Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity (effrenata) wrote in applied_liberty,
Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity
effrenata
applied_liberty

Intro.

I started this group for the discussion of how social issues can be handled from a Libertarian viewpoint. By "social issues", I mean the wide range of problems in society that are not directly part of the structure of goverment (although they are often promoted, exacerbated and perpetuated by governmental systems.) Examples are racism, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism and other "isms" or forms of prejudice, including intergroup strife and conflict; poverty and its cycle of perpetuation; globalization and the cultural changes it is creating in the world; the social and economic struggles of people in developing nations; corporate corruption and lack of transparency; and the environment.

Some Libertarians seem to be of the opinion that these problems don't exist -- that our current society (at least in the US) is already completely meritocratic. There is a great deal of evidence that this is not so; however, since many Libertarians focus on the disciplines of philosophy, economics and political science, they are unaware of research in the other social sciences. Too, the problem is made more severe by the current hegemony in the humanities and social sciences by institutionalized Leftism -- PC academica. To take back the universities for the Classic Liberal worldview -- and liberty of thought and speech -- we must take a serious stand in engaging these issues, not ignoring them. Simply mocking the Leftists' postmodern excesses does not answer the questions they pose, nor does it provide effective counterarguments.

Besides academia, there is the problem of Libertarianism's, and the LP's, relevance to the general community. Speaking of the US in particular, Libertarianism currently appeals mainly to white, middle-to-upper-class males. We will not win an election until we find a way to reach out to other demographics -- to make those who are not already advantaged feel welcome in our party, to let them know that their concerns are heard and we are prepared to offer real, workable solutions, not just vague hand-waving about how "the market will fix it all." We won't get a free market until people feel secure and confident trusting in their own voluntary actions, rather than government. And to win people's confidence, we must first listen to them, discover their needs and desires, and address them in a respectful and meaningful way.

Therefore, this community will also foster an appraisal of and dialogue with other points of view. It's time to stop sticking our idealistic heads in the sand and see what's out there. The next important step is to develop and promote voluntary, noncoercive solutions to social ills which free people to improve their own lives, instead of chaining them to the stifling care of government.

The subtitle I've chosen for this journal is "Social Solutions for Social Problems", in recognition of the Libertarian principle that the market and civil society should be free to act independently in their own arenas, unencumbered by government coercion. Exploring the area of civil society, or voluntary human action which does not necessarily involve economic exchange, is an important project that Libertarian scholars have, so far, touched only briefly. We must open this field to full investigation, if our political stand is to gain relevance and influence in today's world.

Since many of us are Americans, there will be some degree of US-centric focus, although I encourage the development of a global viewpoint.
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