What Does a Libertarian Want? A Bold and Cosmopolitan Future

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A libertarian wants change, prosperity, and greatness.

Today, there is a lot of confusion about what us libertarians actually want. Do we want a return to the good ol’ days? Do we want people to keep to themselves or disassociate with things that make them uncomfortable? No, I can assure you this is not what is underlying the deep tradition of classical liberalism.

Being a libertarian and valuing human freedom is about finding, what the Mercatus Center describes as, “our moonshot.” A moonshot being a lofty goal that seems improbable today; a radical and feasible solution to an issue. This is why libertarians support the free market. Supporting the free market is about supporting those big ideas that will transform our lives. The ideas that come from the marketplace and from free people bring us all together more than ever.

Facebook, cellphones, blogs, and commercial air travel are all parts of our lives that bring us closer to our friends and family. They even allow us to find people we would have never known otherwise. Furthermore, free people have gone on to do some of the most spectacular feats in the world. NASA, though being a government agency, was made up of free and creative people that got people to the moon. Perfect freedom from the government need not be realized in orderfor us to benefit from any freedom. Though many libertarians think a private space company would be better than NASA, NASA’s success is only possible because of some of the freedoms we cherish in the United States: free speech and free markets.

Being a libertarian means wanting opportunity for all. Today, people are frequently locked out of the market by occupational licensing laws, overbearing intellectual property laws, and crony capitalists. Overbearing economic regulation like this doesn’t inspire growth, creativity, or boldness, but instead only results in complacency and hopelessness.

Libertarians are all about this moonshot thinking, or at least allowing for moonshot thinking. Being libertarian means being bold, being courageous and pushing for change, not dwelling in the past or fearing our neighbors. We strive for a future that is bold and cosmopolitan, and one in which we will never know what awaits us the next day.

This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions. If you’re a student interested in presenting your perspective on this blog, visit our guest submissions page. Like what you read here? You can sign up for a weekly digest of the SFL blog and subscribe for a weekly update on SFL’s events, leadership programs, and resources.


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