Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slavery can be red tape or chains

Slavery can be red tape or chains

(My Clovis News Journal column for December 26, 2014)

Most people think of slavery as an evil from the past, at least in America and other "first world" places. Yet it's still all around us, only in slightly modified form. Libertarians are the modern day abolitionists seeking to change this.

Is slavery OK if you believe the slave would die without being owned and controlled? After all, the slave master feeds, clothes, and houses his human property so they will continue to live and be useful to him. A dead slave is of no use to anyone. And, perhaps, giving a slave his freedom and allowing him to live in Rightful Liberty would result in some tragedies.

That seems a poor justification for slavery.

Liberty is worth the risk every single time.

Does it change anything if the slave doesn't realize he is a slave?

Of course not. I would prefer to point out his condition and encourage him to change it, and offer my help.

Just as I don't want my loved ones to be slaves, even if their master feeds, shelters, and clothes them, I don't want to see things I love- such as parks, zoos, libraries, roads, and education- enslaved by being part of government.

Not only does that mean I don't want them dependent upon money taken from its rightful owner through the act of "taxation", but I don't want them controlled by a bureaucracy which tries to exempt them all from market forces. This only entrenches the status quo and makes real innovation less likely. I want them to be free to be the best they can possibly be, without any red tape whatsoever. Finding a better way to do anything requires the freedom to experiment, risk being wrong, and not be constrained by regulations or any sort of bureaucracy.

It's odd to me how many times I see people comment that if I don't want government providing something I must hate it and not want it to exist at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. I want the things I love to flourish and spread in every conceivable arrangement.

The year 2014 is wrapping up fast. In many ways it was a good year, but I'd love to see 2015 be even better. My fellow abolitionists and I would love to think 2014 would be the last gasp for slavery of any kind, anywhere in the world. But, as Harriet Tubman is reputed to have said: "I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves."

Happy New Year, and throw off your chains!


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