I used to call myself a libertarian.
I used to say that meant that people could do what they wanted as long as it didn’t hurt other people.
I used to be the final arbiter of whether my actions hurt people.
It’s easy to declare that one’s own actions don’t hurt other people: “My actions aren’t hurting other people.”
At some point, I stopped. I don’t think there was some epiphanous moment where I realized how simple and self-serving this position was. I just… moved on. Matured. Became reflective. Realized that morality is more complicated than “I say my actions are okay, so they’re okay.”
I was reminded again today by the actions of a self-professed libertarian who, in the midst of being told that their words were hurtful, declared that they’re a libertarian and believe that they could do what they wanted as long as it didn’t hurt other people.
It’s a lazy, selfish philosophy, in no small part because it is impossible to act meaningfully without hurting somebody.
This post will hurt somebody. I wish it didn’t, but it will. I don’t know who, but it will.
Don’t come at me with “not all libertarians” because that’ll just make me side-eye you, too.