Why I am not a Conservative

Some folks imagine that libertarians must be some sort of “far-right conservative.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

I’m not sure anyone – even self-proclaimed “conservatives” – can define what a “conservative” is. What are they conserving? I respect that long-held traditions might encapsulate some measure of wisdom, and should not be lightly discarded. But long-held traditions – such as slavery – might also encapsulate great evil.

In the former USSR, “conservatives” defended the practice of communism. In the USA, most “conservatives” defend what can only be described as “economic fascism” – a mixed economy where the State plays a very large role. Many “conservatives” support troops and police to an inordinate degree, even when they engage in atrocities. They defend every last dime of a military budget which is greater than all the military spending of the world combined; let the rate of growth of that budget be trimmed, and they scream that it has been “gutted” or “hollowed out.”

A “conservative” objects to Common Core mostly because it is new. As a libertarian, I object to all government involvement in education because it deprives parents, children, and teachers of the freedom to decide how to best meet their needs.

I preserve what is worth preserving, and discard what is not. I’m not trying to recreate some mythical past. I have a vision of what the future should look like: people voluntarily cooperating to do whatever needs to be done.

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