cow

By Glenn Verasco | United States

Here’s something that’s probably true: no two people experience the world the same way, and members of groups of races, genders, and sexual orientations are more likely to experience the world more similarly to each other than to members of other groups. Although it’s certainly debatable, let’s call this a fact and name it the ID Principle.

Based on my understanding of what today’s postmodernists believe, I imagine that they would accept the ID Principle enthusiastically.

By “today’s postmodernists,” I mean the individuals who are preoccupied with identity politics. This includes two opposing groups of activists. One group has their mind set on deconstructing institutions of power that are dominated by certain identities, especially straight, white men. They abhor the supposed over-representation of straight, white men in politics and the corporate world most fervently. Members of this group are often referred to as Social Justice Warriors.

White Nationalists and their ilk share the SJW philosophy, but are fighting for the other team. They see the diversification of “their” institutions as a threat and would prefer to keep them in the hands of individuals who share their identity.

While these groups appear to be diametrically opposed, they are actually one in the same. Both have a strong belief in collective identity and want some to dominate others. It’s obvious that they believe experience and identity are intertwined.

The difference between these two groups and me is that I don’t think the ID Principle is important or interesting. While White Nationalists and SJWs found their worldviews on the existence of collective identity, I list it near the bottom of things that matter to me. It is far more important that individuals raised in rigid, isolated communities still have the potential to break away from local norms and accomplish unique and extraordinary feats. That dissent and apostasy exist everywhere inspires me far more than that the masses are often frozen in a rut of groupthink.

This brings me to a paradigm that many powerful, modern-day institutions world refuse to entertain divergence from at all: is diversity a good thing?

From Silicon Valley to nearly every college campus in America, diversity and inclusion are presumed to be necessities in the creation of a positive and virtuous environment. Heads of departments tasked with pursuing greater diversity and inclusion are regularly paid six-figure salaries, illustrating how highly they value diversity

Former Google engineer James Damore famously challenged the methods used by diversity promoters in his workplace while simultaneously voicing support for diversityin general. He was subsequently fired in a high-profile manner. This too makes it obvious how dearly the pursuit of diversity is worshiped at Google and other powerful and influential establishments.

Rather than address the broad topic of whether diversity is good in general, I will aim my inquiry at a more precise target and try to think my way to the end of it: Does racial diversity have any inherent economic benefits? And when I say racial, I mean White, Black, Asian, and what have you. I don’t mean culture, religion, or anything else that is a result of our environments and societies. I’m talking about the fictional genetic groups that we are foolishly lumped into.

My short answer to this question is yes, racial diversity has inherent economic benefits.

Imagine the garment industry in a racially homogenous society. As an American living in Thailand, I have experienced something like this up close. When shopping for clothes, I rarely find anything that fits. An extra-large t-shirt in Thailand fits me like a medium back home. The selection of shoes I have to choose from is extremely limited as well although my size-11 feet don’t appear to be particularly gigantic. Boxer-briefs in my size are nowhere to be found, and it took me several weeks to procure a motorbike helmet that I could fit around my noggin.

Because of this, I wait for my annual trips to the US to do the bulk of my clothes shopping. The Thai baht I earn are converted into dollars, and those dollars return to America.

But what if there were a larger number of White and Black people here in Thailand? I imagine that one or more of several interesting things might happen:

  • A local manufacturer could notice opportunity in the marketplace and begin to make larger sizes available
  • Retailers could decide to import larger clothes from abroad and sell them locally
  • White and Black residents could start their own clothing lines

Any or all of these occurrences would bring about economic benefits:

  • More currency would be spent in Thailand
  • Thailand would become more attractive to foreign investors and visitors
  • Greater production of clothing, especially larger clothing, means merchants sell more materials used to make clothing and more jobs are subsequently created
  • A diversified supply means a more robust supply
  • The presence of new kinds of clothing can inspire innovation

The same story could be told in other major industries such as medicine.

I grow out my mustache every “Movember.” As a school teacher, I see it as a fun way to raise awareness for men’s health issues like testicular cancer. After I bit of research prior to one Movember in Thailand, I found that testicular cancer is far rarer among Asian and Black men than White men.

This likely means that Thai hospitals are less prepared to deal with testicular cancer patients than those in the US or Europe. With greater racial diversity, doctors and hospitals would probably be better prepared to deal with ailments that occur in different levels of frequency among the races. This would also benefit the individuals who suffer from health issues that are uncommon among their racial groups. Further positive effects could be accidental discoveries made when experimenting with medicines to treat a more diverse array of illnesses. Many medicines and other products are invented this way.

If my hypotheses are correct, racial diversity has real and inherent economic benefits.

SJW obsession with diversity ignores the actual benefits that diversity could bring about and instead focuses on belligerent social change. It is ironic that their crusade for diversity is for such petty ends when it could be pursued reasonably. And by pursuing diversity with hostile intentions, White Nationalist groups are better able to legitimize their claims that their race is under attack.

These same SJWs also promote a concept called intersectionality which argues that being in more than one minority group simultaneously (such as a black female or a homosexual immigrant) results in increased oppression and discrimination, which must be recognized.

I wish these SJWs would take their logic to its most extreme conclusion and realize that each individual belongs to infinite minority groups and is oppressed and discriminated against constantly as a result. If they realize that each of us is fighting a unique and arduous battle in the game of life, maybe they’ll notice that they are no better than the White Nationalists they hate, and maybe we’ll all learn to get along.

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