Sunday, May 15, 2011

Solutions shouldn't limit liberties

Solutions shouldn't limit liberties (Originally published 4-14-2011. As written, not as published.)

I am not one to accept things on faith. I want solid evidence, if not concrete proof. However, there is one thing I, along with other libertarians, accept as an article of faith: I believe that any problem which can be solved, can best be solved in a way that bolsters and respects individual liberty. Yet, perhaps that isn't really faith, since all the evidence, along with my experiences and observations, leads me to the conclusion that this is a testable feature of reality.

For example: If "crime" can be solved, and it already has been when The State doesn't get in the way, the solution will be one that does not treat the innocent like a suspected criminal, and does not interfere with non-coercive acts between responsible individuals. It will also be a solution that recognizes, and never violates, the absolute human right to defend oneself with the best tools modern minds and materials have created. In other words, it will be a solution that raises the risk of being a bad guy back to proper levels.

If "drunk driving" can be solved, which I believe it can be, the best and most effective solution will be one that does not violate the absolute right of the individual to use any substance he or she wishes, and does not violate the basic human right to travel without interference. Perhaps the solution will be cars that drive themselves. Perhaps the solution will be something I can't even imagine yet. The solution will never be more "laws" and harsher enforcement which make getting from Point A to Point B a dangerous gauntlet of authority-drunk enforcers.

If environmental problems can be solved, which they can be, it will be a solution that respects private property rights completely. It will be a solution that calls for restitution from the despoiler paid directly to the damaged party, while leaving everyone else alone to use their own property however they see fit. It will be a solution that doesn't excuse environmental destruction by government agencies or by those who pay a government for the privilege of creating environmental destruction without further consequence.

Perhaps you believe my faith is groundless. Perhaps your faith in collective solutions seems more rational to you. I think the evidence shows clearly that collective "solutions", those based upon coercive external government, always fail. I'd like the opportunity to do large-scale experiments, using only those who consent, of course, to test the hypothesis. Are you in?

And, speaking of cars that drive themselves: link