Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Liberty offers better options, rights

(My Clovis News Journal column for May 20, 2016)

When discussing libertarian ideas with non-libertarians, I have discovered one common fear: the fear that libertarians would take away the government services people have grown accustomed to. To "force people to be free", as it were.

That's not my goal at all.

I support removing the roadblocks which prevent better options from being offered and then let you-- the former government supporter-- kill off that which you once supported after you see there's a better way. If you want. And you will.

How can this be?

Once you get a taste of private property rights as they truly exist, not just as permitted under government, and see how pointless and harmful those imaginary "national borders" really are, you will be excited to replace borders with property rights.

When you experience the educational choices offered once tax-funded "public" schooling is no longer compulsory to attend or fund, you'll no longer tolerate what passes for public education today.

When you see how easily real crime is discouraged once "victimless crime" laws are abolished and the natural right of self defense is respected everywhere, you'll view sticking with the current system as falling backward into the Dark Ages.

You will be eager to replace government roads, government's health care rationing, government safety, prohibition, and all the rest with the free enterprise options which will result from giving people a choice. You may even be the person with a new solution!

In each case, all libertarians want is to replace coercion with choice, and then stand back and let the chips fall where they may. The next move will be up to you.

The only changes needed are ending the criminalization of opting out of the government monopoly, and ending any "laws" prohibiting private competition with government services. If those services are so necessary, giving people more options to choose from can only make things better. Not everyone wants to wear athletic shoes or western boots, after all. The only ethical thing to do is stay out of the way and let people make their own decisions. This is what I am excited to encourage you to do.

I realize even this is too much for some government supporters. I believe it clearly shows they know how poor the current options are, and realize how easily the free market would replace them with something better. It's sad when people are so attached to a failed system they outlaw competition. That doesn't apply to you, does it?

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"Support him no longer"- how does it look and how can it change things?

I'd like to share another Facebook conversation. Or at least my response to an honest question. This one is quite a bit less hostile than the last one.

I was pointing out that the best solution to the violent government extremists is to stop supporting them.

Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break in pieces.”― √Čtienne de La Bo√©tie

It also helps if you can get over the superstitious belief in "authority".

"What would that look like in practice, and how would it change things?"

In practice, it wouldn't look too much different to casual observers. That's because it is mostly an absence of certain behaviors rather than a presence of new behaviors.

You would stop wasting time pledging allegiance, thanking troops, writing congress to beg for a change in "laws". You would stop harboring worship for cops, politicians, and other government extremists in your heart, but you wouldn't replace it with fear or hatred (ideally), either. You'd recognize bad people are out there looking for an opportunity to violate you, and that this is not going to change no matter what justification the particular bad guys use. Just focus on avoiding them and protecting yourself from them. You would stop worrying about whether something is "legal" and focus instead on whether it is right.

I am still as polite to a cop I pass on the street as I am to any other aggressive gang member wearing his colors. I'm not looking for trouble, and don't ever intend to start it. But I don't pretend they are the good guys or somehow legitimate in the counterfeit rules they enforce. They are the same as any mobster or MS-13 gang member, except that they believe you owe them gratitude for existing. It's pretty funny if you think about it.

How would it change things?

I can only tell you how it has changed things in my life. I am much less frustrated. I don't expect government to act differently than it is designed to act. I don't expect it to rescue me, or protect me. I don't get angry when it gets in my way any more than I get angry at the wind or mosquitoes. I see statists (those who believe governing others to be a legitimate human endeavor) getting really angry or shocked over things government does. I see them putting all their hope in electing new gang members in the hope it will change the nature of the gang- in spite of all of human history to the contrary. I feel bad for them. How can they expect things to act against their own nature? It's not the individual people in the office that are the problem, it is the existence of the office. You shouldn't have an "official town rapist", no matter who you choose to fill the post. The same applies to every government position.

If it works in others as it has worked in me, it would change things as fewer people are willing to lower themselves to work for government, or to support those who do. It would cause people to stop looking to government when trouble crops up, but to find ways to solve it without violating others. Eventually, perhaps, people would find government as "necessary" as bicycles for fish.

If you are truly interested in looking into these ideas, I highly recommend The OnLine Freedom Academy.

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If you get any value from my labors, consider rewarding me with your financial support. This blog is in its 10th year now. If you believe I have contributed anything to the conversation regarding liberty during these ten years, and believe I have more to contribute, help me stay online.