Saturday, August 16, 2014

This is the kind of problem that creates oppressive regulatory regimes...

This is the kind of problem that creates oppressive regulatory regimes...  Whenever someone's freely made choice offends someone else's sense of what's right (whether moral, religious, or cultural doesn't matter), you'll hear cries for government regulation – which is really just a euphemism for controlling behavior by force.  That's where our laws on drugs, prostitution, and much more come from.

Libertarians generally claim to support the notion of everyone having the freedom to make whatever choices in life that they want to, so long as they don't harm anyone else in the process.  While I have significant disagreements with the Libertarian Party (especially in the realm of foreign policy), on this notion I am largely in agreement with them. 

In an article in The Week, Damon Linker (a self-identified libertarian) constructs a scenario that he admits tests the limits of his political philosophy.  Read it.  Then think about whether the libertarian ideal of free choice really works for you.

I don't have any children, but nonetheless I can easily empathize with the problem posed by Linker's scenario.  I can't be certain of this, but I think that if I did have a daughter, I'd still support her having the freedom to make such a choice.

The problem, of course, with government regulation of such matters is two-fold: first, you don't know who (or with what rules) the regulations will be made and enforced – or how well they will comport with your own sense of what's right.  Second, once there is a rule, there will be more – without end, as we can observe right now in our grotesquely over-regulated society...

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