As revised and approved in convention
February 25, 2012
Statement of Principles
As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty: a world in which all individuals control their own lives, and no one is forced to sacrifice his values for the benefit of others.
We believe that respect for individual rights is essential to a free and prosperous world for all people. We believe that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.
We believe that all humans have free will, and that an individual is the only competent judge of his own desires and values. Government must not limit an individual’s choices. Being free, individuals are responsible for the results of their choices.
We as Libertarians recognize that the price of freedom is the responsibility to provide for one’s own life. Government that seeks to protect individuals from the negative consequences of their own actions rewards self-destructive behavior.
We believe that The Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution is an excellent and relevant description of what we believe about individual freedom, limited government, and self-responsibility.
We defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest. We welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.
From these principles, we draw three political objectives that identify Libertarians as unique in the political landscape, and that can be applied to more specific policies and legislative goals as may benefit the citizens of Georgia.
As Libertarians, we work for a better future based on personal freedom. We, the members of the Libertarian Party of Georgia, defend the rights of the individual. We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole control over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
As Libertarians, we believe that human happiness is connected to personal freedom and responsibility for one’s choices. The protection of individual rights, and limitations upon the power of government, are essential to achieve personal freedom in a civilized society. It is our utmost desire to establish liberty as the central focus of political debate. All political power is derived from the consent of the governed. We believe that any government must recognize the sovereignty of the individual. The fundamental role of the government is to defend minorities and we recognize that an individual is the ultimate minority.
Libertarians recognize that the first step in achieving a better world is the understanding that our actions affect the lives of others. To change our world we must first examine ourselves. We believe that any attempt to control the lives of others, if even “for their own good,” has undesirable effects. Even when we disagree with our neighbors’ choices, any attempts to use government to limit those choices leaves each of us less free, and thus impoverished.
Personal freedom is the birthright of all Georgians. Libertarians believe that the vast majority of Georgians want to make an honest living and mind their own business. We affirm that no conflict exists between freedom, civil order and individual rights. The Libertarian Party of Georgia believes that every individual is responsible for their actions and we do not explicitly advocate or condone any activity our policies would legalize. Simply because an activity is unpopular does not mean that the law should be utilized to prevent it.
Our policy proposals will create a society where people are free to make, and learn from, their own decisions. Libertarians seek a limited government; not simply because freedom is our birthright, but because a limited government leaves people with the freedom and responsibility they need to become individuals and members of families and their community. We desire a Georgia where everyone is free.
As Libertarians, we work for a better future based on economic freedom. Since our government is instituted to protect individual rights, we oppose interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
A free and open marketplace allows abundant opportunities to achieve economic success without government interference. A free and competitive market allocates resources in the most efficient manner. The only role of government in the market is to protect property rights, adjudicate disputes and provide a legal framework for trade. Government has no role in choosing which businesses or industries should be favored or discouraged.
Free trade is essential to creating jobs in the United States. We support the removal of barriers to free trade. Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of people and investment across national borders.
The Limited Role of Government
As Libertarians, we work for a better future based on a limited role for government. Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the principle that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, the major political parties (other than our own) grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life – accordingly we oppose the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action — accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to limit the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property — accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
As Libertarians we believe the government derives its just power from the consent of its free citizens. As such the role of government is limited to protecting citizens from the initiation of force or fraud by others who would deprive us of our natural rights and individual freedoms. The influence of government was never intended to force lifestyles onto others, but more simply to protect the rights of individuals to their life, their liberty, their property, and their pursuit of all forms of free enterprise, without barriers or favoritism.
Government should act as a means for free people to reconcile grievances without criminalizing peaceful and private behavior or free thought. Government should promote equal justice before the law. The laws should be clear and limited to providing a system that enables fair compensation for harm done and never prey on those who are harmless to others. We believe that law enforcement is best pursued when harm is done and not merely when the potential for harm is anticipated.
Because government derives its just power from the consent of its free citizens, government must be accountable to the people and each individual. In an effort to create complete accountability, governance at all levels must remain transparent. Free people have an inalienable right to inquire about all government actions. Whereas individuals must be responsible for their own actions, likewise governing bodies must not be immune from responsibility themselves. A non-cumbersome means to seek restitution from government must be available.
With government acting within these guidelines, we believe that individual freedom will be preserved while granting people the ability to achieve their full potential as they themselves see fit.
We support five fundamental separations of state from personal and economic matters: separation of church and state, health and state, economy and state, education and state and science and state. These five separations are necessary to assure a rule of law that supports the personal and economic freedoms described above.
Our silence regarding any law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, regulatory agency, activity, or machination should not be construed to imply approval.