I Wonder If I Am A Libertarian # 8

Key Concepts of Libertarianism


David Boaz

January 1, 1999


The key concepts of libertarianism have developed over many centuries. The first inklings of them can be found in ancient China, Greece, and Israel; they began to be developed into something resembling modern libertarian philosophy in the work of such seventeenth- and eighteenth-century thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine.

The Virtue of Production. Much of the impetus for libertarianism in the seventeenth century was a reaction against monarchs and aristocrats who lived off the productive labor of other people. Libertarians defended the right of people to keep the fruits of their labor. This effort developed into a respect for the dignity of work and production and especially for the growing middle class, who were looked down upon by aristocrats. Libertarians developed a pre-Marxist class analysis that divided society into two basic classes: those who produced wealth and those who took it by force from others. Thomas Paine, for instance, wrote, “There are two distinct classes of men in the nation, those who pay taxes, and those who receive and live upon the taxes.” Similarly, Jefferson wrote in 1824, “We have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.” Modern libertarians defend the right of productive people to keep what they earn, against a new class of politicians and bureaucrats who would seize their earnings to transfer them to nonproducers.

End of Quote:

This quote contains a useful political science history lesson.

As a psychologist, I cannot help but think of the Law of Effect. It states flatly that consequences control behavior. For example, when the take taxes from responsible and productive people and given them to those who are irresponsible and unproductive, we get a growing underclass of irresponsible and unproductive citizens.

It is amazingly ignorant that the voting public cannot see this. It is devious and criminal that liberal/progressive politicians knowingly feed this growing underclass of irresponsible and unproductive voters in order to secure their political futures.

While cultural evolution can be stunningly complex, this destructive practice is one simple, but major, force driving America’s cultural decline.

Wake-Up America!

V. Thomas Mawhinney,  Ph.D.


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