Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Not every problem needs a solution

Not every problem needs a solution

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 16, 2011)

Everyone knows there are problems in the world. There is theft. There is child abuse. There is poverty. And many more. The question becomes "How do you fix it?"

While it seems most people think a new law or tougher enforcement is the answer, libertarians see those "solutions" as only exacerbating the problems. We also see the current infatuation with statutory law as a reason that so many of the problems surrounding us now seem to have no effective solution.

Not every problem can be fixed, or even should be fixed. The biggest flaw in the "Serenity Prayer" is the line "...Courage to change the things I can..." because not everything that can be changed should be changed. Real wisdom accepts that.

Another fact of reality is that any solved problem creates new problems. The trick is to make sure the problems created by your solution are more minor- easier to solve or live with- than the problem you started with. If a solution seems likely to have consequences worse than the problem, it is best to do nothing until a better solution presents itself. Always be prepared to quickly reject your solution if its unintended consequences are worse than the original problem. Laws never fair well when judged against this benchmark.

A common statutory solution for crime is to ban self defense, or at least regulate it to the point that victims of an attack who fight back will then be at risk of being attacked by the legal system. This emboldens those who care nothing about right and wrong, much less laws, which creates unnecessary hardship and fear for the people who were not doing anything wrong to begin with.

The libertarian solution for crime is, first of all, to recognize that without a specific individual who was attacked or robbed there was no crime, and then remove the barriers to effective self defense, which includes defense of property. The benefit of a doubt must be given to the person who was just going about his business; not to the one who was looking for trouble.

The same goes for other problems. Most of them can be solved, but solutions that harm the innocent are not worth pursuing. You can't be generous and caring by giving away other people's money. You can't protect the innocent by legalizing the violation of eternal human rights.



Yes, I admit it. I enjoy coming up with hare-brained schemes. Most, maybe all, go nowhere. but they do bring me joy. And that is what life should have more of. And, someday, who knows. Maybe one of my ideas will bear fruit. In the meantime I'll keep thinking up more.


Paul or Obama petition

Here's the petition "Dedicated Dad" made for you to sign (and spread) to tell the Repubs what you're thinking: Ron Paul or Obama: Your Choice

Have fun with it.


Nominate Ron Paul- or else! (a bad idea?)

I don't believe in voting. Neither do I believe politics is an ethical way to get anything done. But, I wonder if or how a political threat might work. Yeah it probably violates the ZAP in that if voting is an initiation of force (which it seems it might be), then threatening to vote is advocating or delegating an initiation of force.

However, ignoring all that for a moment...

I wonder what would happen if liberty lovers, en masse, told Republicans in no uncertain terms that if they nominate anyone other than Ron Paul, we will all vote for Obama. Even if we have to register to vote to do it. Even if we otherwise would never even consider voting, period.

Think of it as putting a mortally injured, dying America out of its misery, if the offer of medicine* is refused.

Just a thought.

I may try this out on my "conservative" relatives. Or, I may post the "threat", without all this post's contemplation, and minus all the uncertainties, somewhere in this form:

Notice is hereby given to the Republican party and all Republican voters: You have a chance to do the right thing. You can nominate Ron Paul. If you nominate anyone other than Ron Paul, I will register to vote, and I will vote for Obama. I will encourage all of my liberty-loving friends, contacts, and acquaintances to do the same- even if they have not voted before or in many years. You will be throwing away your nomination by nominating anyone other than Ron Paul. Is that what you really want to do? It's your call.

Added: I just thought of a shorter way to phrase this threat: "Republicans- I will vote this time, for the first time in years. But, I will either vote for Ron Paul or I will vote for Obama. Your choice." And, no, I don't really intend to vote.

(*Yeah, it could be debated whether this is medicine or a placebo. Or even a poison. I'd still enjoy seeing what Repubs would say or do if this idea went viral. I'm not perfect.)