Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Non-Libertarianism

Below, I take up the task of thinking through my own political philosophy, spurned on by an excellent post at The Daily Dish by Jim Manzi.  Some questions arose in the comments section, and I plan to address them very soon, but first I thought I should probably point something out.  I can't really say that I am a libertarian.

I am certainly libertarian-ish.  My politics and viewpoint probably align with libertarians more often that with any other political persuasion, but I'm not sure that the term is a particularly good descriptor.  So I guess the question comes up, why did I title a post My Libertarianism?

Short answer: the original Manzi post was about libertarianism, so to use it to examine my leanings, I had to examine myself through a libertarian lens.  I probably should have put up a disclaimer, but I didn't.

However, there is more to it.  Just as I may not really be a libertarian, it wouldn't be completely accurate to say I'm not a libertarian.  My politics fall somewhere between conservatism and libertarianism (granted, that would likely put me in the fusionism camp, but it's a bit of a loaded term, so, again, I'm not willing to totally embrace it), and, recently, seem to fall more on the libertarian side.

Further, in reading a lot of conservative and libertarian analysis, I always find some things that I disagree with (naturally).  Recently, when I stumble across some conservative analysis that I just can't buy into, it tends to push me towards libertarianism.  When I object to something on The Corner (for example), it tends to drive me to Cato.  However, when I object to something on Hit & Run, I feel no urge to start reading Commentary.  The more I self-identify with libertarian pieces, the more I tend to self-categorize as a libertarian.

(This effect is probably accentuated by contributing to ThePolitic.  It seems like it probably has a slightly more conservative bent than I do... which is part of the fun.)

It is quite possible that my increasing self-identification as a libertarian is a reaction to partisan politics - conservative is too often conflated with Conservative (in Canada) or Republican (in the U.S.).  I find this phenomena to be stronger in Canada, thus the more I claim to be a conservative, the more likely I am to be linked with Stephen Harper and all of his policies (or, worse, in the past with John Tory or Ernie Eeves... ugh).  Self-identifying as a libertarian insulates me a bit and gives me more independence (granted, there's a Libertarian Party, but I don't think I'll get linked to them too much).

Okay, I'm not saying a whole lot that's interesting right now.  This post is more to act as an explanation that a lot of my future posts might be more of an exercise in examining and determining my own political philosophy rather than providing incisive insight into current events.

The other purpose of this post is to thank the two commenters from the last post, Jim and Richard, for participating in this little adventure.  Comments, questions and critiques are always welcome.

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