"The most common characteristic of all police states is intimidation by surveillance. Citizens know they are being watched and overheard. Their mail is being examined. Their homes can be invaded." ~ Vance Packard
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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