Note: This post has been automatically imported from my old blog. Formatting may be incorrect.
Friday's post has stirred up a small bit of controversy in the comments, on Twitter, and on at least one other blog. Right now I'm in an unusual situation for me: I'm pretty confident in my conclusion, but don't really care at all that other Objectivists disagree with it. All in all, this issue isn't that important and to me it's a definite case where agreeing to disagree and moving on to other things is the right way to handle the situation. That being said, one of the comments on my post got me thinking about how I would define libertarian, so I thought I'd give that a shot here. I'm not terribly good at coming up with definitions, and to be honest I haven't really seen first-hand (because I haven't really thought about the issue, not because I think there is no need) the strong cognitive need for them in all cases, but this is what I've come up with:
A libertarian is a person who believes that the initiation of force has no proper role in human society.*
The measurements omitted from my concept of libertarian include, among others, beliefs about:
That being said, there are many beliefs which aren't omitted from my view, including:
I'm fully open to the idea that my definition here is lacking or erroneous. I'm completely certain that the concept I have in mind is a valid one, and I'm pretty sure that the concept I have in mind is indeed "libertarian", but I'd love to hear if anyone has a word that better fits my concept here.
*: For those who aren't familiar with Ayn Rand's theory of definitions, a definition does not need to state all of the common characteristics of the unit of the concept, nor can a concept be simply replaced with its definition. So don't take this to be a mathematical or computational type of definition.