November 10, 2014 by Liberty
Libertarianism isn’t limited to politics. I’d argue it’s the exact opposite of politics. It’s valuing voluntary peaceful human interactions instead of violently enforced ones. Despite that, virtually all of the libertarian literature focuses on political and philosophical ideas without taking any time to apply them to everyday life.
Of course, I say that as a guilty party myself.
It can be very difficult to target libertarianism back to personal relationships. It can be downright painful. Despite that pain, it’s absolutely essential. If you don’t live by the belief you’re promoting then there is absolutely no reason you should be believed in politics or philosophy.
You can preach about how people shouldn’t support a violent government or a manipulative politician but it means nothing until you’re completely willing to follow the same principle in your personal life.
Are there people in your personal life that are violent or manipulative?
Of course there are. Unless you’ve gone through some major transformation and became a libertarian monk or something, you probably used to dealing with some people like that. If you don’t think you do and you’ve never consciously sought that then it may be time for you to look a little closer.
The vast majority of people try to ignore horrible things from people close to them, just so they don’t have to face it. People with an abusive parent will say they “were disciplined a little harshly” when they were a child. People with violent spouses will say, “but they love me so much.” People with manipulative friends say, “well… that’s just his personality.” These are all just excuses we give to bad people.
Libertarianism doesn’t thrive in some political arena. It thrives in the way people deal with people on a daily basis. It’s ridiculous to argue against people that stand idle while government is violent while you stand idle watching people close to you be violent.
The saddest part of this whole situation is that you actually have some direct control over your personal relationships. You don’t have direct control politically. You have to hope that the world agrees with you to have any chance of success. It’s like you’re praying for the wind to change directions instead of just adjusting your sails.
Unsigned And Undesired Contracts
One of the most challenging parts of ending relationships with genuinely bad people is this belief that we’re somehow obligated to be there for them. In just about every case, that’s not true.
With parents, children often feel obligated to take care of their parents. Even if a parent was a miserable parent, the child still can feel this ridiculous obligation. In reality though, nothing is owed. The child never agreed to be raised by these people. It was not an agreement. Quite frankly, that child would almost always have selected a different set of parents given the choice. Just because a parent forces a child to be born into a crappy home, the child isn’t forced to return the so called favor.
In romantic relationships, you can get caught up thinking that you have a responsibility not to hurt a partner by breaking up with them. That just adds onto the fact that you’ll be giving up the personal benefits of the relationship. Sometimes these relationships even have contracts between them. Legally, of course, they’re all signed with an out clause.
Every bad relationship you have in your life will end up having these kind of excuses to continue despite their negative impact on your life.
On the surface, it can feel selfish to end these relationships but it’s usually the opposite. You’re choosing to drag this person deeper into a relationship that you’re not completely committed to. That’s just going to be more painful in the long run.
When you know that you’re not getting anything positive from a relationship anymore but you continue to give to it, you’re just setting up the other person for more pain. Even if you stay with them the rest of their life, they’re constantly going to be losing other people close to them because of the same issues you refuse to hold them accountable for. By being honest about how you feel, you give them one more chance to change.
In The Real World
Unfortunately, the world is filled with bad people. Unless you’re willing to flip your life upside down, you’re not going to be able to eliminate every bad person from your life but don’t underestimate your own control over the situation.
First of all, you have the ability to understand why you’re in a relationship with someone. Most people spend there lives lying to themselves about the things that get them feeling down.
If they hate their parents then they just keep on telling themselves that they’re obligated to take care of them, and, of course, the parents are sometimes alright to be around. If those people really thought their parents were alright then they wouldn’t need to discuss an obligation to help them in the first place. It would be something they would take pleasure from.
Once you start becoming honest about your relationships you can actually try and improve them. Nothing will improve until you admit that it’s wrong.
Sometimes relationships will be pushed onto you through a career. Sure, you may hate dealing with your boss buuttt… a man’s gotta eat? Right?
Of course, by now you know that’s bull. Unless you’re in too crappy of a position to be reading this article, you’re not going to starve to death if you quit your job. Hell, there are people that can get their mouth watering at the thought of a grocery store dumpster. Don’t pretend you’re life is too fragile to take risks.
It’s always a choice.
You don’t even need it to be a permanent choice. If you think you might be happier without a relationship then just get yourself away from it for a while. Whenever you feel that obligation to call them don’t follow through. If a few weeks from that date you get the urge to call them for pleasure and not out of guilt then call them.
Of course, continuing to deal with bad people on a regular basis says a whole lot about who you are and what you value. If you want to deal with bad people then you obviously don’t value non-aggressive relationships much. That also means you’re a bit insane to still preach it in a political context.
It’s always a choice. You just need to consider the consequences.
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