This year, college students are being bombarded with political information. It’s an election year, and a crazy one at that.
One of the stressful parts of going to college is that you’re likely to meet lots of people with beliefs you may have not encountered before. You may go from a place full of people who disagree with your views to a place where you’re in the minority, or vice versa.
Your parents may have warned you about those crazy progressive humanities professors, or the nutty conservative economics professors.
However, while many are caught up in this dichotomy of modern politics, going to college also offers access to information in a broader spectrum of political thought.
In a time where most people dislike being funneled into one of two major parties, now is an ideal time to expose yourself to the ideas that are blindsided by mainstream political discussion.
What I hope to bring to your attention is political thought centered around the prospect of liberty, not as a buzzword used by conservative pundits, but as a general principle that many use as a lens for their interpretation of political affairs.
Libertarianism is a rising star in political discourse, especially among our age group. Much of libertarianism’s return to the limelight is likely due to disillusionment with typical progressive and conservative lines of thought.
In these future articles, I will provide arguments for a variety of hot political topics from the lens of a radical, utilizing ideas gathered from principles and philosophy, rather than partisan banter.
For those unfamiliar, libertarianism is a very broad field of ideologies which share the general idea that people should be free from coercion and compulsory institutions.
This basic concept has diverged into dozens of different schools of thought, spanning left to right, with different ideas of the role of government, or for some, whether there is a role of government at all.
Interestingly, despite this shared central principle, there is plenty of debate and disagreement in the libertarian community. However, this diversity of ideas can offer something that will appeal to nearly anyone who can open their minds up to them.
Strictly so that our dedicated readers of The Quad can be aware of my biases, I will divulge my position on the political spectrum as a Mutualist. Mutualism espouses the ideas of anarchism, that being the lack of any compulsory government, free markets as a means of exchange and socialist modes of production and living.
My position as a radical leftist may show itself in my writing, but I hope that the arguments I provide will appeal to those on the right as well as those who aren’t sure where they fall on that scale, in addition to those who are not entirely opposed to the existence of government.
My goal is not to make you agree with my specific ideology, but simply to make you aware of ideas that may convince you that the central idea of liberty can be a viable starting point for discussion of a wide variety of political issues.
This election cycle, we have a relatively well-known candidate for the Libertarian Party, Gary Johnson, who is garnering support from many disenfranchised, former main party supporters.
However, as I will try to stay true to my nonpartisan position, I will not be writing articles trying to get you to vote for Gary Johnson, although I may just throw in a few mentions of him.
While Johnson is a great candidate who I believe would be a positive change to our country, I will be more focused on specific issues and lines of thinking that I hope you may adopt.
If I am successful there, some of you may decide to support Johnson, and some of you may not, and that’s totally fine. However, I hope that I can change your perspective and the way you react to the issues that affect and interest you. Stay tuned in the following weeks to learn more.
Alexander Habbart is a second-year student majoring in economics, math, and finance. He can be reached at? AH855514@wcupa.edu.