Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Tyranny 'for own good' still tyranny

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for February 5, 2023)

Almost all of us want the same thing: to live in peace with what we need to survive and enjoy life, free to follow our interests. Problems arise when some of us think we can get there through socialism or legislation.
I believe liberty is the only way to get there.
Thomas Jefferson seemed to have been hinting at the same thing when he wrote: "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."
That sounds peaceful and civilized.  
He went on to say "I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual."
It's clear Jefferson wasn't a fan of "law and order". At least, not in the way the word "law" is commonly misused-- using the word "law" when speaking of legislation.
The law is "don't hurt people or take their stuff". Everything else is legislation which goes against the law, and which he categorized as "the tyrant's will". Legislation is always about violating liberty in some way; to prohibit people from living in peace, from having what they need to survive and enjoy life, or from following their interests when a powerful minority decides it should be prohibited.
The result is the same whether the peaceful person is violated by the mob through democracy or by politicians and their hired guns making up and enforcing unethical legislation. The tyrant can be one person or an entire political system-- it's only a matter of what they do, not who they are.
Liberty is important enough that I will stay out of your business so you can live your life unobstructed, even when I don't like what you do. As long as you stay within the limits drawn by the equal rights of others so it isn't necessary to defend anyone from your actions.
It makes me sad to realize this is too hard for most people. It's not asking much, but most can't even respect the rights of others this far. They want what they want, and are willing to enslave and rob you-- for "your own good", of course-- to force it on you. 
Society is run by spoiled toddlers who believe their feelings are the center of the Universe. Only this type of person believes society needs to be "run" at all.

I couldn't do this without your support.

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