The Toronto Star’s coverage of Chester Brown’s election bid: Campaigning artists enliven election
A serious and successful graphic novelist, who has garnered international reviews and won countless awards, Brown is about to become a seriously unsuccessful politician. He’s running for the Libertarian Party in Trinity-Spadina, a fringe party in an artsy riding dominated by the NDP and Liberals.
Contact info for Chester is here – call and tell him you’re going to support him and that you’re going to work for freedom in this country.
I’ve read Louis Riel and it’s excellent.
September 27th, 2008
Comments for Libertarian Graphic Novelist Chester Brown
I have a question about the Canadian libertarian party – i would consider myself a libertarian, but i do feel that children need special protection, especially as society changed from a more nanny state to a freer one. I do not believe in the innate goodness of man, but i do think that if the government didn’t take 50% of everything, people would be more generous with each other (as evidenced by their behaviour during Katrina, the tsunami etc)
What special protections would be in place for children in the event of a Libertarian Canada?
Libertarians believe in the protection of rights. What I would say about that is that the justice system we have in a non-libertarian Canada works very poorly.
What we need instead are people taking responsibility for their lives and laws and the justice system being responsive and accountable to the people who need it to work. For us to build a society like that requires everyone to believe in that instead of looking up to institutions and authorities to solve problems for them. People need to get away from dependency on the the State and start taking responsibility for themselves and their neighbours voluntarily in terms of looking out for the rights of those who are least able to defend themselves.
There needs to be a better more responsive justice system. That’s how I would put it. The LPC principles are listed here: http://www.libertarian.ca/english/libertarian-party-canada.html and you may want to read over them to see how they might apply to your question.
I assume you’re talking about child abuse or crimes committed against children. But you may be talking about other things. Libertarians tend to believe like classical liberals that parents are the custodians of children and have the responsibility for looking after their children and that children need guardians until some point where they are capable of making decisions on their own and being responsible. At least that’s my view.
For other people using the State as a tool of intervention in peoples’ lives, to use children as a reason for doing this because of arbitrary numbers about how poor the families are or requiring them to take certain vaccinations, or requiring them to follow a certain program of education, then actions like this are very dangerous to the general liberty. The State is not a legitimate guardian or replacement for parents. I think this is what has been going on and it’s getting worse. It ends up in regulating smoking in cars for example. Children are used as an excuse to control behavior. And they are also used in threatening ways because they can be taken away based on the parents’ behavior conforming to some arbitrary standard rather than on whether there are criminal acts towards the child and due process and a proper trial. How bad this gets depends on the attitude of Canadians. I think many people are still resistant to interference like this in Canada but on the other hand they take the child care subsidies. And in the U.S. and Britain at least, the trends are bad and probably are going to be copied here even more. Parents are either responsible for their childrens’ general well-being or they are not. Some parents are in a better position in one way or another so there is always inequality and relative disadvantages because of jobs and education(but there should be equality under the law) – but even disadvantaged people can enjoy freedom and the opportunities and dignity that freedom brings. If an institution is allowed to take that freedom away, then they really have nothing at all.
Sometimes other family members need to step in or charitable groups to help out, but the state should not be empowered to regiment peoples’ lives. Libertarians believe that we need laws and courts to respond to criminal acts directed at them.
In a libertarian society, people have the right of self-defence and the right to defend others from criminal harm.
I’m not interested in giving anyone easy answers. Libertarian principles of liberty and justice, personal and property rights, need to be applied to the society and the only people going to do that are the members of that society. This is an educational process for people. They need to take back power over their lives, away from impersonal institutions that force them to pay for services, welfare, subsidies (whether to rich or poor) or force them to conform to dictates. That’s not liberty.
I hope this answer is helpful.
I meant to give an example: