Libertarianism is a modern political view which includes a set of political philosophies that promote freedom as the highest political end. This includes political freedom, individual freedom and liberty of voluntary association. This political current is the exact opposite of authoritarianism.
Different schools of libertarianism promote a plethora of ideas and concepts that are similar until a certain point. For instance, anarchists fight for a complete elimination of the political system, while minarchists declare that the state should only act in order to prevent theft, aggression or fraud. Either way, libertarianism is becoming increasingly popular in the US, especially among corporate owners and influential people.
Libertarianism in America – On the Rise
According to the annual American Value Survey conducted last year, libertarians are only 7 percent of adults in the US. Even if an additional 15 percept of US citizens lean toward libertarian views – economically conservative but socially liberal – most Americans are somehow in the middle, holding a mixture of views. However, politically speaking, libertarians are considered extremely powerful.
Since 1993, CNN and ABC have tried to discover how US citizens envision the political and economical changes that are taking place in our country. While many people think that the government is trying to control too many things and aspects of our private lives, others believe that the government is not doing enough to solve American’s most daunting problems. According to a regular libertarian, the government is at its best when it governs the least.
Obviously, tolerance for governmental intervention spiked up post September 11, 2001. According to the social libertarian viewpoint, our country’s government should not favor any set of values. However, when it comes to external threats, over 80% of Americans, regardless of their political view, agree that terrorist countries should be punished.
The Trend Continues
As many political analysts have already noted, the millennial generation is more progressive or libertarian that the previous generation. This progressive surge might be driven by liberals’ disappointment with Obama in the same way conservative were taken aback by the Bush administration, who was more inclined to wage wars against other nations than to invest in his country. By 2020, it is predicted that the millennials will amount to 200 millions, which is almost 70% of the population. This means that the trend will more than likely continue – the number of people with libertarian political views in the US will be growing.
Because of this on growing trend and because the number of libertarians and progressives in Congress has dramatically increased, 2013 has seen a number of policy reforms that made democrats and republicans work side by side.
First of all, the Obama administration has seek Congressional approval for a military action in Syria. The potential invasion of Syria has been put on hold, as it has become crystal clear that most Congress members would not approve such an intervention in Middle East. Hence, the Obama administration has recourse to more diplomatic measures. This trend that promotes war-awareness is mainly promoted by people who have libertarian political views.
Another so-called benefit of the surge of libertarianism in America is an increased respect for civil liberties. With Edward Snowden’s revelations on NSA spying both internal and external agencies, the war on our civil liberties has finally reached the Congress. Most pro-civil liberty democrats that supported the Bush administration have soon joined the libertarian republican members of the congress. This new movement was aimed to stop NSA from collecting further data. You can see the whole amendment here.
In addition to Colorado and Washington fully legalizing the adult use of marijuana a couple of years ago, more and more states are coming to adopt a more “liberal” policy when it comes to recreational use of drugs. Stoners from all over the country will soon enjoy total freedom. Look for more changes on this matter in the future, as libertarians and progressives agreed that the War on Drugs was a big failure.
Libertarian political views in the US are becoming increasingly powerful, as more and more influential people belonging to the new generation are beginning to see the importance of freedom in every aspect of one’s life. Of course, the government is still and will be considered the supreme authority, but people want to have more liberties and want to have a say in their future.