A relatively small group (ten members and one guest) enjoyed Brian’s very informative presentation, which provoked many questions and much discussion.
Libertarianism has been depicted as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, middle-of-the-road, north of center, and a philosophy for the selfish. Mr. Jones put a finer point on core libertarian ideals and discussed how they dovetail with humanist thought. Brian is the Recorder on the HAGSA Board and a Central Committee member of the Sacramento Libertarian Party. He brought an idea of that party’s philosophy to the members of HAGSA.
Brian began with a mention of Jonathan Gullible: A Free Market Odyssey by Ken Schoolland. A well-done Flash® animation of the basic libertarian principles behind the book is available on the Internet. The principle expounded in the book is that no person has the right to initiate force or fraud against anyone. This prohibition also applies to governments. There are three parts of any person’s life: past present and future. To unjustly take a person’s life is murder and deprives the person of his future. The deprivation of one’s liberty is slavery and deprives a person of his present. The taking of a person’s justly acquired property is theft and deprives a person of his past. The ideas of self-ownership and of respect for life, liberty and property are essentials of the libertarian position.
Brian passed out the HAGSA business cards some of our members use and compared the printed Humanist principles on them with libertarian principles. He found that the Humanist principles as printed are generally compatible with libertarian principles.
As expected, Brian was extensively questioned after his presentation. He did admit that anarchism was the logical extreme of much libertarian thinking, especially as many libertarians regard taxation as theft. Brian admitted that his own opinions do stop short of anarchism.
Report prepared by Wayne Luney