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Reservations About Gay Marriage?

April 23rd, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 16 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I have some reservations on the issue of gay marriage. As a logician, I rely on well-defined terms to solve problems. While I do support civil unions, marriage has always been such a term (i.e., well-defined) historically. By making the definition [...]

What is the Libertarian Alternative to Zoning?

March 31st, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 13 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I am a homeowner in a low-income neighborhood. I work hard to keep my property up, and my yard is beautiful. I am enraged by people who leave tires and garbage cans in front of their houses, don’t cut the grass, [...]

What is the Difference Between Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and Libertarianism?

March 16th, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 11 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: What is the difference between Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and libertarianism? MY SHORT ANSWER: In my opinion, the differences are more cultural than real, in political matters. Both Objectivism and libertarianism are based on the non-aggression principle of honoring our neighbors’ choice (not [...]

Shouldn’t We All Vaccinate So We Don’t Endanger Others?

March 2nd, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 9 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: Shouldn’t we all vaccinate so we don’t endanger others? MY SHORT ANSWER: My recent column “Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?” made a civil liberties argument for the right of people to make personal medical decisions like vaccination for themselves. Several readers expressed concern. [...]

Should Vaccines Be Mandatory?

February 13th, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 7 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: Should vaccines be mandatory? MY SHORT ANSWER: With the new surge of measles cases, many people are calling for mandatory (forced) vaccination. At first glance, their arguments seem reasonable. Measles can kill and the vaccine is reportedly about 95% effective. Side effects [...]

Won’t Big Businesses Abuse Their Power in a Free Market?

February 1st, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 5 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: Won’t big businesses abuse their power in a free market? What if the only choices you have are bad businesses? For example, what if such companies grew so big that they could control the entire market? MY SHORT ANSWER: In today’s society, [...]

Two Questions on Blackmail

January 18th, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 3 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I am concerned about the problem of blackmail. Some libertarians, as you recently discussed, consider blackmail simply an economic interaction involving the exchange of information that, however distasteful, does not involve direct use of force against others, and therefore should be [...]

Kids and Dangerous Houses: Should the Government Step In?

January 4th, 2015 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 20, No. 1 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I favor liberty and minimal government intrusion. But I’m wrestling with the issue of protection of children within the home. I’m struggling a little to find a happy medium between a total “hands off” approach that would balance my rights, as homeowner, [...]

Children, Parents, and Obligations

December 8th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 24 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) Question: In his book The Ethics of Liberty, libertarian economist Murray Rothbard says: “A parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also … should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since [...]

Won’t Big Businesses Abuse Their Power in a Free Market?

November 17th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 21 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: If you free big businesses from government regulations, how do you keep these same businesses from becoming an aristocracy and turning America into a feudal state? MY SHORT ANSWER: In a libertarian society, you, the consumer, control businesses by voting to buy [...]

What is the non-aggression principle?

October 31st, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 19 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: What is the libertarian non-aggression principle? MY SHORT ANSWER: Libertarianism is based on a single ideal, the non-aggression principle. Libertarians oppose the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals. They reject “first-strike” force, fraud or theft against others; they only use [...]

Should There Be Restrictions on the Supply of Antibiotics?

October 12th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 17 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) Question: Should there be any restrictions on the supply of antibiotics? Do you believe that overuse and misuse of antibiotics accelerates the development of resistance to antibiotics in pathogens? My short answer: If by “restrictions,” you mean voluntary ones by medical professionals, I [...]

Would Blackmail be Legal in a Libertarian Society?

September 30th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 16 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) Question: How would a libertarian society deal with blackmail? Thinking of the blackmailer as a gossip offering the service of his silence for a fee, I cannot find any reason why it should be illegal in a libertarian society. Both parties receive [...]

Libertarianism and Racial Discrimination

September 12th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 15 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: Do libertarians support laws prohibiting racial discrimination by businesses? MY SHORT ANSWER: In a libertarian society, businesses could refuse service to individuals for any reason. However, they would be punished for racial discrimination by losing the profit they otherwise would have made. [...]

What 10 Federal Laws, Agencies or Rulings Would You Abolish?

August 24th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 14 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: If you could repeal 10 federal laws, reverse 10 Supreme Court rulings or dismantle 10 federal agencies, which laws, rulings or agencies would you do away with? I guess what I’m looking for is the libertarian “hit list.” MY SHORT ANSWER: Each [...]

Is Spanking Your Child a Form of Aggression?

August 12th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 13 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: It seems to me that spanking your child is a form of aggression. Would libertarians agree? MY SHORT ANSWER: Many do, but some do not. I personally see spanking as an utter last resort, only suitable for situations where the child might [...]

National Service: Should Young Americans Be Forced To Serve the Government?

July 26th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 12 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I believe we shouldn’t be forced to participate in some kind of national service. However, some of my friends say we owe some duty to our country for being born here and living here. What about a citizen’s duty to country? [...]

Ayn Rand and American Indians

July 18th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 11 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: How do libertarians feel about this Ayn Rand statement: “[The Native Americans] didn’t have any rights to the land and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using… [W]hat was [...]

Who’s to Blame for Dangerous Prescription Drugs: The FDA or Big Pharma?

July 7th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 10 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: The pharmaceutical company is sometimes caught pressuring the FDA to approve drugs with side effects and the FDA does so. Who is the prime mover of aggression here, the FDA or the pharmaceutical cartel? MY SHORT ANSWER: It’s the karmic circle. The American [...]

Who would make health decisions about children in a libertarian society: parents or medical professionals?

May 19th, 2014 (No Comments)

(From the Ask Dr. Ruwart section in Volume 19, No. 9 of the Liberator Online. Subscribe here!) QUESTION: I just read about Boston Children’s Hospital taking children away from their parents if they don’t agree to treat their children the way the doctors recommend. Would this happen in a libertarian society? MY SHORT ANSWER: In a libertarian society, a child’s guardians, normally the [...]

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