Sunday, May 15, 2011

Solutions shouldn't limit liberties

Solutions shouldn't limit liberties (Originally published 4-14-2011. As written, not as published.)

I am not one to accept things on faith. I want solid evidence, if not concrete proof. However, there is one thing I, along with other libertarians, accept as an article of faith: I believe that any problem which can be solved, can best be solved in a way that bolsters and respects individual liberty. Yet, perhaps that isn't really faith, since all the evidence, along with my experiences and observations, leads me to the conclusion that this is a testable feature of reality.

For example: If "crime" can be solved, and it already has been when The State doesn't get in the way, the solution will be one that does not treat the innocent like a suspected criminal, and does not interfere with non-coercive acts between responsible individuals. It will also be a solution that recognizes, and never violates, the absolute human right to defend oneself with the best tools modern minds and materials have created. In other words, it will be a solution that raises the risk of being a bad guy back to proper levels.

If "drunk driving" can be solved, which I believe it can be, the best and most effective solution will be one that does not violate the absolute right of the individual to use any substance he or she wishes, and does not violate the basic human right to travel without interference. Perhaps the solution will be cars that drive themselves. Perhaps the solution will be something I can't even imagine yet. The solution will never be more "laws" and harsher enforcement which make getting from Point A to Point B a dangerous gauntlet of authority-drunk enforcers.

If environmental problems can be solved, which they can be, it will be a solution that respects private property rights completely. It will be a solution that calls for restitution from the despoiler paid directly to the damaged party, while leaving everyone else alone to use their own property however they see fit. It will be a solution that doesn't excuse environmental destruction by government agencies or by those who pay a government for the privilege of creating environmental destruction without further consequence.

Perhaps you believe my faith is groundless. Perhaps your faith in collective solutions seems more rational to you. I think the evidence shows clearly that collective "solutions", those based upon coercive external government, always fail. I'd like the opportunity to do large-scale experiments, using only those who consent, of course, to test the hypothesis. Are you in?

And, speaking of cars that drive themselves: link



  1. Cars that drive themselves: yes, that would solve the drunk driving problem, but enforcing that people drive them (or fly them?) rather than risk drunk driving would require laws. Not to mention getting them on the market in the first place. Good idea, though.
    I'm not a libertarian, but please check out my latest blog post about you guys. I'm curious about youse.

  2. It wouldn't require laws to force people to use self-driving cars. Just hold people accountable for any harm they cause, drunk or sober.

    Give them the option to drink as much as they want, rather than encouraging them to "just" get buzzed and still try to drive (as is the current law-caused situation), and then let the car take them home. No extra cost; no embarrassment; no "legal" penalties. If I were inclined to drink I would even want a BAC detector built into the ignition, assuming that manual override were even an option on cars like this.

    People drive drunk in spite of laws now, some will still do it if there are self-driving cars. Not one problem has ever, in the whole history of the whole history, been solved by laws.

    And bringing self-driving cars to market is hampered by current laws more than anything.