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Friday, May 10, 2013


Libertarianism in practice: 4 May Blog Post

Libertarianism in practice:

Hayek really had me thinking about Libertarianism in practice. Although Hayek refrained from dissecting party politics, I want to know how a libertarian, assuming the Libertarian Party is a viable third party in this two party system, would vote in hot button social issues.

Marijuana, abortion, euthanasia, and gay marriage are just a few social issues that can cause arguments between the best of friends.  Sure other social issues exist, but for this exploratory/though experiment/blog I’m narrowing it down to one: Gay marriage. I recognize that there are members of both parties that do not always vote along party lines. But for simplicities sake I am going to put all politicians in an “us vs. them” spectrum (although Hayek disagrees that conservatives staunchly oppose modern liberals).

There is no doubt that gay marriage is a hot button topic. Modern American liberals (Democrats) have advocated for gay rights and gay marriage for a while now. Modern conservatives (Republicans) however have, as a collective, opposed various forms of gay marriage on religious grounds and on the argument that gay marriage violates traditional family values. Americans at this point would have to vote for a politician aligning with the left or the right.

Now enters the Libertarian and the Libertarian Party.

How would a Libertarian candidate vote on a matter like gay marriage? I think a Libertarian would most likely say that gay marriage is a state issue, not a federal issue and that the citizens of the respective states ought to have say over whether or not the state ought to allow gay marriage.

Or perhaps the Libertarian would posit that government ought to get out of the business of marriage altogether because marriage is an inherent religious sacrament or ceremony and government ought not to mingle in such affairs. Government may conduct civil unions but civil unions would be extended to both heterosexual (who do not want to marry in a church) and homosexual couples (who don’t want to marry in a church or can’t marry in a church). Churches would not be forced to marry anyone.

Are there any other alternatives that I’ve missed?

How would a Libertarian vote in economic matters? Suffice it to say that I don’t believe a Libertarian politician would vote for TARP or HAMP. I know a Libertarian would oppose price supports, tariffs, some or even all taxes.  I know a Libertarian would oppose Quantitative Easing measures implemented by the fed.

How else would a Libertarian legislate in economic affairs?

Libertarianism in practice…I’m interested.

Hayek, you say? Perhaps he suggested an answer besides getting government, at any level, out of marriage. Recall that law is applied the same to all. Would Hayek say that statutes that do not apply government force in the same way to all were not law?
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