Sunday, January 4, 2015

My Version of Libertarianism

Libertarianism is more of a political than an economic philosophy. Though many libertarians owe their economic perspective from the Austrian School of economics, a distinction must be maintained between the two. Furthermore, libertarianism has diverse schools of thought under it including anarchism, left libertarianism, classical liberalism, and many more. Classical liberalism upholds minarchism, the concept of limited government. With this kind of libertarian political economy, we will see a society with lesser government intervention in economic affairs, fewer number of bureaucrats, lower taxes, reduction in government spending, and maximum exercise of both personal and economic freedom. 

Classical liberals are realistic in their political assessment that to completely abolish the civil government is not only an impossible task, but a utopian dream; it is unachievable. Minarchist libertarians dream of a limited government, which role is confined to make the economic environment conducive to the free operation of the market. The focus of the government is not to intervene in economic affairs, but to protect life, freedom, and private property of the citizens both from domestic and foreign aggression. 

For classical liberals, the increasing number of bureaucrats is an evidence of the gradual loss of personal and economic freedom of the people simply because maintaining the bureaucratic machinery requires increasing amount of taxes. This is the reason why libertarians advocate lower taxes for they see taxation as the means for civil government to grow its size and its spending. By reducing taxation and government spending, people are left with bigger amount of cash in their pocket, which they can spend in whatever ends they choose. 

The maximum exercise of personal and economic freedom is related to all these previous considerations: government intervention, bureaucracy, taxation, and government spending. Economic freedom is just an extension of personal freedom and access to sound money is its very substance. To advance freedom, the government should refrain from its monopoly of the money supply and return the control of money back to the market.