Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No one should meddle in our lives

No one should meddle in our lives

(My Clovis News Journal column for June 29, 2012)

When I defend liberty I constantly get accused of condoning all sorts of things I don't condone. Rather than "condoning" them, I realize that those things are simply none of my business; not mine to approve or condemn. Nor are they anyone else's business, either.

Recently a fellow libertarian posted a comment on facebook that I agreed with whole-heartedly. He said "There is a difference between approving of what someone does and approving of their freedom to do it, and the latter does not somehow mandate the former."

So true! Why is this impossible for so many people to understand?

It really does seem to be impossible for the majority of people to grasp. Our entire political system is evidence of that. Almost everyone is seeking to use the force of the state to prohibit others from doing things they don't approve of, while others are doing the same thing to them. It's like the Hatfields and McCoys, but without taking responsibility for the violence that is done on your behalf. Or, actually, it's precisely what some people claim would happen in the absence of an externally-imposed government. "You kill one of ours, so we kill one of yours", and the cycle goes on until everyone has been shot.

It's a demented way to run a society, if you ask me, and, it is probably one of the best demonstrations that societies shouldn't be "run" at all; complex systems function better when allowed to "self-organize". No one should have the authority to meddle in other people's lives until there is an individual victim.

This obsession over condoning or forbidding other people's voluntary, mutually-consensual behavior is also why government grows and grows, and never becomes smaller. It is why the number of laws increase geometrically- or faster- every year until even no one in government has a clue how many laws there now are. Or whether you (or they) are breaking some of them.

So, as long as you aren't attacking anyone or taking or destroying other people's property, whether or not I approve of the other things you do isn't even something you need to concern yourself with. It's not even on the map.

But, while we are talking about attacking and stealing, I definitely don't condone taking property from people by threat of force in order to finance the loss of more of their liberties, and to finance the enforcement of that violation.


Business Idea for you

Spending money can be fun. Spending large amounts, if you can afford it, can be even more exciting.

Here's a business idea to capitalize on that quirk of human nature so that you can get your own large amounts of money to spend. If you're nice you can cut me in on your profits for giving you the idea.

What I envision is a website where people can place fantasy orders for things like cars, houses, home entertainment centers, or whatever they might like. However, the only thing they actually pay for is the thrill of choosing among various options and placing the orders. Perhaps they might actually pay only $1 for every $100,000 they spend.

There could even be free accounts where they are limited to "spend" less than $50,000, and to spend more they need to upgrade to a premium account by actually linking a credit card.

Then, they can go shopping. When they click "place order" they would only pay the price of the game they just played. They might get a receipt showing the items they "ordered", so that they could print it out.