With the growing popularity of Ron Paul and his libertarian agenda some libertarian’s think that their basic concept of the supremacy of the individual over the needs of the commons is somehow taking hold in the wider electorate. During this time it’s important to remember that those subscribing to the libertarian philosophy are a small minority in this country and are so because most people believe in the concept of a greater good. And for good reason, as a philosophy libertarianism is spiritually bankrupt.
‘I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.‘ – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
The Buddha described the path of wisdom as ‘the middle path’ and taught about moderation in all aspects of life. Hinduism speaks of a middle path of salvation based on the principles of holistic growth in body, mind and spirit.
The Bible talks about temperate behavior between the things that are permissible and the things that are beneficial. Islam promotes ‘wasatiyyah’, the persuasion that the best of works are those done in moderation.
All of the world's great spiritual teachings are united on the idea of "the middle path" being the road to salvation. Our faiths emphasize the middle path in personal growth and social harmony; in the holistic growth of mind, body and spirit, in our conduct and in our dealings with one another.
‘Avoiding both these extremes, the Perfect One has realized the Middle Path; it gives vision, gives knowledge, and leads to calm, to insight, to enlightenment …‘ – Buddha
The middle path must become the way today in a world that is rapidly globalizing and a country that is rapidly diversifying - we simply have no other choice because the challenges of dealing with diversity will be most felt in all areas of our lives - in businesses, in education and in how we govern ourselves. To be successful policies that affect the nation as a whole must benefit the nation as a whole. Given this reality it goes without saying that any decision made must consider the diverse values and needs of those involved - and that is all of us. The good of the whole of must prevail over the desires of the individual.
In a changing nation where we can no longer overlook diversity we have to be wise enough to consider the needs of those of differing values, their needs and their hopes for themselves and their offspring. In today’s diverse society, unity in diversity is essential for the health of our nation.
In economics and politics justice demands policies that favor that which promotes the most common good. To solve the problems born from economic disparity it doesn’t take the extreme measures of nationalizing wealth or taking the wealth of one person to resolve the poverty of another. Instead it takes a moderate path that combines three elements: 1) the fostering of affirmative action that benefits the most people; 2) the fair redistribution of wealth; and 3) the shared value of working hard to increase the nation’s per capita income and building a modern infrastructure that benefits the country as a whole.
The goal must be the expansion of the economic and societal pie and inclusion of the most in the political process so that poverty can be alleviated without taking away the wealth of others. Selfishness and greed must be replaced with the concept that the larger the pie the healthier the society and that the more there is to share the more there is for each of us.
People have become disgusted with what the world has to offer and they are running away from it. Libertarianism in this reality is spiritually bankrupt. It offers none of the solutions required of a modern, diverse society that requires that all of us work together to benefit the most people to promote justice for all and increase the size of the pie that we all share.