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Nicolle Lim 10831118

31 January 2012 POLISCI C38

My Political Ideology

Upon briefly reviewing all existing political ideologies, modern or otherwise, I have come to the conclusion that I am a Libertarian. Aside from conducting a concise research, I have also taken the Political Compass exam, which resulted in the same ideology that is leaning more towards the lower-leftmost part of the Cartesian plane. This further indicates that I am a Libertarian.

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, libertarianism is the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights in external things (Libertarianism, 2002). In politics, it is associated with the view that there should be minimal government intervention and strong individual liberty. This political ideology typically favors policies that prioritize extensive personal liberties such as freedom of speech/expression, freedom of religion, freedom of press, and freedom of ownership, among others. It puts great emphasis on self-ownership. Moreover, a libertarian prefers a limited government to an overpowering one in the sense that individuals, not artificial entity (i.e. the government), have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in the manner they choose, as long as they do not step on other peoples rights to live the kind of life they choose.

I am a Libertarian basically because, bluntly speaking, I enjoy freedom. Growing up in a democratic country, I have found that freedom comes as both a privilege and a responsibility at the same time. It teaches people how to have fun; and in the process of doing so, they commit mistakes (which, I believe, is totally fine) and eventually learn lessons that are then passed on from one generation to another. In a nutshell, that is how I think a society should work. As it is claimed by many, human beings are selfish in nature, and would typically do stuff for their own benefit. Needless to say, my reasons for being a libertarian are based on that premise human nature, and what I want for myself.

Looking at it in a small-scale perspective, I am a libertarian because I do not like being told what to do. For instance, eighteen out of twenty years of my life, I religiously followed the dogmas of the Catholic Church, mainly because I was born that way and because my family and the society where I live in follow the same religion. It was only two years ago when I realized how I did not like anyone telling me what to do, and then threatening me with some kind of force (physical or spiritual) if I dont do it. I was also able to convince myself of the shallow-mindedness of the Church and the hypocrisy of its members. In writing this paper, I realized that the decision I made with regards to my religion only adds to the list of reasons why I am a libertarian. It also made me realize that being a libertarian means reflecting on individual preferences and not merely going with the flow or succumbing to the expectations of the government and the society as a

whole. It also means that every citizen should be able to practice their religion or nonreligion, as long as it doesnt infringe anothers rights to choose.

I am a libertarian because I would find it much less of a hassle if the government did not have to interfere with peoples personal choices (i.e. marrying age, divorce, abortion). Under our current system of politics, the government has a major role in most policies that restrict or regulate our freedom, and I believe that this shouldnt always be the case. The government should protect the rights of the minority, but not at the expense of the rights of the majority and vice versa. I find it unjust that government agencies have the right to confiscate my money through the threat of force (taxes), and use it to: 1.) run inefficient government operations; 2.) redistribute it to people I do not even know; and 3.) increase their own personal wealth (corruption). It should act to maintain fairness in the society but it should never intervene or manipulate it. The same goes for the marketplace and its players.

While I believe in freedom, I also believe in individual responsibility. Freedom lets me make choices, but I acknowledge that I am responsible for the consequences of these choices. If, in the process of making choices, the government somehow intervenes, and the consequence of the choice I made turns out bad, then I would also have the government to blame. If such is the case, I would only despise the system and add up to the accumulation of government haters. I am a libertarian because what I want for myself, I also want for others - I want people to be free to choose how to live their lives and then only have themselves to blame if and when things go wrong.

However, I am also a realist, and realistically speaking, Filipinos are taking advantage of their freedom to the point that many people are being morally abused. When freedom means doing drugs and living off the governments income (i.e. taxes/citizens money), there is no room for true freedom. Liberty is not the freedom to do evil without having to suffer the consequences. Liberty is the freedom to do good and prosper by it. That is why I am a libertarian.

Reference:

Libertarianism. (20 July 2010). Retrieved 31 January 2012, from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/libertarianism/