Sunday, 15 May 2005

Cue Card Libertarianism, Introduction


Many years ago in what seems now like a galaxy far, far away, Free Radical editor Lindsay Perigo put together a set of 'Cue Cards' to help newbies understand all those difficult concepts that we libertarians bang on about while non-libertarians stand around slack-jawed; I'm thinking here of such phrases and ideas as the “non-initiation of force principle,” "Galt's Speech," "altruism is evil" and "the world will be a better place when the last politician is strangled with the guts of the last bureaucrat."

Libertarians meanwhile stand around slack-jawed in wonder that others don't grasp these simple and obvious ideas as self-evident, particularly the last. How could anyone not understand the truth of that, we wonder quietly to ourselves?

So for those who need help understanding what libertarians mean when they say these things (and to paraphrase Dame Edna Everage, we do mean them lovingly) I plan to update this series over the coming months, beginning today with the entry on 'Abortion,' with 'Altruism' and 'Anarchy' to follow tomorrow and Tuesday.

Hopefully as the series progresses you will find yourself understanding -- if not necessarily agreeing with -- these simple libertarian concepts. And perhaps there will dawn the day when you too will come to realise that the auto-asphyxiation of politicians and bureaucrats may not be such a bad thing. (But as always with such things, readers are advised not to try such things at home.)

Please feel free to suggest additions as the series progresses. Let us begin:

EDITOR’S NOTE, Wanganui, 1993

Some people encountering “The Free Radical” for the first time are reporting a difficulty coming to grips with its statement of editorial policy, evidently finding it too “abstract” and not easily applicable to everyday issues. Mindful of this, I decided to embark on an A-Z of everyday, and not so everyday, issues, to show how the non-initiation of force principle applies in each case. The “non-initiation of force principle”, to repeat, is that no one should force anyone to do anything – all our dealings with each other should be voluntary. This formulation is derived from Galt’s Speech in Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’. Non-Randian libertarians commonly refer to the ‘non-aggression principle’ – which amounts to the same thing. The following is the first part of a thumbnail introduction to the libertarian perspective on matters of moment, which I hope will make clearer, implicitly or explicitly, how the non-aggression principle applies and whence it is derived. When the series is complete, we shall release it in its entirety as a small book.

In the meantime, keep an eye here and on the sidebar where these Cue Cards will gradually be added to...
TAGS: Cue Card Libertarianism


  1. It should be pointed out that only the Libz confuse libertarianism with their own home-grown Objectivist sect. Should have been more honest and called yourselves the Objectivist Party. Ayn Rand was only one kind of libertarian. So stop confusing the two.

  2. And what kind of libertarian are you sir/madam/mademoiselle, apart that is from an anonymous one?

  3. There are plenty of non-objectivists in the Libertarianz party, myself being one.

  4. Don't expect to stay too long then Robin .....:-)

  5. James, non objectivists are more than welcome in the Libertarianz.

    Smarmy gits on the other hand...


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