Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

25 February 2010

Is Libertarianism Based on a Principle -- According to Merriam-Webster?

Having noted yesterday that the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary would not even attempt a definition of Progressivism, I thought I had best be sure that it offered reasonable definitions of Libertarianism and Libertarian.

The definition offered for Libertarian is (Webster's Third New International Dictionary, Unabridged. Merriam-Webster, 2002. (25 Feb. 2010).:

1 : an advocate of the doctrine of free will -- contrasted with necessitarian
2 : one who upholds the principles of liberty ;
specifically : one who upholds the principles of individual liberty of thought and action

The second definition is a reasonable brief statement of the basic principle for which a Libertarian stands in politics.  The kind of problem that stood in the way of the Progressives in defining themselves on the basis of principles does not exist for Libertarians!

It turns out that the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Libertarianism as

the theories or practices of a libertarian,

which is fine since it defined libertarian.  So, libertarianism is based on principles and a Libertarian is a man of principle, unlike a Progressive who has no definable principles according to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary!

Oh, it can be fun hoisting a Progressive (liberal, fascist, socialist) upon his own petard!

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