Sunday, December 14, 2008

I Think I Just Brought The Average IQ Here Down to Triple Digits.

Well, fancy that. By my count, this will be the third blog to which I contribute.

For those of you who don't know me (due either to my hiatus between March and September or the fact that I'm just not quite famous), I'm a contributor over at Down With Absolutes (which, to be fair, contains about a third of my family in its list of contributors). I'm a senior in high school, currently grappling with college admissions. I like music (with a recent progression towards jazz and jam), history and a well-executed debate. I'm an officer on the Executive Committee of the Young Democrats Movement. I campaigned heavily for Democratic candidates over the past election cycle, I hope to someday run for office, and I'm a libertarian.

I should clarify that this is a relatively recent development. When I could first solidly identify my political views, I was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal. I mean, a tax raisin', gun hatin', borderline socialist liberal. That was probably five years ago or so. However, over the past two years, between studying government and economics in school, and working closely with many a libertarian (not the least influential of whom was Tyler Nixon), my political philosophy has tweaked itself ever so slightly, sending several of my formerly leftist viewpoints on a right-bound crash course. I consider myself a classical liberal, of the same brand as John Locke. I believe that we have very basic and equally important rights which we, as human beings, are born into. I believe that government has little responsibility outside of protecting these rights for me, and that it has no privilege to deprive me thereof. I believe that an intrusive state—be it the Orwellian 'Big Brother' model or a New Deal/Great Society model—is harmful to everybody in the long run. Most importantly, I believe that personal freedom should be unlimited until your actions deprive another human being of the rights afforded to them.

I'm not as strongly libertarian as they come, mind you. Granted, I'm right of center on gun control. I believe that any and every drug should be legalized (be it for recreational or medicinal use). I think that government subsidy of industry is, as a rule of thumb, a very poor choice. I will differ with some of the contributors here in that I do support some form of universal health care (not 100% government funded “single payer” care, mind you), as I think that among the rights afforded to mankind is a right to their health. I strongly support public education, both as an anti-poverty and as an ideological model, and I believe that environmental controls are an end result which need to be realized if the human race is to carry on, period. Moreover (and this isn't a position that libertarians will have anything close to a monolithic stance on, if I'm not mistaken), while I believe that military service should be 100% voluntary, I do think that well-equipped, well-funded Armed Forces are essential to our survival, both on a combative and diplomatic front.

I look forward to posting alongside Steve, Tyler and Brian. Hopefully this will be both a teaching and a learning experience for all parties.

- Mat Marshall


Delaware Watch said...

Matt, is there a virus afflicting your family? First your mother and now you? Geez. :)

The Maryland Crustacean said...

Way to go, Mat. In addition to your intellect, I appreciate your intellectual honesty.

Steven H. Newton said...


We slipped it into his drinking water.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the freedom side of the fence, Mat. Interestingly enough, my own journey to libertarianism seems to have paralleled yours fairly closely except for the ultra-right military-as-diplomacy bit (and if your experience continues to resemble mine, you'll drop the support for universal health care and public education in about a year, not because your values have changed but just because you'll realize that they both fail to achieve their goals and actually hinder them).

Anonymous said...

Welcome Matt, If you only knew how liberal I used to be, you wouldn't let me near a tax form. Now I'm pissed and going for rebates. Must talk to you about that drug stance though. Why do you think they call it dope?