RGTyler: Why I’m an Austrian.

For the last couple of weeks I have been banging on about the same topics over and over again. And frankly I’m quite bored of writing about Syria so I decided I would write about something else. I thought I might take some time to blog about how I actually came to have the Libertarian beliefs that I have today.

Originally I admit that I was a bit of a neo-con. Somewhere between Attila the Hun and Peter Bone. I was opposed to Equal Marriage, believed that we should re-nationalise all of Britains key industries and infrastructure. Believed that we had the moral authority to intervene in the middle East and worst of all I believed in the death penalty. Sounds pretty dire doesn’t it.

Well all of that changed over time. First was my views on war. In 2009 my family went on holiday to Sri Lanka, only a few months after the end of the civil war. The military seemed to have a dictatorial presence on the streets and in deed in the airport. Its not every country you go to that greets you with Air Force troops carrying Uzi sub-machine guns the second you step of the plane. The fact that the police and the army were practically one worried me a bit. Every street corner had men with AK47s. Every road had checkpoints with random searches. I had read news stories whilst in the UK about the internment camps in the North of the Country in which Tamils were being held indefinitely and had read about the use of Chemical weapons on those people.

On that same trip we went to an orphanage in the center of the country which looked after orphans from broken families and of the war itself. It was that trip that permanently turned me off the idea of anything to do with the military. I came back to the UK finding myself questioning the use of violence as a means of solving disputes.

My views on foreign affairs had changed forever there but I was still sure that my ideas on economics and social policy were right. At least that was until a prep school friend of mine, who had gone to Eton on a King Scholarship, posted on his Facebook account that he was now an ‘Objectivist’. Naturally I was curious so I messaged him asking what this strange sounding ideology was. He explained and my curiosity peaked. I began to Google Objectivism and the more I read the more I agreed.

The ideas that individuals drove themselves forward and that they should keep what they earned and help only themselves first appealed to me. I then began to look beyond just objectivism and Ayn Rand and discovered this strange ideology called Libertarianism and began to read what it was all about. I discovered that many British politicians and journalists subscribed to these ideas. I started reading Dan Hannan’s articles on the Telegraph religiously every day and found out that Bogpapers own James Delingpole, whose oldest incidentally went to the same school as me for a while, was also a Libertarian.

By 2011 I began questioning the last of my Neo-Con beliefs about economics and came of the conclusion gold standards and privatisation was the way to go. I started to believe that people have the right to decide for themselves what they do and that the state has no right to say who can and cannot be married, or what drugs they take. I came to these conclusions just in time for the US GOP primaries. Unfortunately I hadn’t heard of Ron Paul and so I was endorsing Governor Jon Huntsman who I believed to be a fairly sound candidate and I was quite disheartened when he ended his campaign. For a while I ended up endorsing Mitt Romney in till someone pointed me in the direction of Ron Paul. However by that point it was too late and Mitt Romney was already ahead.

Anyway after the election had finished I started to read more economics books and books on social libertarianism. I read Douglas Carswell’s ‘the End of Politics’, and got it signed when he came to speak at college! I read Dan Hannan and Douglas Carswell’s ‘The Plan’. I read Freidman, Hayek and Ron Pauls books as well as a collection of other books by other economists, journalists and politicians.

And that takes us pretty much up to date. And that is the story of why I am the Austrian that I am. No doubt some of our readers also have similar stories. If you want to share your story then leave a comment below and I may take a selection of them to put into a special blog post next week. And as always feel free to follow me on Twitter @RGTyler for other blogs and updates.

One comment on “RGTyler: Why I’m an Austrian.

  1. VoluntaristView
    September 6, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    I have somewhat similar story. The difference was that I didn’t have any previous political philosophy. I did find out some things about our economic system (and other subjects), but I was still pretty clueless.

    It was around Ron Paul’s 2012 campaing, that I began to understand. Many of his ideas were new to me, but they just somehow made sense and I knew they were true. Later I found the Mises website. When that happened, I was astonished how many of the people I “followed” were austrians. Then I instantly knew, that I was at the source of information! 🙂

    Since that day, I have been trying to obtain as much information as possible and I have had many eye-opening experiences.

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