Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fear and ignorance banished! (I wish...)

Here's my response to the letter to the editor in the State Line Tribune. Be sure to read the letter first, if you haven't yet. This response is way too long to be a Liberty Lines column, so I will put it here. That's what happens when there are a lot of things to address, and you end up needing to quote parts of the original for clarity. I apologize for the length. Here we go:

"The problem is the longer the virus [libertarianism] is allowed to fester and spread, the patient begins to lose sense of reality"
Really? Let's look at that contention.

"Utopian lawless world..."
Now that's hilarious. The most delusional Utopian dream man ever fell for was the belief that because some men are bad you should give some men authority over everyone else. What has been clearly demonstrated by doing that is that the least trustworthy are drawn to those positions of power like kids to candy being tossed from a parade float. Then they always attempt to replace Law with made up rules.

Libertarianism is a rejection of Utopianism and a recognition of the reality of human nature. People will do what they feel is best for themselves. Even if they are wrong. Even at the expense of others. To set up a system that gives them power over others leads to the same result over and over again, as demonstrated by history. Statism is the most Utopian wish ever foisted on humanity- and it still keeps reeling them in even after failing to deliver as promised every single time it has been tried, in every single incarnation, throughout thousands of years of history. Talk about a blindness to reality!

Libertarians don't reject law; we reject counterfeit "law". Real law- known as "Natural Law"- is limited to "Don't attack anyone", "Do what you say you'll do", and "Don't take or damage other people's stuff". Counterfeit "law" is written by flawed humans and generally carves out exceptions to Natural Law for "select people". Natural Law doesn't need to be written or enforced; counterfeit "law", when written or enforced, makes you the bad guy.

"...Utopian lawless world where all bad behaviors are kept in check by the threat of 'restitution'".
Nope. You missed that one by a mile. Self defense has always been the best way to keep bad behaviors in check. Regardless of your "laws" and enforcers. Restitution only gets put into play when the bad guys survive. Our current "system" protects bad guys from the real-world consequences their behavior should bring.

"Then, and only then, will any law of punishment or repayment to society come into force."
First of all, "society" can't be a victim. If there is not a specific, individual victim, then no one is subject to self defense nor owes any restitution. Secondly, when would you propose to punish people? Before they have harmed anyone? Quick, call the Department of Pre-Crime!

"Reality says the human population is not very good at making behavioral decisions."
I agree, otherwise government would long ago have been relegated to a festering corpse on the garbage heap of history. However, other people's poor decisions aren't your business. Sorry. You can take measures to protect yourself and your property, but no one can ever have the authority to make other people's decisions for them, no matter how bad you believe them to be.

"Unfortunately, there IS a need for a minimum amount of laws to govern a functioning and prosperous society."
Already got that covered, as above. Anything beyond Natural Law is excessive, not "minimum" by any means, and only harms the functioning and prosperity of your society.

"Having law, and people being aware of it does help inform of where the boundaries are."
And that is part of the reason anything beyond Natural Law is harmful to all law. It dilutes it with worthlessness. When the boundaries are arbitrary and based upon things other than aggression or theft, no one really knows what the "law" is or where the boundaries may be. Counterfeit "laws" are the opposite of Law, and confuse people about what is actually right and wrong. They are not "holy" nor "just" nor "good". Counterfeit Law" damages society because it damages individuals.

"... the debate is where can we find a balance?"
Maybe, if you are desperate to find justification for running the lives of your neighbors, you can debate that. What is just the "perfect amount of rape" you'd like to permit? I am under no such disability to feel the need to debate such things. There is no balance between Rightful Liberty and counterfeit "laws". It's like trying to find a balance between poison and food- how much poison is the right amount to add to the food? Poison always wins that contest.

" Libertarians advocate where drugs and prostitution are freely consumed, DWI laws and traffic control signs are non-existent, leads us to the other problem."
You, maybe. I'm amused to know the only thing keeping you from being a drug-addicted sampler of "the oldest profession" are government's "laws". Funny, but those "laws" don't seem to stop most people who really want those things. If a person drives drunk and causes harm, he is in the wrong. Just as he is if he drives sober and causes harm. And, the funny thing is that the places around the world which have gotten rid of the anti-drug "laws", anti-prostitution "laws", and yes, even the traffic control signals, have discovered that the vast majority of the problems the naysayers feared never materialized. In fact, much of the bad effects of those things went away after the "laws" got out of the way. There was no "other problem" like the statists kept fearing there would be. Unless it really is liberty, peace, and cooperation they fear and consider a "problem".

"Humans making bad decisions result in bad consequences. Namely, the loss of innocent life."
Yeah, and we've all seen that "laws" prevent that. Right?
Bad decisions should bring bad consequences. And the innocent should never be under the illusion that "laws" will protect them or remove some of their own responsibility for watching out for themselves. Reliance on "laws" has been disastrous, and has made people weak and careless.

"It is government's God-given authority to punish evil and reward good."
You have grossly misread Romans 13 if you believe that is what it is saying. But, even if that were the message, no government in the entire history of the world has ever done that. Not one. Instead, all governments have done the opposite. And, the government authority referred to in Romans 13 is not what you seem to think it is. In America, there is no government authority besides the Constitution. When "laws" or "authorities" do things which violate the Constitution, they are not the rulers or governors spoken of in Romans or 1 Peter because they are "a terror to good works" and fully on the side of evil; they are not your authority and obeying them is disobeying Romans 13. Notice that anti-drug "laws", DWI "laws", anti-prostitution "laws", traffic control "laws" are not in any way permitted by the Constitution. Not one of them. I never remember reading about Jesus advocating making even one thing "illegal" according to the state. There is a vast difference between what you should morally do, and what should be subject to state punishment. Don't soil your faith by stitching it together with the state.

"...the intention of protecting the innocent before they are injured."
Yes, you should when you can. But remember that a person who hasn't yet harmed anyone is also innocent. You can protect both, but not with laws" which violate both instead. So, how can you protect the innocent before they are injured? The best, most sure way is by teaching them self responsibility; not dependence. There is only one person you can always count on to be there when danger comes: you. By bubble-wrapping the whole world with "laws" you get the illusion of safety, but instead remove any incentive to be accountable for your own life and safety. Would I rather have "checkpoints" molesting drivers in the name of DWI reduction, or would I rather teach my kids that while driving or walking, anything can happen and they need to stay alert and pay attention to their surroundings? Would I rather have DWI "checkpoints" with draconian punishments that cause people to take bigger risks because it's just too dangerous to admit you may need to pull over and sleep it off or ask someone for a ride? Either completely responsible and reasonable action brings swift and vicious punishment today, if "law enforcement" happens to find out. That doesn't make things safer for anyone.

"In a civil society, those who engage in 'evil' can be expected to be preempted hopefully before their destruction (or aggression) is allowed to come to fruition."
So, since I consider your advocacy of "laws" against Rightful Liberty to be evil I should preempt you before you can cause harm to me or anyone else who isn't harming anyone with their consensual actions? That's good to know, since I expect you'll be OK with it when I defend myself against your stated intentions. No whining, now!

"...see where a full-blown case of Viral Libertarian-itis is a world of anarchy and chaos."
"Anarchy" doesn't mean what you seem to believe. It means "no king", not "no rules". It means no one else has the right to run your life for you, it doesn't mean you do what you want with no consequences. Anarchy is the only peaceable way to live- everything else is rooted in violence and theft. We all live the vast majority of our lives in anarchy- unless you allowed someone else to dictate who you fell in love with, what you eat for every meal, where you shop, what you wear to bed, who you befriend, what you think about. Anarchy works, in the real world, every single day, for YOU. It doesn't bring chaos- that's what the State brings. "Laws" are not based upon a foundation of Natural Law, and the consequences are out of proportion to the effects of violating those "laws", and this brings chaos into society. You can have government or you can have a society- they are mutually exclusive so you can't have both.

"Where stupid behaviors unabated main, injure, and kill."
What makes you believe- against all evidence to the contrary- that "laws" abate stupid behaviors?
Very often they mandate them. Contrary to your beliefs, and your mischaracterization of libertarians, there is no Utopia- not under liberty and not under your "minimum government". Humans will always do stupid things (like support "laws" and governments, apparently) and innocent people will always be getting maimed, injured, and killed. That's just reality. (You should check it out sometime- it's pretty amazing!)

"Reality says you can't expect people under the influence of mind-altering substances to know where personal space ends and another's begins."
Just like those under the influence of statism, it seems, judging by this letter to the editor which is calling for "laws" to trample all over everyone else's personal space. But, would I advocate making statism "illegal"? Of course not. I will never criticize anyone who defends themselves from it, though.

"Reality says a community full of porn and prostitution breeds broken homes and sexual assaults."
Actually, reality (and observation) has shown the polar opposite where sexual assault is concerned. Study up on it. As far as the broken homes- if they succumb to porn and prostitution they were already broken anyway. You may not "like" it, but it is only your business where your personal life is concerned. You are advocating Sharia Law. It doesn't matter if it is supposedly "Christian" Sharia, it is still wrong.

"Reality says traffic laws, including requiring insurance, protects the responsible drivers from thefoolish."
Oh, good. I guess I can text and drive without paying attention just like cops do. What with all the "laws" and insurance out there protecting me. No?
I think it's a great idea to have liability insurance. Do I want it mandated? Of course not. I'm not an insane control freak. Mandating it is no different than mandating ObamaCare. Do I assume a stop sign will really make the other driver stop? No. I know it has no magical power to force anyone to do anything. I watch people run stop signs responsibly and safely every single day. Including almost every cop car that passes the one by my house. And I don't care. It's not about safety, it's about compliance. Don't molest others on my behalf just because you are frightened of the big old, scary world.

"Reality says basic laws of commerce protect the little old lady from the unscrupulous company."
Wishful thinking. What reality does show is that "basic laws of commerce" aren't basic anymore. That ended when the first "law" that said anything beyond "don't lie about what you are trading, and deliver the goods as promised without coercion" was imposed. The truth is the "basic laws of commerce" were mostly written by giant corporations to hobble their upstart competition. MegaCorp has lots of money and teams of lawyers to allow them to comply with the "laws" they help write- they know their new would-be competitor doesn't.

"But advocating for total unregulated behavior in the substance abuse and traffic world..."
Who advocated that? Just because you don't have legislation doesn't mean there is no way to "regulate" something. Don't like drug users? Don't hire them. (And if you can't tell if they are a drug user without a chemistry set, then you are simply looking for a way to "legally" rape them and steal their fluids.)
As for traffic, the phenomenon of spontaneous order makes traffic flow much smoother once the silly rules get tossed aside. Look at the cases of cities where all traffic controls have been discarded. It didn't result in chaos and death- it actually resulted in shorter commute times, and fewer accidents and injuries. Liberty always works.

"disrupts real dialog and political reforms that could be made."
What do you consider "real dialog"? Making up justification for "laws" that have no basis in reality, while claiming the other side is ignoring reality? What kind of "political reforms" would you advocate? Voting out one corrupt politician and replacing him with an interchangeable corrupt politician? Or getting rid of all the vile "liberal" anti-liberty "laws" and replacing them with equally vile "conservative" anti-liberty "laws"? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results... well, it's not sane.

The depth of the brainwashing astounds me. When you have been trained to see a government "solution" to everything it becomes impossible to think outside that particular, confining box. When your only (mental) tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Even when beating it hurts you.

I've been around long enough to see that any and every justification for "law" or The State is flawed. Even those I was at one time most reluctant to turn loose.

Now, I have tried to be "nice" in this response, but why am I reminded of this?