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New kids on the block

Zach Finterz and Mark Poyar | Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Observer has graciously decided to allow two intelligent, charming and ridiculously good-looking men (Don’t believe us? Check out our facebook profile.) To write a bi-weekly column for the Viewpoint. In addition to the seminal columns written by Gary Caruso, Joey Falco and Liz Coffey, among others, you will find a new one authored by yours truly, Mark Poyar and Zach Einterz. Since we are a new column this semester, we thought it would be prudent to begin by introducing ourselves and our ideas.

First, let us explain the title of our column, “Bulletproof Ideas.” Our inspiration for this title comes from the movie “V for Vendetta.” (If you have seen this movie and thought it was a good movie, possibly the best movie ever, we congratulate you. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should rent it as soon as possible.) In one of the closing scenes, the anti-authoritarian hero V becomes riddled with bullets from his assailants, including Mr. Creedy, and the following dialogue ensues:

Creedy: Die! Die! Why won’t you die? … Why won’t you die?

V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.

Of course, we did not choose this title because we believe that our ideas are bulletproof, or that our arguments are invincible, although that may be the case. We chose this title because we believe that social change has to come from ideas. Progress doesn’t come from forceful coercion; it comes from persuasion by logic and reasoning. Unlike a Britney Spears marriage, or a dining hall meal that slides through your gut by the time you make it back to your dorm, good ideas can last forever. Our goal here is to give you some new ideas.

We are both members of the College Libertarians, and as such, our columns will generally be written from a libertarian viewpoint. What do we mean by libertarian? Simply put, libertarians believe in the freedom of the individual. We believe that each individual has an inalienable right to life, liberty, property and self-government. We believe that the only moral function of government is to protect these inalienable rights and that government used for any other mean constitutes an immoral use of force. Each person should have the right to choose what is best for himself/herself, so long as his/her actions do not interfere with the rights of others. We also believe that the United States Constitution, as the founding document of our great Republic, should be regarded as relevant and not brushed aside to suit the political whims of a particular interest group. For a very general idea of the libertarian stance on political issues, libertarians usually oppose war, interventionism, taxes, gun control and censorship, while supporting free markets, immigration and civil liberties.

This is a very brief and broad overview of libertarianism, and we promise to elaborate in our future columns. Hopefully, by reading our columns you will be given a different look at the world. You won’t only see the world as red and blue, Republican and Democrat, or conservative and liberal. We don’t expect you to agree with everything we write – in fact you probably won’t – but at least you will have been given a new perspective on the world around you. We hope to make this a conversation of ideas, not a monologue, so please write back when you disagree with us.

Finally, if you find that you agree with a lot of what we have to say, don’t be apathetic! Come out as a libertarian! Are you disillusioned and disenfranchised by the current state of politics? Did you have horrible memories of putting your dog down as a child because he/she/it broke zoning ordinances? Do you like “South Park” and Clint Eastwood? If you said yes to any of the preceding questions, then you may already be a libertarian! Libertarians encompass a wide range of peoples. We include everything from anarcho-capitalists, environmentalists, and potheads to fundamentalist Christians and atheists. The only thing necessary to become a libertarian is a commitment to liberty. For more information on the College Libertarians of Notre Dame, visit our website at www.nd.edu/~liberty. Otherwise, stay tuned for our articles, words of wisdom and rants. We’ll be back again in two weeks. Look for us above that ever-present letter from grad student Dan Hicks.

Zach Einterz is a junior majoring in economics and environmental sciences. He has turned to politics after giving up on an unsuccessful sports career. Contact Zach at [email protected]

Mark Poyar is a junior Finance major and Vice President of the College Libertarians. Their website is http://ndlibertarians.blogspot.com. He is currently studying abroad in England and can be contacted at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.