Hello again readers of Liberty Weekly!
After what has been a rough week, we are making a triumphant return to our regular content schedule, which I believe I’ve dialed in to about 3-5 articles per week.
In returning, I wanted to address an issue that I’ve run into both personally and professionally: “civil libertarianism.”
Often times in law school, you will encounter the civil libertarian. Whether it is an overly-political professor, a fellow student, or a law review article that bandies itself as a trendy, would-be radical defense of individual liberty.
Broadly speaking, a civil libertarian is one who ardently supports civil rights from government intrusion. One’s identity as a civil libertarian revolves around one’s definition of the terms “civil rights” and “liberty.”
Civil libertarians can come from all ends of the political spectrum, but usually have one thing in common: they do not have a coherent definition of the term “liberty.” Generally speaking, “civil libertarians” either don’t support all liberties, or create their own “positive rights.”
While the baseline guide to personal liberty is the Non-Aggression Principle (the right to be free from the immoral, or aggressive, initiation of force), liberty can be broken up into three basic categories: personal liberty, political liberty, and economic liberty.
What civil libertarians, and those who do not consistently support freedom (“democratic” socialists), don’t realize is that liberty is a package deal. That is, one may not effectively exercise his personal liberty without economic liberty and vice versa.
Specifically, without the economic liberty to own yourself and the fruits of your labor, it is near impossible to have any semblance of personal liberty. Likewise, if you are unable to be secure in your home and possessions, then it is impossible to effectively run a business, accumulate wealth, or enjoy the fruits of your labor.
True political liberty, the most elusive of the three, is especially reliant on the other two. If one is unable to accumulate wealth or be secure in their home and possessions, it is effectively impossible to facilitate any meaningful political change.
In my experience, civil libertarians are basically just liberals who care a little more about NSA spying and police militarization. For all other intents and purposes, they are no different than anyone else and they certainly aren’t libertarians.
Thanks for stopping by for this short Saturday column! Hopefully this week will be a little less hectic so I can produce more content.
If you haven’t already, give me a follow on Steemit, where this article was concurrently published: https://steemit.com/freedom/@libertyweekly/civil-libertarianism-isn-t-a-thing
Source: Liberty Weekly