"It [the State] has taken on a vast mass of new duties and responsibilities; it has spread out its powers until they penetrate to every act of the citizen, however secret; it has begun to throw around its operations the high dignity and impeccability of a State religion; its agents become a separate and superior caste, with authority to bind and loose, and their thumbs in every pot. But it still remains, as it was in the beginning, the common enemy of all well-disposed, industrious and decent men." ~ H.L. Mencken
Wilt Alston writes from Upstate, NY. When he's not training for a marathon, or furthering his part-time study of libertarian philosophy, he works as a research scientist in transportation safety, focusing primarily on the safety of subway and freight train control systems.
How would I describe myself and my specific beliefs about libertarianism? • While I could generally be described as a libertarian, a more appropriate and more accurate designation would be anarcho-capitalist. • The most basic expression and most fundamental dogma in libertarian theory is the non-aggression principle – the initiation of force is never justified. • The mainstream political parties are inherently similar, barely avoiding being identical; therefore, spending any time debating about them is time wasted. • The best means by which to right past wrongs are private, not via legislation, and this applies specifically to the issue of reparations for slavery. I embraced libertarianism not because it sounded interesting when I studied its theories. In fact, I have not, even to this day, read many of the books libertarians point to as seminal in their conversion. (This is neither an attack on those books or a suggestion for others. It is simply a statement of fact. And yes, my study of libertarian philosophy, including many of those “classics,” continues.) I embraced libertarianism because it best fit (by far) the conclusions I had already reached empirically. That deduction led me to begin my study of the more theoretical aspects, which soundly confirmed my initial conclusions. I'll end this personal thumbnail sketch as I ended my first published libertarian article: “To be completely free, secure, and happy, there are three things that concern me – life, liberty, and property. The State did not create them. The State can only take them away. There has been enough of that already. So unless I want to enjoy the fruits of income redistribution – which account for a major portion of the State’s activities – there is not much left for the State to do on my behalf.”
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