Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Making laws much like littering

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 22, 2016)

I always try to leave my surroundings a little better than I find them. If I see a problem needing to be fixed, I do my best to fix it.

Sometimes leaving the world better means picking up litter, or hooking a loose seat back on a swing for the kids.

Other times there's not much I can personally do and I have to be content pointing out the mess so others can help. Such as when encouraging people to stop littering the world with "laws".

I see laws the same way I see other litter: as clear evidence irresponsible people have been here and left their mark. They toss their trash on everyone else without the slightest hint of awareness of what they have done. Or, in the case of laws, even suffering the delusion they are doing something useful.

While it's easy to walk around and pick up paper and plastic litter, it is harder to put "laws" in their place. Too many people want to leave them where they lie, and get offended if you suggest there's a problem with an obvious solution.

Since I can't physically pick up a law and toss it in the burn barrel, what can I do? I can point out the mess to others so they won't step in it; I don't comfort those who pollute the world with laws, and I don't support those who insist on enforcing them. This helpfulness comes with risk.

Of course, I have cut myself on other forms of litter too. Anything worth doing carries risk.

One thing I haven't experienced yet is having someone see me picking up litter, then running up to knock the trash out of my hand and attack me for what I am doing. This is very different than the reaction when you become aware and concerned about law pollution. Stockholm Syndrome is deeply rooted where laws are concerned.

If you make up a law which must be enforced, you can be sure it isn't a real law. No law is necessary to give you the right to defend yourself or others from attackers or thieves, nor to demand restitution. But, without a law backing them, few would get away with stopping travelers for going a little faster than some arbitrary rule allows, and taking money from them. There are only two kinds of laws; the harmful and the unnecessary. Which of those do you pollute our world with?

If you get any value from my labors, consider rewarding me with your financial support. This blog is in its 10th year now. If you believe I have contributed anything to the conversation regarding liberty during these ten years, and believe I have more to contribute, help me stay online. .

1 comment:

  1. "No law is necessary to give you the right to defend yourself or others from attackers or thieves, nor to demand restitution."

    I agree.

    I agree with most of the things you write, but I especially like that quote.

    What is 20-30 years of life and your sanity worth?