Sunday, January 3, 2016

#Thisisme: Civil Libertarian

Lot's of people call themselves civil libertarians, especially progressives, but my commitment to the ideals is a huge part of what defines my motivations and personality.


I'm Devyn, and I hate rules. I hate being told what to do and being subsumed by illogical authority structures. I believe in individuality, autonomy, and free exchange of ideas. Emphatically, I am anti-censorship; critical consumption is always better than censorship. In a perfect world, the state should interfere with personal liberty as little as possible.

Civil libertarians only agree on the rules of engagement. Written civil rights are public statements that entrench the rudiments of pluralism into law. I'm in no way an economic libertarian; I think arguments that state non-interference should extend to your holdings is just a convenient thing for rich people to say...


Fundamentally, we're doing politics wrong. Politics are circular, not linear. There is no "ultimate good" we can pursue in a "progressive" direction. Politics is (just) a project of consensus. Activists and academics need to ask "What is justice? What is the ideal citizen/state relationship?" Rather than "what's next?'

State surveillance and state-endorsed religion pose serious civil rights issues, but I'm particularly attuned to feminist scholarship. My civil libertarianism includes freedom for persons of all gender identities and expressions without structurally favoring cis men and women explicitly. While state religion is often decried, state endorsed binary models of gender are imposed with out much scrutiny.

Universal design theorists influenced my personal answers to what an ideal citizen/state relationship might look like. Universal design prescribes barrier-free access to spaces and processes. Universally designed spaces and programs are accountable for the social relations they (re)create. If civil rights are enacted by public duties, then where equality is legislated, there is a public duty to design universally.

If I could just get all of the world to agree with me on this, that'd be great....

#Thisisme: civil libertarian.


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