Oct 042009
Authors: Ian Bezek

I remember being overwhelmed walking through the Lory Student Center Plaza as a freshman. As a politically aware student who wants to make a difference, I fit the profile of the person who would become involved in student organizations, and I wanted to get involved on campus immediately — yes, I did actually take some of the advice that was given at freshman orientation, for better or worse.

But, after seeing all the options CSU had to become involved, particularly after attending the student organization fair, my head was spinning. Which cause should I support? There were so many options: Republicans, Democrats, religions, the environment, animal rights, etc.

In the end, I chose to join the campus Libertarian Party for one main reason: Once personal liberty is secured, we are free to pursue any and all other causes that are important to us.

The course of the human experience has, as Orwell said so eloquently, been a series of leaders’ “boot[s] stamping on a human face — forever.” Be it monarchy, military dictatorship, feudalism or religious rule, the course of human history has seen small cabals of elites using the rest of society as their pawns, or worse, slaves.

That is why libertarians oppose the draft — it’s inhumane that the government can conscript you and use you as their slave to fight for their corrupt agenda.

But the government curtails our freedoms in many less blatant ways. The U.S. government, for nearly a century now, has told us what substances we can ingest. The result has been that unpopular substances such as marijuana and cocaine have been banned, while equally destructive substances with larger fan clubs, such as alcohol and cigarettes, are permissible.

Now the government is threatening to tax soda and junk food — give the government an inch, and it will take your snacks away.

Our liberty-loving Founders also were aware of the dangers of centralized financial control. Thomas Jefferson stated, “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

What happened? Congress created the Federal Reserve in 1913. The Fed subsequently threw gasoline on the flames of the first Great Depression and then proceeded to foment a cycle of economic recessions since then.

Even more than the private bankers, former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan is the man directly responsible for the current economic malaise.

Speaking of money, libertarians also fight for lower taxes. Ask yourself, do you support the unending stream of bailouts and the unceasing wars in the Middle East? More than a third of the federal government’s expenditures over the past year have been on these counterproductive policies. It isn’t much of a stretch to argue that the government could cut taxes by a third by ceasing funding of the failed economic and military programs.

The problem with the modern American government is that it feels the urge to tell you how to live your life. The all-knowing government tells you what to eat and drink, what you can and can’t do in your bedroom, how your income should be spent and for what Middle Eastern nation you should die.

If we have liberty to think and do what we please, then we have the freedom to pursue our other goals, be it spreading religion or saving the environment. If the government continues to take away our liberties, we lose the ability to even express our opinions — no one cares if you’re a vegetarian when you live in a police state.

That’s the beauty of libertarianism. While I may not agree with you, I’ll fight for your right to believe in an opinion, even if that opinion disgusts me.

When you support a cause, ask yourself, “Am I forcing my viewpoint onto others unwillingly, or am I giving people the liberty to make their own choices?”

If your solution to a problem is a governmental ban — be it a ban on gambling, alcohol, Mormonism, private health care or whatever else — you are part of the boot stamping on the face of human freedom.

If you don’t believe in banning everything you dislike, then you might be a libertarian yourself. Check out the CSU Libertarians. We meet Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in Room 217 of the Lory Student Center.

Editorials Editor Ian Bezek is a senior economics major. His column appears Mondays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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