"...as all history informs us, there has been in every State & Kingdom a constant kind of warfare between the governing & governed: the one striving to obtain more for its support, and the other to pay less. And this has alone occasioned great convulsions, actual civil wars, ending either in dethroning of the Princes, or enslaving of the people. Generally indeed the ruling power carries its point, the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see that they are never satisfied, but always in want of more. The more the people are discontented with the oppression of taxes; the greater need the prince has of money to distribute among his partisans and pay the troops that are to suppress all resistance, and enable him to plunder at pleasure. There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the peoples money, then all their lands, and then make them and their children servants for ever." ~ Benjamin Franklin
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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