Tuesday, September 11, 2012

No loopholes in libertarianism

No loopholes in libertarianism

(My Clovis News Journal column for August 10, 2012)

It's usually nice when you run across something that confirms what you already thought to be true. However, "nice" doesn't really get you anywhere if you care about truth. The best way to find out whether or not something is true is to try as hard as you can to disprove it. Therefore I keep trying to disprove libertarianism to myself.

I know that's not how people normally operate (Me? Normal?), but unless you search for flaws in what you believe to be true, you never get any closer to the real truth. So I am continually looking for loopholes. Perhaps, deep down I suspect, or fear, that those who claim libertarianism can't work in the real world may be right. Maybe this is because I am exposed, on a daily basis, to so many who try to justify their opposition. They seem to believe the only thing keeping everyone (other than themselves, of course) from becoming mass-murdering thieves is the threat of governmental punishment.

So I keep searching. After all, I'd rather BE right than BELIEVE I'm right.

I try to find the instance where it really is necessary or ethical to be the first to throw a punch; to "initiate force" in the parlance of libertarians. I look for those cases where taking property from its rightful owners for "the common good" really is the right thing to do. I look for examples where a problem was honestly solved by using the coercive force of The State.

So far, despite my best efforts, I have consistently come up empty.

Sure, there have been times I thought I had found the crack in the wall. Usually it came as a result of someone passionately trying to justify their opposition to something I had written. Each time, for a moment, I thought to myself that perhaps this was "it"; the exception to the rule. Every single time it turned out I wasn't thinking the problem- or the consequences of the "solution"- through sufficiently. I wasn't working from principles, but giving in to fuzzy thinking or emotionalism, or ignoring human nature and reality.

The people who hate the principles of liberty the most, and forcefully inform me of their opinion, are the ones who offer me the best tools to try to find the flaws I seek in libertarianism. For that I appreciate them. I wonder how many of them take the equal opportunity I offer for searching out the flaws in statism.


September 11: Consequences Day

I've been calling September 11th "Blowback Day" for years. Thinking about it today I decided that needs to change. Blowback is only one aspect of the date; just one of the consequences.

Henceforth this date, September 11th, shall be called "Consequences Day".

The events of September 11, 2001 (regardless of what actually happened or who was actually behind it) were the consequences of past actions coming home to roost.

It was the consequence of mandating inadequately armed airline passengers.
It was the consequence of allowing a federal government to run rampant- killing, blockading, embargoing, occupying, manipulating, spying, threatening, bullying, robbing, and many other evil actions- all over the globe.
It was the consequence of permitting stupid and evil people to demonize defensive violence and make no distinction between types of violence.
It was the consequence of teaching people to go along quietly with those who mean to do them harm.
It was the consequence of the past couple of centuries of statism.
It was the consequence of choosing false "security" over liberty.
It was the consequence of trusting government.

It seems few people have learned anything from the tragic consequences of this date in history.


Friends don't let friends rule

OK, maybe they "let" them; they just don't support them.

Just because I might like Ron Paul or Gary Johnson doesn't mean I want either of them to rule me or my neighbors. I'll bet I'd enjoy sitting down to talk with either of these men. Whether they would enjoy talking to me is another matter.

The fact that I thoroughly dislike Obamney, in whichever incarnation, only adds to the fact that it can never rule me. I'll bet I would have a hard time remaining civil during a chat with Obamney.

I don't need a president, and neither do you. Let those who do believe they need one play the game, and let's ignore the results of their stupidity.

Oh, and "happy" Blowback Day.