A good article from a “libertarian” or “voluntaryist” perspective. It details some daily conflicts most of us should recognize. A sound starting point for those looking to expand their awareness of society as a whole.
Good to Occasionally Consider “What If?”
Everyone would be smart to consider “what if?” — especially where their beliefs and assumptions are concerned.
While it’s not healthy to dwell on it until the thought paralyzes you, “what if I’m wrong?” is essential if you like being correct.
What if I’m wrong about everything I believe? There are those who believe I am. Are they right?
What if it really were possible to change an unethical act into an ethical one just by writing some words saying it’s now OK? What if you call those words “legislation” or “the law?”
What if a group has the right to gang up and violate the life, liberty, property of others as long as they follow rules they’ve made up? Can such a right be created with rules? What if they call the act of ganging up “voting” or “governing?”
What if it’s actually OK to use violence against people who aren’t harming others? What if you call this violence “enforcing the law” and say you don’t make the laws, you just enforce them; shifting the blame to others? Is it OK as long as you pretend the people themselves are to blame for the legislation being violently imposed against them?
What if it’s OK to take other people’s property without their explicit consent? You could call it “taxation,” “fines,” asset forfeiture, or eminent domain. What if you don’t completely steal the property, but only steal its value to the owner through acts you call “code enforcement” or “zoning?”
What if you really do have the right to control what others ingest? What if you call it a war on drugs instead of admitting it’s a war on sick people?
What if it’s ethical to prohibit or ration self-defense and the tools that are most effective for that purpose? What if you claim it’s about safety or crime?
What if working for the government does give a person extra rights others can’t have? Would it change anything if they call it “authority” instead of a right?
What if it’s OK to be dishonest about what you do as long as you mean well? Never mind the real-world consequences, your intentions are what matter. Right?
Would this be a society you’d want to live in? It wouldn’t be for me. In fact, I wouldn’t call it a society except in the loosest sense.
I might be wrong. Any of us might be. When you’re willing to consider the possibility you could be wrong, real thinking begins.