Disclaimer: This is not a political argument, I would rather not get involved in that. This is simply a post analyzing libertarianism as an ideology. If you would like to debate or see an argument for Libertarianism as a party, look elsewhere.
At the end of my Junior year of high school, I wrote a paper on freedom for my AP United States History class. This was the first extended paper I had ever written, and to this day I am extremely proud of it and proud of how hard I worked on it. In summation, the core of this paper analyzed freedom, its context, and history through the lens of the twenty years following World War I. Those years were perhaps unlike any other time in American history because it was a time of rapid cultural expansion with the twenties, Harlem Renaissance, Wall Street, and the early civil rights movement. It was also a time a rapid inequality everywhere as the rich grew wealthier and the poor withered. However, it was in response to this inequality that the many of the movements mentioned above started to flourish (ie. The Harlem Renaissance, the civil rights movement, and forms of feminism with the flapper movement). It was certainly an interesting time where culture was simultaneously heightening and becoming more tumultuous. The more I think about the essay; however, the more I realize I was making an underlying libertarian argument towards freedom and the way it is expressed. When given the space to move and flourish culture will, and it is up to the people to push for improvement, break barriers, and to prevent decline.
Disregarding any political opinion and debates over policy, a libertarian philosophy, by definition, is an upholding of liberty and autonomy within the individual. Thus libertarianism is one of the most individualistic ideologies. Empowering the individual creates an optimum space for art, knowledge, and progress to flourish. In other words, if given space, the individual will flourish both from competition with others and within themselves. With this, an endless supply of expression opens up because autonomy brings interpretation.
Hundreds of traditions, actions, arts, and lifestyles come out of the seemingly endless sky that is freedom. However, when put under one authority this idea is severely suppressed. In an advertisement advocating for the libertarian party (I hesitate to say this because the fact that I am even affiliating with this party suggests that I am one. I repeat I do not believe in the party system and would rather not debate politics or cause any controversy) Magician and outspoken critic of things such as politics and religion, Penn Jillette states:
“Being a Libertarian means being skeptical of...power, skeptical there’s one way to do things. Is there going to be one way of living that's going to make you Justin Bieber, Pat Roberts, Marilyn Manson, Hillary Clinton, me, and your Aunt Olga all equally happy?”
I think there is a lot of truth to this statement individually. When dealing with individuals a libertarian philosophy adopts a policy of live and let live. Allowing yourself to ignore any flaws in someone's character or difference in lifestyle is a way to be truly free of any prejudice or judgment. People are simply, people—a diverse population seeking to love and be loved—that just want to live life the way they know is best. They want to flourish and move forward, advance themselves while advancing society, and adopt a culture that fits them best. We also need to let ourselves be free in order to cultivate the advances that coincide with liberty and autonomy. Allowing this to happen would, ideally, making humanity the fluid all encompassing entity we all dream us to be.