As far as I am concerned, the central question in any philosophy must be “who owns you?” Keep in mind that the definition of ownership is that person or entity that has full control over a person or thing. The owner may utilize of dispose of that which he owns in any way that he so chooses.
The primary social evil of our time is lack of respect for self-ownership rights. It is what underlies both private crime and institutionalized crime perpetrated by the state. State laws, regulations, and actions are objectionable just because the state is claiming the right to control how someone’s body is to be used.
When the state drafts a man or threatens him with imprisonment if he violates its narcotics laws, for example, it is assuming partial control of his body, contrary to his self-ownership rights.
Modern Americans appear to think that slavery to the State is somehow much better than the old time slavery to another man. In fact, modern Americans appear to think that one can not be enslaved by the state even if the conditions of your life match those of the slaves of old. For moderns to believe this is testimony that the propaganda of the state is awesome indeed.
Look, either you are a free man or you are not. Few modern men seem to understand that being enslaved to the state is still being enslaved. Moderns seem to lack understanding of what is meant by “freedom”. Let me quote Lew Rockwell who once gave a short and clear definition of freedom.
What seems to have escaped the current generation is the notion that was once called freedom. Let me be clear on what I mean by freedom. I mean a social or political condition in which people exercise their own choices concerning what they do with their lives and property. People are permitted to trade and exchange goods and services without impediment or violent interference. They can associate or not associate with anyone of their own choosing. They can arrange their own lives and businesses. They can build, move, innovate, save, invest, and consume on terms that they themselves define. ~ Lew Rockwell
It would be hard to be more clear in this matter. Either you have the freedom and liberty to do as you please as long as you are not harming others … or you don’t, and any honest observer would can see that people do not have freedom in the US Empire.
Modern Americans have decided to trade small comforts for their very freedom. They are letting the nanny state control their very lives and trading liberty for the illusion of safety. Why do people allow themselves to be enslaved? Do they think that all blessings flow from the state? Often it is the economic ignorance of the masses that compel them to obey the state so that they might be materially comfortable. But the most peace, prosperity, and material well being possible flows from the laissez-faire free market.
“Libertarians understand that providers under capitalism – in their lexicon meaning the free market without government intervention – have no choice but to offer the best goods and services at the lowest possible prices. If they don’t, someone else will. This is not ‘unbridled’ capitalism. Every shopper, every purchaser, every consumer, everyone who pays for services or products, is the bridle of every provider in the marketplace. Companies don’t have armies of enforcers gong from door to door demanding that consumers buy from them or go to jail. If they did they wouldn’t be companies, they would be the equivalent of governments, and if they could do that they wouldn’t bother selling products or services, they would just take people’s money at gunpoint.” ~Garry Reed
It is a bargain with the Devil himself to trade your freedom for material comfort or for a small bit of supposed safety. Many years ago when I was but a boy, I thought of myself as a “libertarian” who saw the small government philosophy of the nations founders as a radical solution to the problems of the Ancien Régime. We threw off “King and Altar” and formed a voluntary union of states under the Articles of Confederation which was later “improved” by the drafting of our constitution. Over time I woke up to the realization that Rothbard was right when he said all governments will grow in strength and power until they enslave you.
There is nothing left to argue about. Some governments may, indeed, be better than other governments just as some men are better than other men, but if you love liberty you can be nothing other than an anarchist. After all, we ran an experiment in “democracy” that started with a minarchy government (a society with a very “minimal government) that has gone on over 250 years and that experiment has given us, in the end, a brutal police state and a world wide Empire that is the scourge of mankind.
You have been enslaved by the state and it is well past time to throw off the chains of that brutal, evil master. Please don’t ever utter the abomination, “it is a free country after all” or similar lies. You are bound by hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations that order you what to do with your own body, your other property, your earnings, and your time while the state uses the wealth looted from its subjects to inflict death and destruction worldwide.
If you like the motto “live and let live” then you must understand that the state is the sworn enemy of that motto and the freedom it represents.