I must apologize for the spotty content. Last week, I was literally too sick to blog. I was home from school for a week, but I was getting zero done, and this week has been spent trying to catch up. Let's hope there's more content as we go along.
Anyway, in our last installment, Oliver ( the old knives guy ) commented that he doesn't hate libertarians, only "Big L Libertarians." That was nice, except that he went on to point out that since I'm a school teacher, I'm probably one of those "Big L Libertarians" who just don't get it.
This puzzles me for a couple of reasons.
First, in what state in this fine union does one find that most public school teachers are libertarians, no matter what size any of the letters are? Not in Illinois, that's for sure. Here most teachers are old-school union-dues Democrats. A smaller but still large section of the school teacher population would call itself "progressive," which would have translated as "liberal" a few years ago and "pinko" before that. Now, here in the Heartland of America, there is a sizable minority of teachers who consider themselves "conservatives"--but their conservative streak is usually confined to wishing the schools did a better job of teaching children to love Jesus and stamp out The Gayness.
Second, what is a "Big L" libertarian? I learned about "Big R" and "Small R" republicans in school, but not libertarians. If a "Big L" libertarian, like a "Big R" republican, is a member of the Libertarian Party, then I'm not one of those. If a "Small L" libertarian is a person who basically thinks libertarian thought is a good idea, then that's me. I wanna be that one. I also consider myself a "Small R" republican, by the way, which means that I believe a republic is the most desirable form of government. A "Big R" republican would either be a member of the Republican Party or a political philosopher who bases his theory of politics on the concept of buying candy, ammunition, blue jeans and fence posts in the same store.
I believe that libertarian thought is the way to go as far as it's practical. I believe in non-aggression. I believe that the maximum possible individual liberty is desirable. I realize that I live in a nation and a world where that point of view is marginal at best and "wacky fringe" at worst, so I don't get my hopes up too much. But in general, yes, more freedom is better than less freedom, and the individual deserves his liberty. It's just too bad that most of the country has no interest in individual freedom, particularly if there are consequences attached to it.
IT MUST BE DONE: The Obligatory Post-Hugo-Finalists Post….
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