What I and all Libertarians want, and what you, dear reader Libertarian or Socialist, want is simply this:
We wish for every human being on earth to live a long, happy, healthy, and wealthy life in freedom.
Where we differ is method: Democrats and Republicans think that socialism or interventionism will result in our shared goal. Libertarians think that allowing people to be free will result in our shared goal–that all human beings on earth live a long, happy, healthy, and wealthy life in freedom.
Political conversation does not usually feature these virtues. Martin aspires to these conversational virtues:
- We listen to a speaker in spite of our prior judgment that there is something wrong with his or her ideas.
- Not only do we allow him or her to speak, we invite him or her to speak.
- We assume our speaker is well-intentioned and that he or she means us no harm, in fact, we assume, that he or she is trying to educate us for our own good.
- We listen carefully.
- We try to understand that precise meaning of the terms he or she is using, both denotation and connotation.
- We are prepared to make fine distinctions and carefully classify a variety of ideas into separate appropriate categories. Another way to say this same thing, perhaps, is that we are nuanced or subtle thinkers and listeners.
- We try not to get mad.
- We suspend disbelief, pending full understanding.
- We try to understand the speaker’s material in the broader cultural or philosophical context. For example, is the speaker alluding to another set of ideas or theories with which we are familiar?
- We are open to the possibility of conversion, in other words we have courage. We accept the possibility that our opinions, prior to listening, might change in the course of listening.
- We are trying to listen with good will. Maybe this sentence sums up thinking philosophically.