Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Don’t wait to stand up for rights

Don’t wait to stand up for rights

(My Clovis News Journal column for February 8, 2013)

How many times have you thought to yourself that you wish others would "wake up" and realize how important some issue is? Probably as many times as I have.

Libertarian author L. Neil Smith points out that people are already "awake", otherwise nothing would get done. They are awake to the things they need to do to get through their day. Taking care of the kids; getting the job done, so that the paycheck will keep coming, so that the house payment gets made, the groceries get bought, and the electricity doesn't get shut off takes a lot of awareness. Often, it doesn't leave a lot of room for other things that don't seem as pressing.

People only think about philosophical issues when those issues get in the way of the things that matter to their day-to-day survival. By the time it matters, it is no longer "philosophical".

It is hard to get people to realize that The War on Politically Incorrect Drugs is negatively impacting their lives when they are spoon fed only one side of the issue, almost subconsciously, every day of their life. Anti-drug "laws" are just fine... until your wife is dying of cancer and the doctor is too scared of the DEA to prescribe the level of pain relief she really needs. Until you get caught up in the consequences- mistakenly or not- it just isn't on your radar. It only affects "those people".

The same goes for so many other liberty-related issues.

Anti-gun "laws" don't matter as long as your heirloom single-shot 12 gauge isn't targeted. Anti-immigration "laws" are justified until your best friend- who just happens to have been born on the other side of some imaginary line- finds himself being arbitrarily kicked out of the country. Business regulations are good until your big idea dies before it gets off the ground because of all the red tape and licenses, or until your family business has to close because you can't navigate, or afford, all the "reasonable requirements" anymore. "Taxation" is obviously "necessary" until you lose everything because you can't prove you paid everything the IRS claims you owe.

These are disaster-level "awakening events".

Don't wait until the problem kicks you in the face to start standing up for liberty and noticing its enemies. Have the courage and conviction to stand up now, while it doesn't cost too much. Later may be too late.


Nutty for Liberty?

One of my fellow CNJ/PNT columnists wrote something about secession the other day.

He's against it- well, he thinks it's nutty, anyway.  But he suggests all the secessionists be "given" "a fenced-in section of Arizona desert — free from prickly government intrusions."  I don't think a section would be near enough room since I'd feel hemmed in by that limited amount of land even if I were alone- and how does he plan to acquire this land?  Steal it or buy it from the rightful owner?  But we'll pretend for a moment.

His vision for my future?  Well, here's what he believes life would be like inside that fence:

"...unshackled from such Big-Brother meddling as public [sic] education [sic]  bank deposit guarantees, Social Security, mail deliveries, band-width regulations, safe food, water and medicine, police and military protection [sic]  criminal laws and the pesky justice [sic] system, highways, licensed doctors and nursing homes, air traffic controllers, firefighters..."

Sounds pretty good to me!  I'd go for it! Who says only Big Brother can provide those things? If they are really needed and wanted, someone will provide them. If they are provided consensually, subject to market forces, they will be better. They certainly can't be any worse. Most of those "services", when provided by government monopoly, have just about been driven into the ground and have failed so thoroughly that only the constant threat of "the gun in the room", and the coercive prohibition on opting out to find a better way, keeps them hanging on.

And, I seriously doubt that such a free society (even if we left the fence standing) would permit "police and military protection" at all.  Self defense and militia- of course.  But not professional "Only Ones" who are paid through theft and allowed to initiate force and get away scot free.

He assumes that inside the "escape-proof, tumbleweed-lined fence would truly be a government-free, man-eat-dog, shoot-Big-Birds, survival-of-the-nuttiest nirvana" for folks like me.  Sounds like a concentration camp, or one of those FEMA camps we hear about.  Which brings up just about the only flaw.

The only problem with his suggestion is that there is no such thing as "a" secession advocate.  Some want secession for anti-liberty purposes, or just because they happen to hate a particular person who calls himself "president", but would be fine with some other idiot occupying the same chair.  Me?  I've already seceded and laugh at the whole circus act.  I need no "government" or any of its parts and pieces.  It's believers may surround me, but they are the problem, not their imaginary "frienemy".

I'd be willing to move to Mars or any other survivable (with the right technology) planet (or whatever) for just the sort of chance he's denigrating and ridiculing.  That's how sure I am that liberty really works in the real world we inhabit, and is vastly better than any other "system".