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Thursday, November 08, 2012
(Published in the Farwell TX/ Texico NM State Line Tribune)
Small towns lead a strange double life. I suppose big cities do too, although I don't know for sure.
People in small towns generally treat you with kindness and decency in person. They will go out of their way to help someone- even a stranger. Or a strange local. They interact on a voluntary basis.
They don't often steal or attack one another- especially when there are mutual acquaintances and overlapping social circles, as there almost always are.
But, then, they turn around and don't hesitate to use political force against these same neighbors, by asking government to impose, and then enforce, counterfeit "laws" on them.
They ask government to violate their neighbors' private property rights for "the common good". They ask government to violate their neighbors' individual sovereignty by pretending to have the authority to tell others what they may or may not introduce into their own body. Instead of taking action when there is a real individual victim, they punish "what if"s and "maybe"s- something known in science fiction as "pre-crime". Something known in real life as "mala prohibita"- not wrong in and of itself, but only wrong because someone decided to make up a "law".
Most would never consider doing these things to their peaceable neighbors in person. They do these things by proxy- hiding behind government's skirts.
I would rather see things done more honestly and openly, if they are to be done at all. It still wouldn't make it right, but at least you would know exactly who believes they own you when they act upon that belief.
If you think it is your business to control what your neighbor does, why not just walk uninvited into his house and poke around? If you think your neighbor should be forced to pay for some program you support, why not rob him at gunpoint?
I'll tell you why not. Because we know those things are not right. They are still not right when you have others do them on your behalf.
As we enter the holiday season, let's cast off the desire to meddle and control, and replace it with a desire to be the best we can be. Let's accomplish things voluntarily, not politically.