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I closed the second of my open letter to Pagan libertarians with a few comments as to what is right about libertarianism. Since discussing the issue continues on this site, I want to explore libertarianism’s positive dimensions a little more. This is complex because the good is interwoven with the not very good, and the interweaving is hidden by popular words covering both, such as “individualism” and “private property.” 

Along the way I will also try and make clear where we Pagans have something important to add in enriching libertarian thinking. 

The libertarian principle of not aggressing peaceful people is in keeping with the Wiccan rede “an it harm none do as ye will.”  And where libertarians understand their principle clearly, they end up on the right side of important issues, such as opposition to the aggressive wars we are waging in Iraq and Afghanistan or to the so-called “War on Drugs.”  Given that no conservatives and few liberals are clear on both these issues, and both the Democratic and Republican Parties are largely tools of corporate domination, it is easy to see why many idealistic people are attracted to libertarian positions.

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  • D. R. Bartlette
    D. R. Bartlette says #
    This is probably the best "answer" to libertarianism I've read. I've always been appalled by the libertarian blindness to the very
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Nice try. Now try an argument sometime.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    There seem little value in exchanging personal insults with someone who prefers pseudo-intellectual straw men to real discussion,

Reading is as necessary to my life as air and water. I read lots of different genres, but one that's captivated me the last several years, in part because of the genealogical research I've been doing, is history, American history in particular. I read history in order to understand humanity and the way we humans have organized ourselves, intentionally or not, into tribes, states, nations, even neighborhoods.

I also read to try to understand the lives, the circumstances, and the motivations of my ancestors. As Samhain approaches I reflect upon the lives of some of my ancestors. For instance, my maternal grandfather's grandfather, William H. Van Tine, (pictured here) served in the Pennsylvania 58th Infantry and was killed in April 1863 in a battle in New Bern, NC, so I've been reading some Civil War history. Another ancestor, my grandmother's grandfather, The Rev. Alpha Gilruth Kynett, was, among other things, a founder of the Anti-Saloon League. His brother Harry, a medical doctor, served on the U.S. Sanitary Commission in the state of Iowa. The Sanitary Commission was a private relief organization created during the Civil War to care for sick and wounded soldiers, the precursor to the Veterans' Administration.1

Pvt. William H. Van Tine

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  • Hunter Liguore
    Hunter Liguore says #
    Really appreciated the historical elements to this piece. This line in particular should be chiseled and hung somewhere: "We honor

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