An Open Letter to Liberals and Conservatives

by | Feb 20, 2006

Some of you reading this web site think of yourselves as either Liberal or Conservative. You have views of the world based on personal beliefs, and these beliefs lead you to certain political assumptions. I am neither Liberal nor Conservative and I have political convictions at odds with both. So what is the difference between […]

Some of you reading this web site think of yourselves as either Liberal or Conservative. You have views of the world based on personal beliefs, and these beliefs lead you to certain political assumptions.

I am neither Liberal nor Conservative and I have political convictions at odds with both. So what is the difference between us?

Liberals believe the purpose of government is to “help people.” Conservatives believe the purpose of government is to enforce morality. I believe the purpose of government is to protect individuals from being “helped” by the Liberals–or forced to pray by the Conservatives.

People arrive at their political beliefs because of certain assumptions they make about the nature of reality and the nature of man. These ideas are what create our different political views.

Liberals believe reality is whatever they want it to be, all they have to do is believe strongly and join with like-minded people and reality will mold itself to the will of the people. This leads to the political belief that anything goes, as long as people vote on it.

Conservatives believe the world was created by an all-powerful God and reality is split into our low earthly realm of suffering and imperfection, and God’s realm of heavenly perfection. This leads to the political belief that anything goes, just as long as you act in the name of God.

I believe reality is an objective absolute existing independently of any consciousness, and our job is to perceive and understand it, not create it. The universe we know is a natural phenomenon that functions according to natural laws, and is not the plaything of a supernatural being. This leads to the political belief that man should be left free to exercise his reason and act on his own judgment.

Liberals are skeptics who believe reason is shaky at best. Since men can’t prove reason, freedom doesn’t work and the government has to protect us from evil businessmen.

Conservatives believe faith is superior to reason. Since reason is limited, we have to believe in God and follow his will. The government’s job is to enforce a religious morality and protect us from evil businessmen.

I believe reason does work and men can only use it and apply it properly if they are left free. Since men are basically rational and good by nature, the government’s job is to protect our freedoms so we can live properly as productive, morally heroic businessmen.

Liberals believe individualism is bad and people should sacrifice themselves to the collective, be that the community, the state, the nation, the world, or Mother Earth.

Conservatives believe that individualism is bad and people should sacrifice themselves to God, to religious institutions, and to any government that speaks and acts on behalf of God.

I believe that individualism is good and that each man is an end in himself, not an object of sacrifice. The government’s job should be to ban all sacrifice and to protect people from those individuals and institutions which demand sacrifice.

Liberals and Conservatives both claim to speak in the name of and act in the interests of certain minorities, and want to control the reins of government to benefit those minorities. For the Liberals, it is usually racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities. For the Conservatives, it is religious minorities, usually some hysterical Christian sect that still thinks nobody in the world has ever heard of Jesus.

But I am the greatest minority in the world: an individual. Who speaks for me? Who defends me? Who protects my rights? Nobody. I am regarded as an object of sacrifice, and I will be sacrificed at a time and place of your choosing. It may be a Liberal who takes my money, my property, my life; it may be a Conservative. But it will be taken. And when it is, it will be regarded as a moral act because of all the false beliefs mentioned above.

And you, gentle reader, you who are reading this with your individual eyes and understanding it with your individual mind: what makes you think you will be spared? You Liberals and Conservatives are so busy trying to sacrifice each other that you don’t realize you are both tumbling over the same political precipice into all-out Statism and the sacrifice of all to all.

If you want to stop this endless cycle of sacrifice, you have to start by rejecting the idea that man is irrational and evil by nature; that sacrifice is virtuous and practical; that the purpose of government is to be an arbiter of sacrifice. Accept and hold as your highest moral ideals reason, individualism, and capitalism. Then you will be able to live a free, prosperous, happy life outside the reach of both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

David Gulbraa is a writer in Orange, California. His latest book is the short story collection The Boy Who Got Hit By Cars.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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