When asked to define libertarianism in a single fundamental core statement, most libertarians answer with some version of what has been called the "non-aggression principle." For example, quoting from the Libertarian Party's Statement of Principles: "We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose."
Astute observers might detect behind the last part of this principle a hint of the universal Golden Rule: "Don't treat others in a way you would not want to be treated." Libertarians, however, recognize that the Golden Rule as usually stated leaves the door open for rights violation in politics: "Since I don't mind paying a fair share, I have no problem forcing a fair share out of others." (The psychological denial device used by advocates of taxation.) Not comfortable with forcing others even to "do what is deemed fair," libertarians look for a more clearly stated specification of the Golden Rule.
"We really can't live according to the spiritual guidance we are hearing inside if in a given area of life we are being forced," some libertarians say. Other libertarians who live more in their intellect and less in their spirit also have pretty much the same argument: "I can't benefit my life (or for that matter anyone else's life) using my reasoning mind if in some area of life I am being forced."
Actually a more accurate name for the fundamental principle of most libertarians would be: "non-violation principle," to include such violations as theft, threats, harassment, and other encroachments on free agency (including most of the 10 Commandments). Libertarians do recognize that being forced is not the only obstacle to the fullness of life. For example, usually they mention fraud as part of their "non-violation principle." From the Libertarian Party's platform preamble: "We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized."
The Libertarian Party's use of the word "banished" above sounds dictatorial, but let's see what it might really mean in the context of normal libertarian attitude.
Some libertarians adhere to the Robin Hood Principle which recognizes the morality of using force to neutralize the original initiators of force. To read the Robin Hood Oath, click here: The Robin Hood Oath. These libertarians might see a proper role for an infrastructure of laws which delineate the protection of rights and for government force to back such laws which neutralize violators.
Then there are other libertarians who reject altogether government laws and force, basically trusting the spiritual principle that we draw to us according to our own consciousness, so if our minds are free of any inclination to violate others we will not be violated; if we extend only love, only love will come our way - the Francis of Assisi Principle.
Strangely enough, both Robin Hood and Francis of Assisi are said to have lived and spread their influence during exactly the same era, right at the beginning of the Thirteenth Century, when they were both heavily influenced by roving troubadours who proclaimed widely in song and poetry the Cathar teachings of love and freedom, thought to originate from Mary Magdalene.
Can you believe it didn't all begin with Ayn Rand?
To understand the evil psychology of modern "liberal progressives," read Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged"
"God's laws will keep your minds at peace, because peace IS His Will, and His laws are established to uphold it. His are the laws of freedom, but yours are the laws of bondage. Since freedom and bondage are irreconcilable, their laws CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD TOGETHER. The laws of God work only for your good, and there ARE no other laws beside His. Everything else is merely lawLESS, and therefore chaotic." -Jesus Christ in A Course in Miracles
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