Saturday, July 08, 2023

Legislation does more harm than good

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for June 4, 2023)

I oppose allowing tornadoes to terrorize people and destroy property. Think of the children! Any politician who doesn't support common sense weather regulation has blood on his hands.

Politicians must pass a law saying tornadoes are not permitted within city limits, but only in rural areas without structures, crops, or livestock and strictly between the hours of 11 AM and 5 PM. That should fix it, or at least be a good first step toward banning them entirely.

Then, when people continue to suffer loss from the weather, expand the regulations to cover hail, blizzards, floods, heatwaves, and any other dangerous weather. If it saves one life, it's worth it,

At least, this seems to be how politically minded people, including politicians and bureaucrats, imagine reality works. It doesn't.

Bad people who want to harm others pay as little attention to rules as the weather does.

Since the weather won't listen to rules, the rules would have to be aimed at the rest of us. Forbidding people from having a roof or windows which could be damaged in hail storms would make as much sense as telling the population which defensive tools they are allowed to have. Neither makes any sense unless you are brainwashed by politics.

Which most people seem to be, to some extent.

The reality is, rules end up hurting the innocent more than they inconvenience troublemakers. Since rules often target behaviors which aren't actually wrong but only prohibited, they are entirely harmful.

Maybe you'd claim these rules might not stop anything, but they give society a way to punish the wrong-doers after the fact, to discourage others from following the same path. If this is your excuse, several thousand years of evidence say this doesn't work. The weather can't care and every bad guy believes he'll be the exception who'll never be caught. The results in both instances are identical.

Rather than making up pointless and harmful legislation targeting the innocent victims and potential victims of bad weather, the smart thing to do is to let people build storm shelters and weather-proof buildings, and buy insurance. In other words, don't prevent people from taking responsibility for their own life and property. Respect their liberty to do so.

Anything else will end up doing more harm than good, creating excuses for even more ridiculous legislation in the face of failure. This cycle of failure is called "politics".
I couldn't do this without your support.

How will liberty survive when it is criminalized?

Fairly often I get to thinking about how (and whether) liberty will survive the next era. It will obviously be "illegal" and the statists will be thrilled to hand you over to the bad guys for a pat on the head (and maybe some rations or social credit).

There's a lot of fiction out there about living in an underground economy. There might be lessons to be found in it. Even the prematurely canceled, forever mourned Firefly was about living on the fringes of an evil empire while keeping as much freedom as possible. I believe the methods in the stories were adapted from real-world examples, so maybe there are things you can learn and copy.

To some extent, many of us are already busy on this project.

It isn't easy. It can be rough, but it can also be fun. Some of the people (current and past) I respect the most are living on the fringe and doing fine. Such a life isn't for everyone, and some will be willing to give up liberty (perhaps grudgingly) to be allowed to live in the state's version of society.

In a post 16 years ago, I wondered if liberty lovers were going to end up being like the Amish. I still wonder about that, but in slightly different ways now. I suspect we may end up being more like moles and gophers. Hiding out of view of the State, in places it has no interest in watching. Doing things it doesn't see as a threat.

If it takes being an outlaw to hold onto some liberty, I'm completely fine with that. I despise the State and have no respect for those who work to keep it going. I want to be separate from them; it's not a hardship.

I hope there are still some liberty lovers around when the state topples under its own top-heaviness. A collapse is inevitable, but it would be good if there were someone to help the survivors learn a better way of living than that they are familiar with. To learn what liberty means and why it matters.

Thank you!