Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Selfishness not necessarily evil act

Selfishness not necessarily evil act

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 1, 2013)

One of the self-evident tenets of libertarianism is that of self ownership. You own your life, and the products of your life.

If you didn't own yourself, you couldn't give your life to someone else since it wouldn't be yours to give. That has implications in every aspect of life, from the interpersonal to the religious.

Just as no one else can claim to own your life, no one else has any claim on the products of your life without your explicit agreement. Being born in a place, and choosing to not leave, is not an explicit agreement, taxation apologists to the contrary. To be required to hand over the products of your life without your consent is slavery. To be forced to buy products or services you don't want is theft. Both violate self ownership.

Just as you can't belong to any individual, you can't belong to society. Your obligation to society is expressed by your obligation to not attack or steal from any individual. That's it. Everyone else has the identical obligation toward one another, and when it is violated, defensive actions are a proper response.

Self ownership means that it can be proper to act selfishly. It also means that if there are consequences from acting selfishly, you accept them rather than trying to use force against others to avoid the consequences you set in motion.

Selfishness is not the automatic evil that some would try to make you believe it is- as long as you don't violate anyone else or their property. Selfishness can lead you to donate to charity if it makes you feel good. Selfishness can convince you to help a friend so that you can strengthen that friendship bond. Selfishness can cause you to be a good neighbor so that others will be good neighbors to you. That is as it should be. Even the most apparently selfless person wouldn't be if there were no benefit- physical or spiritual- for them. Sacrificing others or their property to make yourself feel good is not selflessness.

Since you own your life, it is your responsibility to maintain that life. No one has an obligation to help you, although they may want to if you have been a good friend or neighbor. Or, if it makes them feel good about themselves.

Owning your life is an awesome responsibility. It is one you can't avoid by pretending it doesn't exist, nor by trying to delegate it to someone else. It is your responsibility whether you accept it or not.


Fans of "Joe"

What's your favorite justification for The State?  Roads?  "Drunk" driving?  The War on Politically Incorrect Drugs?  "National defense" [sic]?

Apparently, for a lot of "liberty-lovers", it is "borders" and "protecting us from illegal immigrants".

That's just sickening.

There is no such thing as an "illegal" person.  Rights don't depend on where you were born.  Governments can't "own" anyone.  Private property lines are legitimate; "borders" violate those property lines and the property rights of the real owners.

How can a person claim to value liberty with one breath, and then hop on the Joe Arpaio fan bus with the next breath?  The two are mutually exclusive.  But tell that to those who have been sucked into his cult of personality.

Sorry, but if you think of some people as "less than" because of where they were born, or because of the counterfeit "laws" they violate, then you are NOT a supporter of liberty. At least not in that particular case.  If you grasp at all the "statistics" that attempt to prove how horrible "illegal immigrants" are to the economy (ignoring the free market solution of getting rid of ALL welfare, minimum wage "laws", and violations of the right of association), or if you blame them all for the aggressive acts of a few, then you are advocating a bigger, stronger State, and rejecting liberty.  Own it.