Chris Spangle, founder of We Are Libertarians
(The following content was originally published on WeAreLibertarians.com)
We toss out the screaming heads, put people before political parties, and give context to the news to make you think.
– Chris Spangle
Principle #1 – First and foremost, we ask “What is best for liberty?”
There are many strains of libertarianism, but ours is best defined by David Boaz’s article titled “Key Concepts of Libertarianism.” Our philosophy is determined by these concepts:
- Individual Rights
- Spontaneous Order
- Limited Government
- Free Markets
- The Virtue of Production
- Natural Harmony of Interest
As a result, We Are Libertarians believes in capitalism, noninterventionism, and American constitutionalism. Libertarians often term this as minarchism.
Principle #2 – All contributions towards moving society in this direction are valued.
We are nonpartisan. Our founder Chris Spangle spent four years working for the Libertarian Party of Indiana and votes Libertarian the majority of the time. Many of our co-hosts are Republicans. Some are former Democrats. Some are anarcho-capitalists that do not believe in voting. The principles of libertarianism transcend the empty vessels of political parties. If a libertarian is making progress towards a more free society, we think that is worthwhile.
Principle #3 – The Golden Rule is the foundational principle of a libertarian society.
“Treating others as you’d like to be treated” is a profound and straightforward precept for life. Every human is worthy of dignity and respect. We reject any ideology or policy that depends on stripping an individual or group of their humanity for implementation. We are not libertarians because of greed or selfishness. We are libertarians because government policy often strips individuals of their dignity and fails to provide them with effective outcomes as detailed in our podcast The Cost: The Human Toll of Public Policy. We believe that the rules of good interpersonal relationships extend to the masses. While many libertarian outlets start with economics, we believe telling the human story is more relatable.
Principle #4 – Government exists, and politics will not cease in our lifetime.
Many libertarian outlets do a great job explaining the result of libertarian beliefs, but we are not one of them. We support these ideas and believe the world would be better if we existed in a purely libertarian society. The reality is that our times demand a counter-argument to the leviathan of the modern city-state. We believe in engaging in the debates of the day to insert a libertarian voice to move our current government in a libertarian direction. Utopian scenarios are always exciting for the libertarian mind, but usually, serve to drive libertarian-curious individuals away from our movement.
Principle #5 – We Are Libertarians will serve as an entry point into the libertarian movement.
Acting as the entry point for those interested in the libertarian philosophy is one happy outcome of focusing on current events. We do our best to teach individuals about the entirety of the libertarian movement without bias. While we favor certain individuals and outlets, we recognize that not every new person will have the same tastes. We don’t believe in shaming other libertarians for engaging in political activities that we do not personally find worthwhile.
Principle #6 – We believe in presenting all sides of an issue to let the listener/reader make up their own minds.
While we have a clear bias towards freedom and liberty, we want to present as many sides of an argument to let our listeners and readers make up their mind. We reject all forms of censorship. All voices must be heard to have a healthy society. The best way to neutralize dangerous ideas? Expose them to scrutiny. Propaganda and echo chambers have become pervasive in the social media era, and have caused the atrophy of critical thinking. We reject the idea that any idea is off limits for discussion.
Principle #7 – Achieving liberty is a never-ending fight and libertarians must invest in future generations.
Progressives in the early 20th century planned to spend 100 years advancing their political goals. Libertarians must show the safe preparation and coordination to begin moving us towards principles of self-government. Those looking for short-term success will be frustrated quickly.
Principle #8 – Every individual can make societal change.
The average individual has the power to influence modern politics with a post, a tweet, a discussion, a vote or through their voice. Every act is an extension of their values and must be used wisely.
Principle #9 – We embrace complexity and reject tribalism.
Our newer listeners and readers are always trying to determine our “tribe.” We reject the tribalism of modern politics and do not try to fit our content to curry favor with the biases of particular political movements. We are not right or left-libertarians. We believe that there are valuable ideas from all different ideologies within global politics. We do not engage in flat and simplistic thinking. We reject propagandist tactics. Humans are complex animals that deserve in-depth study and analysis.
Principle #10 – We treat modern politics with all the irreverence it deserves.
Political commentary is boring. We recognize the serious outcomes of politics while not taking it too seriously. We believe that humor is a useful tool to explain complex ideas. Our podcast reflects a kitchen-table conversation as opposed to experts sitting at a news desk.