Why I am a cultural libertarian

I believe in the freedom of speech. I believe in total artistic and intellectual freedom. I neither identify with the left or right as they both try to control aspects of our lives. I am cultural libertarian.

Classic libertarians believe that people can do whatever they want until it infringes on the rights of others. They also oppose ideas of “big government” and call for the government to be present in three branches: military, police force and the judicial system. They also believe in laissez-faire capitalism which is basically the separation of economy and state where the government does not get involved in companies.

Definition of a Libertarian - Creative commons License
Definition of a Libertarian – Creative commons License

A new rising group known as cultural libertarians stress the importance of free expression in a time where if you make a statement that offends someone in the slightest they will freak out and label you as a racist, misogynist, etc.

I believe in Cultural Libertarianism because the second coming of political correctness in campus safe space movements have a huge impact on people in my age group who are going to be in college in a few years, I don’t want to be silenced of my opinions that are backed up by facts just because someone is going to be offended. Cultural Libertarians also oppose the online vigilantism of “Social Justice Warriors”  who constantly call out people because things hurt their feelings or offend them.

Not all censorship is done by the government, but the actions of these “Social Justice Warriors” and other groups end up swaying the opinions of the government. So in the end, as Lauren Southern – a member of the Libertarian Party of Canada – said, “When politicians speak out against the freedom of speech of individuals, pander to the loudest most offended group, an authoritarian culture will become an authoritarian government.”

Author: Kai Suherwan

Kai Suherwan is a Junior and his second year writing for The Eye. He is seen as the Republican/Conservative writer in The Eye and has been at SAS since 7th grade. He is heavily involved in Republican politics, enjoys discussing current events and hopes to work in the field foreign affairs one day. He can be contacted at: Suherwan45031@sas.edu.sg

7 thoughts

  1. Cultural libertarianism is just code for moral relativism. It is a way of protecting oppressive ideas like racism and misogyny––which are dominant in today’s society––from those fighting for social emancipation. Is racism wrong? Yes. Is sexism wrong? Yes. So why tolerate ideas that are exclusive and intolerant? If you want freedom, fight against that which denies it––not for it.

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    1. Well Cultural Libertarianism’s main job is not to defend Racism/Sexism I think that its main job is to allow many different view points and cause debate between these view points. In a Cultural Libertarian society there will be those who oppose the sexist/racist ideas and also Libertarians and Cultural Libertarians believe in freedom of the people in all aspect until it infringes or denies rights to others. So if those sexist/racist ideas infringe rights on others, Libertarians will oppose them

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  2. That’s not true. You’re not opposing them. You said it yourself, “[Cultural libertarians] call for the government to be present in three branches: military, police force and the judicial system.” All three of these branches play racist and sexist roles in society. Look at the police violence against Black people in America. Look at the radicalized system of mass-incarceration. Look at the ease with which the military kills innocent human beings. Is it more important to defend a vaguely defined notion of free speech or oppose ideas and structures like these?

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    1. Firstly, I wasn’t talking about cultural libertarians, I was talking about classic, or original libertarians. Libertarianism has different sub sections such as anarco capitalism which is a very extreme example of libertarianism. What I take form you saying, “All three of these branches play racist and sexist roles in society. Look at the police violence against Black people in America. Look at the radicalized system of mass-incarceration. Look at the ease with which the military kills innocent human beings.” In my opinion these sections of the government need to exist because they need to ensure the safety of the people, yes I do agree that we need to change things like police violence against Black people and everyone else, yes the prison system needs to reform and the military needs to be cautious to limit the amount of civilian casulaties. Just because I’m a Libertarian doesn’t mean I fully support these sections of government I just think that they need to exist but change in the way they do things

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  3. Right. But you still haven’t answered my question: Is it more important to defend a vaguely defined notion of free speech or oppose ideas and structures like these? The point of your article rested almost entirely on the notion that free speech was under attack. Moreover, the people you point to as a reason for this attack––Social Justice Warriors––are those trying to challenge race and gender oppression.

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    1. It is an inalienable right of all human beings to say whatever they want to say no matter if it is “oppressive” to some people or not. I’m not arguing that the people should be protected from the consequences of their actions, rather that we as free thinking human beings should be cautious of notions that discourage free speech.

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