Gypsy & Willy - The Original Libertarian Bloggers
How Can You Laugh at a Time Like This?
Gypsy & Willy
Is Change a Social Disease?
March 5, 2009
So far, we have spoken of economics and politics. What about the social side of change? These are clearly some of the more explosive and volatile issues at stake at any time of history. In this case we come down hard on the side of freedom...mostly freedom from government interference in our private lives. For example, the issue of choice concerning childbirth. Our constitution comes down clearly on the side of freedom and against any religious preferences. The idea that human life begins at conception rather than the historical notion that it starts at birth is a RELIGIOUS issue. Whether contraception is a sin or not is also a religious issue. The idea that women should have ABSOLUTE control over the use of their bodies is a freedom issue. So, here it is equally clear where we must position ourselves. Here are some other ideas concerning freedom:
Notice that although we are libertarians, we do not object to the government intervening in purely economic or political issues, but ONLY when it is absolutely necessary as in "right now." The bedeviling detail in these cases are deciding necessity in less crucial times. We would prefer that real democracy prevail, so that we are only intervening in "our own" business. However, it was easy for us to write this particular essay...compared to the others...because when it comes to personal freedom the answer...for us...is ALWAYS more freedom.
- ALL governments should get the hell out of mandating what women can or can not do with their bodies. Move the debate to the churches where it belongs.
- Similarly, marriage, being a religious topic as well, should be a taboo subject for all governments. Should gays be allowed to marry members of their own gender? It's up to them and their church, NOT to the government. Should men or women be allowed to marry multiple partners? How about marrying members of another species? Sounds ridiculous, but the real ridiculous thing is that this is thought to be an issue for governments to decide. Governments have every right to protect us from harm. No harm, no issue. Period.
- How about drugs that are currently illegal? The answer is simple, once one embraces freedom as a necessary feature of government. The government has no right to even consider deciding what individuals may or may not ingest, much less imprisoning large segments of their populations...as the U.S. does...for simply selling substances that people want to buy. It's stupid and economically counterproductive. Instead of asking what is the "cost" to society of allowing free use of any drug...a religious issue at its heart...ask what the cost is of trying to prevent it. There is NO COMPARISON.
- Laws against suicide are...on their face...some of the most stupid laws ever passed. On the other hand, "assisted suicide" or "mercy killing" by doctors or others are quite different and are certainly matters for government to decide. Here the most fundamental freedom is at stake...the freedom to live.
- "Affirmative action" has always been a sticky issue. Here we part with most liberals in stating that it is, at heart, a bad idea and should be ended. It was well intended...as sort of reparations for past sins of white men. The unintended side effects...most notably the widely held assumption...really a prejudice...that any non-white or woman who "makes it" in a previously all white or all male environment, MUST have been given "unfair" assistance...these side effects are pernicious and destructive. Government assistance to people in need should always be considered, but that assistance should be based upon the needs of the individual, not on race or gender.
It is said about freedom of speech that the hard part to accept is when others say things you REALLY, REALLY don't like. But, that conundrum is true of ALL freedoms. Rabid antiabortion supporters want to jail those women...and their attending physicians...for making the CHOICE to have an abortion. Such fanatics have a hard time even SAYING the word "choice," since they do not want anyone to have the freedom to MAKE that particular choice. The same holds for the anti-drug fanatics. No evidence, no logic, no principles except their own prejudices matter to them. So it is with ALL enemies of freedom. In our minds, it is THEY who must be constrained, for the good of society.
What about the children? This question is most often asked as a stage setting for what is to follow...the restriction of some personal freedom or other...for the "sake of the children." Each of the restrictions mentioned above was accompanied by this old chestnut.
But, what about 'em? We believe the best government policy concerning children is to protect them from their parents, foreign invaders or themselves ONLY when their is clear evidence that their parents are injuring them, that there ARE foreign invaders...as opposed to random terrorist acts...and...well... protecting anyone from his- or herself is a lost cause. Parents MUST try...it's part of the life sentence of child rearing...but governments should stay COMPLETELY out of it!
Our final essay in this series will deal with wider issues, namely, how much of what we have said applies only to national governments and how much to the entire world. Stay tuned for the climax...
Talk to you later...
To contact Willy or Gypsy and comment on what they have written...or anything else...write to email@example.com
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