The Libertarian Center for Tolerance [LCT] is a think tank based in New York City. It was founded in 2014 by libertarian activist Alex Merced. The mission of LCT is to develop a libertarian message of tolerance, equality, and social justice. The LCT team produces articles and speaks on these topics to help promote the mission of the center.
CONTACT LCT – info at Libertarian101.com
The Belief in Tolerance
Tolerance is the willingness to allow variation and diversity beyond what you personally deem “good” or “right.” LCT believes that it is a worthwhile effort to promote tolerance of individual choices. Tolerance of the choices of others in their social and economic lives allows there to be diversity and variation within society. This diversity makes it possible to discover new, and possibly better, social and economic arrangements; allows economies of scale to develop, which opens up new possibilities; and allows people the opportunity to pursue happiness on their own terms without undermining the choices of others.
The Understanding of Economic Equality
Recent studies have shown that there is a correlation between economic equality and economic mobility. This begs the question of whether more equality enhances mobility or if more mobility enhances equality. Progressive commentators often look at equality of outcomes as a key goal and mobility as an unnecessary aspect of the economy. This results in a view that force, often enacted through government, must be used to redistribute wealth. LCT believes that an individual’s ability to make choices and to compete for income creates a fairer distribution of income. Essentially, enhancing mobility will result in more equality. Income mobility often has three main channels of transmission: Investment, entrepreneurship, and acquisition of skills and knowledge. LCT concerns itself with the ways that policy and other institutions have limited these channels of mobility, reducing both the upward mobility of those at the bottom and the downward mobility of the upper classes.
Social Justice for Individuals
LCT concerns itself in the battleground of social injustice. The injustice that LCT is most concerned with breaking down is the judgement of individuals by arbitrary factors such as race, gender, and sexuality. In their place we aim to promote knowledge, character, and integrity as the means by which we judge individuals. While LCT does believe that the history of intolerance should be understood, especially in regard to understanding the evolution of economic and social institutions, it does not think the way forward is by institutionalizing the categorization of individuals. Instead, the law should treat individuals as individuals and discretion should be left to judges to weigh the unique motivations and circumstances of crimes. LCT also desires to combat all institutions, such as the war on drugs and other prohibitions, that are born out of intolerance.
The Means Used to Enact Change Matter
The way problems are solved today sets a tone for how problems will be solved tomorrow. Along with setting precedents, the tools and methods by which we solve problems carry an opportunity to instruct. When problems are solved by convincing individuals to voluntarily adopt better norms and values, a process of education and introspection must occur. This often results in debate that improves societal knowledge. Meanwhile, when people are forced, via institutions such as government (although not exclusively government), to make choices regarding their lives and property, the vital step of education is bypassed. This weakens, and sometimes reverses, society’s progress.
– Compelling an individual, by force or coercion, to act.
– Confiscation of legally obtained property
– Limiting of choices available to individuals