Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Law, Liberty, Motherhood

A discussion on another blog got me to thinking down a track a bit off the mainstream. Far enough askew that I decided there was no point in gettin' in an argument with a fellow (and his spouse!) on his own blog when there was no chance of persuading them.

Hey, la, I've my very own soapbox and a window to throw it out of, so lets.

The anarchist-leaning libbytarian is oft' accused of bein' a "dope-legalizing hippie" who would selfishly interfere with the supposed "right" of a majority of her friends and neighbors to govern the whole of the people to a faretheewell. This is argument by scare quotes ("It'll sour the milk!") and it makes me itch right between the ears where it's difficult to scratch.

One point put forth as decisive was, in re illegal drugs, "What about my children? You're not gonna stop me from protecting them!"

Aw, gee, lady, I wouldn't. Not ever. --Now tell me how some darned law and a bunch of door-kickin' DEA agents does a better job of protection than the moral and philosophical instruction you (supposedly) provide your own offspring? If they've got that inner compass, they've no need for the law -- and if they haven't, no mere law or lawman will stop them. Hinder, sure, lock 'em away, sure, but if they're scum, they will in all likelihood continue their scummy ways after time-out.

Here's the deal -- if your kids are dope-swillin' scum, I want them to be able to get plenty of it, in good quality. If they're gonna do themselves in with it, it's best for all of us, even you, if they get it over with quickly, serve as a horrible example to others, you can grieve and go on, and I can avoid having them stick a gun in my face and request financing some dark night. Everybody wins! Well, except the doper. Oopsie.

...And if it's not illegal, little Sue or Johnny stoner can, if he or she decides to seek it out, go get help to kick the habit without havin' to admit to felonious behavior.

In my extended family, there were alcoholics. One drank himself to death. Slowly. Painfully. Heart-rendingly. Another buckled down, cleaned up his act and turned his life around; a gifted musician, he's the man who introduced me to Fibonacci, opening a world of wonder to skinny lass with a rabbit-hop mind. Tell me what good Prohibition would have done either man, especially considering the latter example began his drinking when the gin was bathtub and the jazz was hot. (As for me, I don't and won't, other than the occasional hard cider or small beer with a meal. Dope is Right Out. Ew).

Your offspring's need to be handled with kid gloves is your problem, not Society's or The Gummit. The "Greater Good" does not consist of wrapping up widdle Bambi in cotton batting every night with a gentle smoochie on the forehead, it consists of making the crooks run away on time, preferably into the hoosegow or an early grave.

This leads us, somehow, to the fool idea that a majority of neighbors can tell you how much starch to use on your bra, not to mention the damfool idea that this is, somehow, Good.

It's not.

The Bill of Rights was a sincere, if limited, attempt to restrain democracy; most State constitutions go even farther that way, though still, thanks to the clever, inventive, tool-user get-around-it minds of Our Duly Elected Representatives, not nearly far enough.

Y'know why governments are instituted among men? It's sure as shootin' not to protect the rights of the majority. They've already got the edge! Nope, it's to keep the majority from whompin' on the Quakers, hippies, militia members, Jews and skateboarders. It's to ensure little Johnny can read Sleazyriders (only for the articles) and it keeps the Gladys Kravitzes and Mrs. Grundys among us from ruining everyone else's peaceable work and fun. Period. If you've got a government doesn't do that, it needs fixing. If it allies itself with the WCTU-thinkers of this world, you've got a problem and had better dredge out the big ballot box, and fast.

Many folks think it's too late -- like Uncle, here. Others point out that a determined minority can make a difference. Me, I don't know. You cannot impose freedom and Mothers everywhere, racked with anguish, will always cry "But what about my babies?" (I dunno, lady, I'll change 'em for you this time but I doubt any bureaucrat will consider so doing to be within his purview). Maybe only a cold and ruthless beast can ignore that. Maybe my stunning lack of compassion and humanity is actin' up again.

Freedom dies one worried Mother at a time, for the most high-sounding of ideals.

Raise your own kids. Shoot your own dog. Vote out your own loser Congressthings. Let your neighbors tend to their own knitting. It's time to grow up.


Anonymous said...

Growing up would be good.

Kind of unlikely, though.

As I have said before, and will doubtless say again: If I were to start bitchslapping all the people who desperately deserve it, my arm would start windmilling around like Pete Townshend's, and i would never be able to stop.

Turk Turon said...


Roberta X said...

At work, the line is, "If [Parker Gates/John Moses Browning/etc.] were alive today, he'd be wearin' out shoe soles daily, kicking the rumps that needed it." Ah, if only!

phlegmfatale said...

I concur wholeheartedly. Although I love my computer and access and all that, I'm thinking people need to get away from televisions and their Ipods and other umbilicals and to actually have to think for themselves for a change, so something like a mass power outage couldn't be entirely bad.

breda said...

Am I a bad person if I laughed out loud at "Oopsie."?

Aaron said...

You've summed up the whole of the problem. If the gubbmint actually stayed out of people's business and let them act like adults, all of sudden people would have to [i]act[/i] like adults and be saddled with all that nasty responsibility. Scary.

Of course, the fact that making drugs, gambling, etc illegal has only made things worse in every case makes no never mind. Legislated morality has nothing to do with reality and everything to do with [i]feeling[/i] better about the problem.

Anonymous said...

My roof, my rules, if it's okay with the gummint. Just don't sound right, do it?

Anonymous said...

One of the better pro-libertarian rants I've read in a good while... Thanks!

Carteach said...

I see two classes of problem folks here.

Those who want government to have power over the people, in order to run said governmnet and weild the power.

Then there are those who want government to have power over the people, in hopes that said government will give away enough confiscated wealth to support said looters.

The parties of the first part engage the parties of the second part as their field troops in the political games.

Those of us willing to fend for ourselves, and not looking to order everyone else around 'for their own good', seem to be coming into the minority.

If the trend continues, the only question remaining is: "When, and Will, Atlas shrug?"

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I couldn't have said it better.


Anonymous said...

It does appear to be durned difficult to propose that adult human beings be free to exercise their rights…including the right to abuse their own body, should they choose to do so, without being accused of being a dope-smoking hippie.

The “It’s for the CHILDREN”™ mantra just doesn’t pass muster from a practical standpoint either.

I have a niece and nephew in their early twenties, and we were talking about the availability of mind-altering substances in their not-so-long-ago youth. Both concurred that, had they wanted some, just about any illicit/illegal drug (including heroin) could be readily had for the cash, on almost a moment’s notice. But curiously, beer, wine and hard booze were extremely difficult to come by. In order to procure any (given the emphasis that liquor stores put on valid I.D. now), they had to persuade some adult to purchase it for them.

Does it strike anyone as a basic blank-out type of contradiction that by making (some) drugs illegal, the only people who sell them are, by definition, criminals? And is it then a surprise that someone undertaking a criminal activity doesn’t really mind selling these same illegal drugs to children, just because it’s slightly illegaller?

But drugs are the bugaboo that the Nanny-Statists use when confronted with liberty. The vast majority of (small-l) libertarians don’t give a rip about the current Prohibition…they either ignore it, or (like Roberta and myself) are completely unaffected by it (unless, of course, some door-kicking alphabet-soup agency makes a mistake on an address). Their fear of their own freedom means that they attempt to extend this wish for security and order to everyone else.

The current election choices throw a spotlight on how very far Americans have strayed from the concept of self-reliance. We have a choice between far-far-leftist Marxian-collectivists, and a not-too-far-left-of-center Fascist-collectivist. None of them gives a rat’s butt about the Constitution, or freedom, or limited government powers (and the associated unlimited, un-enumerated rights of the citizens).

Tango Juliet said...

What was it John Galt said?


Anonymous said...

What Chris said.

Or, as I have said on occasion to my D-I-L: "Yes, you CAN have a country without (drugs / gunz / abortion /you-name-it) but YOU DON'T WANNA LIVE THERE!"

Anonymous said...

Well said Ms. Roberta X.

theirritablearchitect said...

"The Bill of Rights was a sincere, if limited, attempt to restrain democracy; most State constitutions go even farther that way, though still, thanks to the clever, inventive, tool-user get-around-it minds of Our Duly Elected Representatives, not nearly far enough."

Just excellent.

You should have this stamped into the face of a large hammer and proceed to smash every politician in the head with it.

Just a thought.

Larry said...

I suspect I know what couple spurred these thoughts, and while I also often agree with them, I have a serious difference of opinion where it comes to their knee-jerk reaction to the term "libertarian."

For some reason, it just yanks their chain and they can't get over it, even to the point of saying we don't know what we talk about when we say libertarianism is a vector applied to our thinking. The Mrs. in particular has said I'm merely fooled by anybody saying that.