Sunday, April 23, 2017

I'll never support government dystopia

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 22, 2017)

Utopia isn't an option. Even if you had the power to set up society the way you think it should be, reality would step in and make your Utopia imperfect. Expect the unexpected and remember it's impossible to plan for everything.

The most important thing to keep in mind: no one can design a society. The belief that it can be done is a conceit common to governments and people who believe in them. Societies grow from the bottom up, they are not designed or imposed from the top down.

You still ought to know what you would like your personal Utopia to be like. Otherwise, how could you ever know which direction to take?

What do you wish the world were like? When you imagine your Utopia, what do you see? What are you doing to get there?

My attempt at Utopia would involve removing obstacles to liberty rather than adding anything. As long as you weren't harming anyone or their property, no one would have the power to get in your way. Nor would anyone have the power to forbid you to defend yourself from anyone harming you.

I am not qualified to run other people's lives. No one can be, no matter what supporters of government believe. So no one would be in charge of anything beyond his own concerns, unless explicitly asked by an individual to lend a hand.

There would be no such thing as "authority" as it is currently imagined. Yes, there would be experts who might inspire others, but no one could get away with pretending to hold a magic quality called "authority" which gives bullies the power to push people around.

You and I both know there would still be bad people in my Utopia. Some would try to become "the authorities" again, because they can't mind their own business. They lust for control over others, and want to steal and attack without consequence, claiming magic words can make wrong right when they act "in accordance with the law".

My Utopia wouldn't-- couldn't-- guarantee that some people won’t kill, injure, kidnap, defraud, or steal from others. Government is a guarantee that some will.

There would still be natural disasters, disease, and accidents. And, as they have always done, people will deal with them. I'll help when able.

So, even though Utopia isn't an option, I'll never support its opposite: Dystopia, empowered by government. Not even when demanded by the majority, as is the current fashion.


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