Sunday, July 09, 2017

Honorable codes libertarian at heart

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 7, 2017)

A well-lived life is a journey to be a better person than the person you were yesterday. Perhaps, In the process, even to leave the world a little better for your having been here. How will you go about it?

I suppose it depends on how you define "better person". You can't get there without knowing where you want to go. Nor can you get there by going in the opposite direction.

To me, being a 'better person" means being kind when you can. It means not being a burden on others; not stealing from them or trespassing on their property. It means not using violence against those who aren't attacking or robbing others. It also means no justification for doing those things, no matter what. All your interactions will be voluntary ones and you don't impose yourself on others. The name for this way of living among others is "libertarianism".

Libertarianism makes me a better person. I am not there yet, but I believe I'm a little closer every day.

It can help you, too, no matter what else also inspires you to be the best person you can be. Libertarianism is a perfect fit with all decent behavior, and completely at odds with everything which might stand in your way of being a better person. All honorable religion, codes, and ethics are libertarian at heart. When applied consistently, libertarianism shines a light into the dark nooks and crannies some people try to hide from their proclaimed values. It leaves no room for contradictions.

Yet, many people have been taught to be suspicious of libertarianism; to mischaracterize it and fear its consequences. Not surprisingly, this suspicion is encouraged by people who don't want to be thought of as the bad guys while doing bad things.

Maybe someone honestly believes living by theft and aggression makes them a better person, particularly when legalized and called by more respectable names. If so, I question their definition of "better person". To me, it seems they want to be a bully while feeling good about their behavior. Until I am forced to defend myself from them, I won't waste much effort arguing their point.

Those who want me to doubt that voluntary acts, self ownership, and individual responsibility are the best, most moral and ethical way to live among others are asking me to believe theft, aggression, superstition, and slavery might be better. I won't believe that's true. I can't.


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Snoopy, privacy-invading technology has the potential to be annoying, but is only dangerous because you-- or someone-- allows aggressive, thieving gangs to use the collected data to molest and control you.

Apart from the superstitious belief in government, snoopy technology wouldn't really be an issue.

You could shoot trespassing drones out of the sky.
You could refuse to incriminate yourself for the convenience of bureaucrats.
You could exercise your right of association and refuse to do business with companies who snoop and only patronize those who protect your data, and there would be no gang to extort them to either spy on you (or let the gang create "backdoors" in the company's private property where they can enter to snoop on you) or lose their "license" to conduct business.
You could do all sorts of "illegal" things to protect your privacy and get restitution when snoops violate you.
And no data unethically collected could ever be used to govern you, anyway, because the governing gang wouldn't be there to use the information against you.

Again, the root problem is archation; the bothersome trouble most people outside our liberty family will notice from snoops is just what naturally results from snooping in the presence of government.

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