Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Liberty maximizes prosperity

Liberty maximizes prosperity

(My Clovis News Journal column for April 18, 2014)

Many times over the years I have been asked some variation of the question "I don't understand; what is it you want?"

Well, what is it most humans want?

I think most of us want health, safety, and prosperity- let's call this combination "happiness"- for ourselves and our loved ones. I want the same things! Since there's no disagreement there, what we have is a common goal.

Like most goals, it can probably never be achieved perfectly in every way, but should serve as a North Star to let you know whether you are moving in the right direction or not. The question comes down to "How best to get there?"; which system works best for moving relentlessly toward your goal.

Your choice is between self determination and being controlled by someone else. Can I trust myself and my decisions to get what I want or should I trust someone else's judgment and decisions? It's a matter of "Do It Yourself" or rely on others to do it for you.

Not everyone is an expert chef, yet just about everyone manages their meals just fine, and if you prefer to leave your food preparation to someone else- a professional, perhaps- it is no one's business but your own. However, just because you prefer to hand off your food preparation responsibilities to others doesn't give you any right to demand everyone else follow your example.

The same goes for every other aspect of life.

Liberty- the absolute right to do anything which doesn't violate the life, liberty, or property of anyone else- is the best system ever discovered for allowing each and every individual to maximize his own health, safety, and prosperity. It even leaves enough left over so you can help others who might be having trouble of their own.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who has helped out when I had an abundance and the opportunity presented itself.

But government, that anti-social institution, always gets in the way. It's a vehicle used by those with the most influence to force you to do everything the way they prefer you do it, regardless of your wishes or the more accurate information you may be operating under. It takes away choice and volition and replaces it with fiat.

There are a few people who benefit from this arrangement: those who work for the government and those who are utterly dependent upon it due to refusing to take responsibility for themselves. I don't know about you, but I don't think it's a good idea to let the most dysfunctional people in a society have a say in how I live my life.

An honest monument to government

So, Oklahoma's "Statehouse" is getting a new Satanic monument.

Seems redundant to me.

A "statehouse" is already a Satanic monument. So is a capitol building, a courthouse, a DMV office, or any other government building. Even a library or a zoo run by government is. And I love libraries and zoos.

But theft isn't ever the right thing to do. Not even if you really, really want something.

Now, I don't really know enough about Satanism to say whether it advocates theft or aggression- I am just playing off the common perceptions here to make a point. And I might be wrong about details of the religion. Government is something we all know advocates theft and aggression, so it may be the only actual evil here, in which case the Satanists should reconsider whether they really want to be associated with such a place.