Thursday, April 05, 2012

The philosophy of freedom: Much more than demanding government get out of our lives, you must first get the tyranny out of your own heart

The philosophy of freedom: Much more than demanding government get out of our lives, you must first get the tyranny out of your own heart
 (NaturalNews) Do you agree with this statement? Government has no business telling us what to drink, what to eat, what kind of medicine we should take, what to smoke, what to farm, or how to run our private lives.

These are all elements of individual liberty or what you might call personal freedom. They are all part of the bigger push to get Big Government off our backs and out of our lives. But do the people who call for individual liberty really believe in it themselves? Or are they carrying around a sharp contradiction in their own beliefs?

Consider the following statements:

If people want to ride a motorcycle (or a bicycle) without a helmet, that's their own business.

If parents want to avoid having their children vaccinated, that's their own business.

If people want to smoke a doobie in their basement, that's their own business.

If a dairy farmer wants to milk a goat and sell the milk to his neighbor, that's their own business.

If people want to grow an organic garden in their front yard, that's their own business.

If someone wants to eat so much salt, sugar and aspartame that their colon falls out and they have to call an ambulance, that's their own business.

If someone wants to drive down the highway without wearing a seatbelt, that's their own business! (But no one else should be liable for their injuries if there is an accident, right?)

If a group of young girls wants to sell cookies or lemonade on the sidewalk, let 'em do it. It's their own business!

If a West Virginia farmer wants to grow a hundred acres of hemp weed and use it to make hemp seeds, hemp oils and hemp clothing, that's his own business!

If a citizen bystander wants to video record the police making a traffic stop, and it's all taking place on public property, then that's his own business! (Hey, the cops say they can record US all the time, right? That we have no presumed right to privacy on public property...)

If a guy wants to buy a ranch rifle and shoot empty soda cans on his farm in Massachusetts, that's his own business!

Are you carrying a freedom contradiction?

And if you agree with all that, then let me hit you with this brain-bender: By principle you must also agree that whatever two people want to do in their own homes or bedrooms is also their own business, as long as it's consensual. It doesn't matter what their sexual orientation is or even whether money changed hands. While it's not something I personally condone or participate in, all that is still their own business!

See, the thing about freedom is that if you demand freedom for yourself, you must also tolerate it for others. If you say "get the government out of our lives!" then to be consistent, you have to mean it for everybody else, too -- not just for you or those you happen to agree with. Freedom means freedom for all, including those with which you disagree, as long as they aren't harming others in the process. Freedom can't be selective.

And here's the philosophical contradiction in the liberty movement today: Too many of those who say they want the government out of their lives on issues like vaccines, parenting and local farm food are the very same people who demand government intervention on issues where someone else lives by a different moral code than their own (or a non-existent moral code, in some cases). Same-sex marriage, prostitution, abortion, recreational drug use... you name it. Suddenly the call for liberty becomes something far less noble: a demand for moral conformity administered via an all-powerful government. This is exactly what gives rise to government tyranny! Because any time you call for government to intervene in the lives of others with which you disagree, you also empower that same government with the power to rule over your own life.

So you see, when you call for government to get involved in criminalizing the things you might strongly disagree with -- pot smokers, abortion, prostitution or anything else -- you are by definition demanding that government grow its power in order to enforce your own moral code onto others.

And that's not freedom. It's just tyranny disguised as moral conformity. Because sooner or later, all that government power gets turned against YOU.

For the record, I am a person raised on Christian values. I am opposed to abortion. I don't visit prostitutes, I'm obviously not into same-sex marriages, and I have never used recreational drugs. (That's right: never.) But for people who choose those things for themselves in the privacy of their own homes or hotel rooms, I am bound by philosophical consistency to declare that's their own business! And why? Because I don't want them getting all up in MY business!

Stay out of my business and I'll stay out of yours...