Saturday, April 13, 2024

New laws aren't ethical solution

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for March 10, 2024)

"There ought to be a law." I am disappointed every time I hear that sad phrase. It's an admission of failure-- both intellectual and ethical.

If the only solution someone can see is to call for more government violence-- through legislation-- either they aren't thinking clearly, or their ethical core is broken. Either way, it's a problem.

Many times when I hear someone say this phrase, there is no real crisis, only something they don't like. This is a problem, not with the world, but within the person calling for yet another law.

Every law is another crank of the ratchet against human flourishing. Laws transfer power from you, where it belongs, to the state. Government has shown, throughout its long, bloody history, that it can not be trusted with power. It's the least trustworthy institution ever created. It is the last gang you want to entrust with your life, liberty, or property.

It's not a problem with government corruption. Governments aren't corrupt, they are doing what they are designed to do. When you like it, you praise it. When you don't like it, you call it "corruption". No one calls the mafia corrupt when it does things the mafia is designed to do, so why change the rule when it applies the same way to government?

Government is designed to steal your liberty, to violate your rights, to take your property, and to use you and your children for fuel to power its growth. Everything you might call corruption is built in-- you just don't notice it when it doesn't bother you, or is moving in a direction you like. It's still an evil thing.

Why would you send this great evil after your family, friends, and neighbors-- now and into the distant future?

This is what you are doing if you ask government to make up and enforce yet another law against your fellow humans. It's antisocial, selfish, and short-sighted.

Every real problem has an ethical solution. A solution which involves respecting life, liberty, and property. A solution which never involves sending government after someone. If a solution requires violating someone's natural human rights, the problem is probably imaginary. If it's real, this solution is worse than the problem.

Never fall into the trap of saying "There ought to be a law". It's a tar pit. Who will pull you out after you've sent "the law" to get them all?

I couldn't do this without your support.

“If you could have only one gun…”

I would keep more than one gun, anyway.

What does “could have” mean? 

Does it mean the Rulers say it’s not allowed? They aren’t going to stop at limiting you to one. Next, they'll say the allowed number is zero. Ignore and defy them.

Does it mean I’m nomadic and too weak to carry two guns? Then I’m too weak to carry ammo so I’m doomed anyway. I’ll keep multiple guns and dig in.

Does it mean I had to trade all the other guns for water? Why not trade game meat instead? Or trade security services? 

Does it mean I migrated to Mars and the weight limit for the trip kept me from carrying more than one? Keep two lighter-weight guns. Again, ammo is going to be the real problem here.

I think "if you could have only one gun" is meaningless except as a way to decide which gun is your favorite. If it's your favorite you'll find a way to justify keeping that one.

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