Luke Setzer
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My first exposure to the Libertarian Party and its philosophy came in 1987 when I took Philosophy 101 at N.C. State University. The time had come to cover political theory, and the instructor wanted us to have a broad flavor of approaches to politics. He offered us a copy of John Hospers's article "The Libertarian Manifesto," that blazed through the precepts of libertarianism and its applications to government. Its primary metaphysical axiom, which holds that every individual is sovereign over his own mind, body, and property, had broad ramifications in ethics and law. His arguments certainly sat well with me. I had long felt uncomfortable with the left-wing envy justifiers and the right-wing snoopy busybodies. Libertarianism made an immediate and positive first impression with me.

A year later, a friend introduced me to the writings of a Russian radical named Ayn Rand. Her uncompromising philosophy of rational self-interest and laissez-faire capitalism, which she called Objectivism, set my mind afire with its clarity and simplicity. I immediately began to research the system further, finding more and more of what I liked and adopting it as my own code for living. Later, I discovered a broader-based application of Objectivism called Neo-Tech, which excited me even more.

As the years passed, I became more disenchanted with the Republicans, who talked like Libertarians but voted like Democrats (or even Socialists). I finally took the plunge and changed my registration to Libertarian. I also became active in the local county chapter of the Libertarian Party of Florida, helping to maintain this web site and participating in the Editorial Committee.

My long-range purpose in being a Libertarian is to spread the philosophy of rational self-interest, self-responsibility, and bare-minimalist government. I believe the ideal world compels no one to sacrifice himself for any "Higher Cause," be it "God," "The State," or "Mother Gaia." I see every individual as an end in himself, not the means to others' ends, and I believe in the primacy of individual ethics over collectivized politics. Libertarianism is the only political philosophy I know that promotes tolerance on both economic and personal levels, and leaves the individual free to make his own decisions based on his own best judgment.

Long live the concept of absolute self-ownership! Long live liberty!


This page was last updated 07/02/00 01:51 PM