How I became A Libertarian

I'm glad I have recently been introduced to the ideas and writings of Ludwig Von Mises. A friend and fellow libertarian gave me a copy of his book The Anticapitalistic Mentality. I brought it with me to my house in Laguna (where I don't have cable TV or internet) and have gotten a chance to read it whenever I'm there. 

Ludwig Von Mises

I was introduced to the idea of individualism much earlier through Ayn Rand's literature. "It is a sin to write this." goes the first line of the first Ayn Rand book I read, Anthem, and probably still my favorite book of hers. This was in high school. Interesting how this was also a time when I was heavily researching the socio-political arguments against the State-prohibition of cannabis sativa and the history thereof.

Mind you, libertarians are not necessarily Objectivists and vice versa; and as the title of this blog post suggests, I prefer to be the labeled with the former, if required have a label at all.

Then during the 2008 US presidential elections I discovered Ron Paul while watching one of the Republican debates. I admired how he wasn't afraid to stick to his principles even when everyone was against him. I do love rooting for the underdog. I actually first wrote about him here in my old LiveJournal blog.  There're a lot of premature ideas in that old blog, some even statist in nature, and some senseless. But hey, little did I know that short clip of my man Ron Paul would help propel me to be part of a global movement.

This new found love for freedom got me binge reading, and rekindled an inner love for learning. I started connecting with random but like-minded people on social media. The book I mentioned on the first paragraph having lent to me by someone I had just met during the first libertarian meet-up in the country.

I learned buzzwords as I searched for my space in the sphere of political philosophy: fiscal conservative but a social liberal; classical liberal, some may find more inclusive and precise.

I learned about the US Founding Fathers, federalism, minimal government, John Locke and his concept of natural rights to life, liberty, and property. I learned more about non-interventonist foreign policy and free trade. I learned about the Cold War, Reagan, Thatcher, Gorbachev. I learned about Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Israel.

I learned about Milton Friedman and the Chicago School, Hong Kong, Chile, Singapore. I learned about economic freedom. I learned about the Austrian School, the likes of F.A. Hayek, Mises, Rothbard, et al.

And it's crazy how little I know and how knowing more will never be enough. This is because as I learne to love liberty, I also continue to gain a clearer perspective on the harsh realities of the third world: poverty, corruption, and injustice.

This is when your principles require you to turn philosophy into action, theory into fact, and all you end up doing is, well, blog about it. It's as humbling as it is frustrating.

I was just watching a documentary a few nights ago about the US financial crisis and I realized that there're so many terms I don't know and that I must learn more about them in order to increase my credibility and contribute more to spreading ideas of liberty.

That, if it makes sense, is a narrative of how I became a libertarian.

1 comment:

  1. This article reminds me of my own experience in 2010, but it took me more or less years 2 years before I started reading the Austrian school. Even then, I still had difficulty sustaining my interest. In fact, it's only April this year that I was able to digest Mises' "Anti-Capitalistic Mentality'.


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