As John Ray, that genius from down under, posts today, the good professor has threatened, er, suggested that he will do a TCS column on why he is not a libertarian. I certainly hope he does. I recently became involved in a discussion with libertarians - a very brief thread that I mentioned in an earlier post. It really made me think - to which I am very greatful to the owner of the blog. As I read the responses to my comments, I realized what a different way of thinking I was approaching. The two main political parties examine different ways to run government - conservative, liberal, fiscally conservative, fiscally liberal, socially conservative, socially liberal, etc. Neither has any intention of doing away with the government or turning it into a policing agency only. Both value the use of government, just in different ways. I am very curious, as John Ray pointed out, to hear about the different forms of libertarianism. I hold with the fact that in its conception, it is an interesting and hopeful form of social management. As I mentioned in my comments during the discussion with above-mentioned libertarians, if we could start society over, teach strict personal responsibility and follow an "Old West" style of justice, I rather like the concept of no government or extremely limited government. But as we stand now, it is a hopeless fight. Too many are irresponsible, shirk their consequences, and believe that others should pay for the injustices in life. We are a generation of dependents, and we depend on our government to govern the stupidity of the masses. One of the libertarian posters on the discussion said he rejected government as a form of organized violence....in its way, yes, as we do govern by force. We are a species that has always been dominated and survived by violence, and that will not change, peaceniks running naked and protesting, or no. So organized violence, in my mind, would be preferable to disorganized violence. Due to our sense of fairness and justice, we have to have standardized punishments and reactions to social tomfoolery and more serious breaches of human rights. That has been the struggle of every society, every civilization - to standardize and maintain law. And in theory, the United States has come up with a pretty good method - flawed and abused as it may be. Nonetheless, I will be curious to learn more about the libertarian view, as I may have a very distorted and inaccurate impression, thus far. If anyone has anything they would like to write me on on this subject, and if it is educational, please send it to me. I may post it, as this is a topic that is fascinating to me.