As a libertarian, are you more of a conservative libertarian, a centrist Libertarian, a bleeding heart Libertarian, or somewhere in between two of the three given choices?

…as answered on Quora….

I am closest to a centrist, but with a caveat: I regard liberty itself as a moderating principle, as “centrist,” and always have. Liberty is the middle ground between you killing me and me killing you; you enslaving me and me enslaving you; you stealing from me and me stealing from you.

Liberty is an ideal compromise.

But since we live in an unfree, illiberal world, compromises with the existing order are inevitable but not easy. Still, most of us pay our taxes, and I am not advocating a tax rebellion. We muddle through all this, and I am open to alternative notions of reform, acceptance, resistance, and rebellion. Libertarians should be able to argue about this sort of thing. Rationally.

I am not much tempted by either the left or the right, though I respect the good intentions of both movements while rejecting the vices of both. That being said, the silly, witless “bleeding heart” metaphor is not for me, and though I am not a conservative, I have gotten rather tired of typical lefty attitudes on a whole bunch of issues, so I often sound more conservative now than I used to: I don’t think “slut-shaming” is a moral horror, I am not into “trans acceptance,” and I think immigration is a bigger challenge to beltway bleeding-heart-ism than most of my friends do. Further, I do not think that racism and sexism are any more inimical to liberty than older-style vices like greed and pride. Bleeding Heart Libertarians — who think that liberty should promote “social justice” and oppose icky “reactionaries” — don’t like this take.

I just think people should treat each other with respectful reciprocity, granting each other their baseline freedoms while holding each other responsible for their actions. But if most of us ignore most others, and fall short of the rigors of Universal Love and Full Dignity, I think that is OK. Similarly, as useful as religions are for in-group cohesion, all of them are wrong and I can accept none of them, which makes me a non-conservative, I think. My commitment is to philosophy, not tradition or religion, no matter how useful they may be for the masses.

“As a libertarian,” I think we should emphasize liberty, not these other standards, like Tradition or Social Justice. Liberty should adjudicate between the competing claims of these other paradigms.