Based on the reading guide provided by Robert Wenzel of Economic Policy Journal, I came up with my own understanding of libertarian principles. I intentionally removed from my list articles that are too difficult for me. My purpose for coming up with my own list is to use it as a reference for my teaching assignment.
I am aware that mastering the principles in the list does not make one a specialist in free market. The basic goal is to supply with necessary framework for an intelligent understanding of free market ideas. In case any aspiring libertarian attains to the level of ability to distinguish among confusing terms used under the banner of “free market” and “libertarian,” then I can say that such a person achieves an end far greater than the original goal.
Each of these principles is expressed in a form of a summary statement or paragraph capturing the central idea of a corresponding article written by a reputable Austrian economist. Any mistake in interpretation is the responsibility of the blogger and if any reader is not satisfied with it, I suggest reading the source articles directly to come up with his own understanding.
Principle # 1 – A libertarian has fourfold tasks to fulfill, namely: to specialize knowledge focusing on concrete issues; not to expect from giant corporations for assistance in his fight for liberty; to focus on few basic libertarian principles in order to win his battle for freedom; and to demand honest money from the government.
Principle # 2 – A libertarian sees the serious threat posts against free market economy by fascist policy, which existence is proven by historical facts and present-day evidences
Principle # 3 – A libertarian believes that for free market economy to grow and flourish; it needs an intellectual atmosphere and social order friendly to it
Principle # 4 – Though a libertarian hopes for public opinion to accept a sound economic theory; he should learn to accept that the public may not, for a time; this is due to the absence of empirical evidence because of its nature that can be verified by reason alone.
Principle # 5 – A libertarian foresees that the government act of socializing public health will result into corruption and poor service due to absence of freedom in economic activity.
Principle # 6 – A libertarian believes that the only rational explanation for the “booms” and “busts” of business is due to government intervention and the creation of central banking.
Principle # 7 – A libertarian believes that Keynesian and Hitlerian economic policies are basically the same and their modern-day equivalent in capitalist and democratic countries are evident through governments’ central planning.
Principle # 8 – A libertarian equipped with Austrian economic perspective has the ability to see things and events in our society that most people do not see. Everything is now seen from a new perspective. The invisible hand of socialist states becomes evident. Dominant social themes are used to justify the expansion of the government’s power.
Principle # 9 – A libertarian discerns the true color of a socialist state. Socialism’s failure as an economic system causes it to hide behind an environmental cause for it to continue its suppression of the free market.
Principle # 10 – A libertarian understands socialism’s distortion of the concept of human equality to destroy the power of free market economy. Free market is blamed as the primary obstacle to the optimal development of the common man. The final result of such a trend is a return to a primitive social order where superior men will no longer serve the common men, but dominate them; not unless the rising generation will experience a new enlightenment that will prepare the way for a kind of social order where true free market economy has the freedom to grow and flourish. Only in such a society that an average man can be fully developed; a society where differences and inequality among men are accepted as basic parts of reality.