This is a Test

By MamaLiberty

Had a short discussion with a good friend the other day, and we were in agreement over so many things… but he made a statement I consider entirely too optimistic, and very unlikely.

We agree to the principle of non-aggression, that freedom simply means doing what you want as long as you don’t hurt others. Now, this isn’t cut and dried, by any means, but negotiation and voluntary association is the answer to disagreements, rather than “laws” and cops and jails.

And, as I’ve said so many times before, what prevents people from truly understanding that important difference is the fact that so many of them accept without question the idea that any “government” or other “rulers” have a legitimate authority to dictate those “laws” and so forth, rather than seeing their own natural authority over themselves. And that natural authority gives each individual the proper basis for whatever negotiation or association works for them – and is always subject to change as the situation changes.

So, I was talking about the acceptance of this false authority as the cause of the big problem, that most people either accept being ruled, or actually want an external authority… and thereby accept being part of controlling the lives and property of others through voting and other political actions. They can quibble over the details, and bemoan the perceived excesses of government authority, but they don’t even wonder if that exercise of authority is legitimate.

But my friend didn’t think that was necessarily true, that maybe people didn’t want government very much and would be ok to do without it. Then he said he didn’t care how much government people had for themselves, but was just against government for himself.

Well, sure! I don’t care either, but my life experience – nearly 70 years – is that there aren’t many people who share that idea. I have not found many who are truly willing to leave me out of whatever government or “for your own good” rules they choose to live by.

So, here is the test. Pick a subject, such as recreational drug use, “gun control,” or go hog wild and question the authority of the Feds to invade and occupy foreign countries… anything you like.

Go talk to individuals, or get brave and introduce the topic to the average gathering of people in a coffee shop or “civic” club. Ask them if they accept the “authority” of government to dictate what people eat, drink, etc. Ask them if they’d be willing to leave others alone to do as they wish, even if they don’t personally approve of it.

Would they be willing to set up their ideal “government,” but leave you alone to ignore it – and most important, not be forced to pay for it – always providing you didn’t engage in aggression?

I’ll bet you won’t find many. And I suspect that most of those you question will consider you a radical fool, or outright dangerous for even proposing such a thing.

What do you think about this? Your comments are most appreciated.

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4 Responses to This is a Test

  1. LiberTarHeel says:

    Mama, I think you’re absolutely correct. Even in “communities” where liberty is allegedly the watchword and governing principle, their worldview typically does not extend beyond their own special interests, and no amount of ‘introduced logic’ seems to move most of them. But we’re still cheerfully chipping away, ne?

    Like

    • MamaLiberty says:

      Yes indeed. I just have to shake my head when people complain endlessly about their “liberal” neighbors, most of whom they’ve probably never even spoken to. When I suggest they might move to a place where there would be more likelihood of having neighbors who don’t want to control their lives and steal them blind… they say they can’t move because they have a job there and the wife won’t leave her family. OK… but not the same thing, obviously. We all make our choices, for whatever reasons we wish. But they remain our choices.

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  2. Matt says:

    Your friends concept of being just against government for himself is the libertarian mind set I remember from my youth. The libertarians I knew then, late 70s-early 80s really just wanted the ability to opt out of laws they didn’t like. They were quite happy with laws that worked in their favor.

    I’ve had to teach (maybe unteach) myself to let othe people be the way the want to be. It means no judging (good new testamanet principle) and accepting people as they are, not against a template that society imposes. I have met some pretty cool people that way, and although some of them are very different than I, we have way more in common once the rules, regulations and social customs are set aside.

    My wife and some family members think I am crazy though.

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    • MamaLiberty says:

      I very much agree that this is an ideal. I just can’t see very many people being willing to go along with it. If they think government has the authority to create “laws” and rules, even if they disagree with them, I don’t think many will be willing to let us “opt out” of things like paying taxes or the many nanny state rules that control more and more of our personal, private lives.

      I don’t want to opt out of only “laws” I don’t like. I want to opt out of any non-voluntary type government that pretends to own my life and property. And, so far, that’s all of them.

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