Sunday, April 18, 2010

Government- to keep us safe. Or not.

Government- to keep us safe. Or not.

I really do enjoy the Stossel show. Not that I always agree with him, but he is still a breath of fresh air compared to most things I see on television. He makes me examine my principles.
One thing which he mentions on many of his shows sticks out as particularly silly, though. John Stossel wants government to "keep us safe". From what, exactly? And, how?

I want my microwave oven to change glass cookware into gold, too, but it just isn't possible. It isn't within the realm of reality, no matter how much I wish it were.

That statement about government "keeping us safe" is easily the most inconsistent thing I hear Mr. Stossel say. It is how he keeps himself from sounding like an anarchist like me. It is the anchor he grasps to keep himself from being completely consistent in his libertarianism. He is not the only person I have heard make a similar statement, either. When I run into statements like this a few times from varied sources I tend to stop to consider them and see where that consideration leads.

Now, while consistency doesn't guarantee you are right, inconsistency does guarantee you are wrong about something, somewhere.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not believe government can keep me safe, since I know the most credible threat to my life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness (or if you prefer the original wording- "life, liberty, and property") is government. Yet, even if I believed it possible for government to "keep me safe" I would not want government to do that. My "safety" is not worth violating the rights of others to "ensure", and I realize that violating the rights of other people, in the long run, makes me less safe anyway. My safety does not depend on stealing money from others in order to finance government programs or agencies. My safety does not depend on criminalizing the voluntary, consensual behavior of self-responsible people around me. Those who are not self-responsible are outside the realm of government control anyway, and are best dealt with however you need to when they reveal themselves. If I am attacked I am capable of protecting myself without stealing or violating anyone's rights. Government is absolutely incapable of that.

Am I more safe because government tries to illegally regulate firearms and self defense? No.

Am I more safe because government invades other countries and creates a new generation of people who hate the US government (and mistake Americans for that government) so much that they willingly die in order to kill a few Americans? Hardly!

Am I safer because the government enforces a national border, kills people over plants, chemicals, money, seat belts, sex, and a multitude of other things? No. I am measurably less safe because of the existence of that government.

So, John, what are you thinking when you claim you want government to keep us safe? Are you doing this out of fear of being thought "unreasonable"? Or have you really not given the matter enough thought to realize you are dreaming the impossible dream?

Here's a bit of shiny good news. Yet, this dead monster's illegitimate offspring continues to be misused in Albuquerque when an unarmed man on the old courthouse roof "required" an eleven hour SWAT team response. This puts the lie to the "justification" for these militarized anti-liberty forces. So, do you "feel safer"?