from evolution to libertarianism

.rachel’s grasp on the more complex things in life.

The organism that is most suited to survive in a particular environment will have more reproductive success, enabling it to survive and/or flourish in that environment. The organism less “fit” for the environment will be less successful at procreation and thus diminish. Fitness is measured by reproductive success. This is the process of survival of the fittest, an integral part of natural selection.

Certain traits are “selected” because they allow the creature to survive in their environment. What is fit for their environment will survive and what is not fit will not survive or, at the very least, not thrive.

Natural selection is a key component to the explanation of the theory of evolution and is widely accepted as factual. (It is worth noting that natural selection, though often coupled with evolution, is not actually evolution and most creationists subscribe to the idea).

As a political philosophy, Libertarianism is free-market and non-regulation to the extreme. It attempts to preserve a “natural” state of competition. It sees government as a necessity which should be kept small and which derives its power from the people it governs. Libertarianism is all about preserving the freedom of the individual.

A libertarian perspective might sound like: I am subject to my government, but I elect my officials. The government is there to provide basic stability and rule to our country, such as have standard currency and protect the country from foreign and domestic enemies and create a rule of law. Other than that, the government has no business being in my business.

Pure libertarians would say that people should be allowed to do whatever they wish, as long as it does not impede anyone else’s life, liberties, or rights. One of the most popular examples would be that drugs would be legal in most cases. The rationale is that an individual has the right to do as he pleases, eve if ti’s to his personal detriment. Of course, libertarians would likely support laws making it illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs (because you’d be likely to interfere with somoen else’s life), illegal for minors to take drugs or for an adult to provide them, illegal for a pregnant women to take drugs, etc.

The government would minimally regulate the economy, wouldn’t stimulate the ecnomy, or interfere with its swings up and down. It’s true laissez-faire economic philosophy. The idea is that things will right themselves better, sooner, and for less money than if the government were trying to do it. Of course, this would not mean that there would not be severe penalties for people who commit criminal acts in the free market.

Libertarianism would have very minimal welfare, believing that the best way to promote and encourage people to achieve is to unburden the achievers by undue taxation as well as that the best way to motivate people at the bottom is to encourage them to move up by making it uncomfortable to stay at the bottom.

In this world, the best, brightest, and most cunning people will rise to the top. The people who have what it takes will survive. The less achieving, less clever will inevitably stay lower on the ladder. In other words, those most fit will survive and thrive. I don’t know if today we’d measure fitness by reproduction, though.

My point is, the most logical political philosophy from a natural selection mentality is libertarianism.

An explanation:
I came up with this thought a few weeks ago, and it’s been a while ’til I could think well enough to articulate it enough to write down. It is still a rather rough sketch, I feel, but I felt good enough to post it after I had my political scientist graduate student big brother read it and he didn’t completely trash it. I hope to publish some of his comments as soon as I get his permission.

Personal Disclaimer:

“I’m just sayin’ what I’m sayin’ and no more.”

If you’ll notice, I tried to simply make a connection between the mindset one would have from an evolutionary/natural selection perspective and what the logical outworkings of that would be politically.

I did not and do not attempt to endorse either philosophy in this little essay. I can write a blog on my political views sometime, if you want, but the reader need not assume that this is one that I hold. And I’ll simply say further, to anyone who reads this and does not know me, I do not accept evolution as the explaination for the origin of man.



Filed under complex things, Opinions, Philosophical, politics

2 responses to “from evolution to libertarianism

  1. Ed

    But alas, humans are not subject to the natural selection of animals due to the very perceived characteristics that separates us from them. Compassion, reasoning, morals, etc. Traits which are both our greatest strengths and weaknesses. If a human was simply a logic engine, the world would be simple and predictable. But the human element is far more complicated. The govt creates a society to reflect the desires of the people. Some will completely agree with you and allow their fellow man to suffer “for their own good.” Others strive to create a society where the govt “exercises” compassion. They will not change no matter how hard you reason (this is where the logic engine fails and the human element of both stubbornness and compassion reveal itself). They will always exist and always be among us. So a question for you to ponder is how you can live with your fellow man in the real world because, due to our very nature, we will never live in a theoretical one.

    Albert Einstein, when asked by a reporter how man was able to unlock the secret of the atom but yet was unable to come up with the policies to govern its use, replied (loosely paraphrased), “Well, that simple. Politics is a lot harder than physics.”

    Happy thinking…

  2. Pingback: Top Posts « Philosophizings from the Flat

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