Libertarians and not just Pot . . .

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Many people are under the impression that libertarians are for legalizing – or at least, decriminalizing – the use of certain arbitrarily illegal drugs. And they’re right.

But many do not understand why.

It is not fundamentally that some drugs have been arbitrarily criminalized – though that by itself raises fair questions about the rationality (and the legitimacy) of criminalizing some – but not other – drugs. How odd it is, when you stop to think about it, that a cop who “busts” someone for having in his possession a bag of pot – that is, places his victim in manacles and removes him to a jail cell – can lawfully have a case of beer in the trunk of his squad car and be free to go home and drink it in peace, without worrying about a gang of armed men storming his home to  . . . “bust” him.

But that hypocrisy is not the main reason libertarians object to the so-called “war” on some – but not other – drugs. Including the legal ones that are actually pushed on people, such as the drugs concocted by billion-dollar pharmaceutical cartels. Who are also able to legally advertise their drugs on TV, where children routinely see it.

Never mind that.

The main reason libertarians oppose this business of arresting and caging people for possessing or using or even selling drugs – to people who freely choose to buy them – is because libertarians disagree with those who believe that there can be a crime without a victim; i.e., a person who was directly and provably harmed as a result of the actions of someone else.

It is why libertarians oppose the criminalization of many other actions that entail no harm to anyone else, such as the majority of traffic laws. No one else is necessarily harmed merely by your driving faster than the arbitrarily decreed speed limit. It is of course possible you may harm someone. But you might also harm someone by driving at – or below – the speed limit. It happens regularly. Just as people who are forced to buy insurance – on the assertion that if everyone weren’t forced to buy it, there would uninsured drivers out there – are routinely damaged by drivers who didn’t buy insurance.

There are many similar examples.

All of them are based on the paradoxical assertion that force must be used against people who’ve caused no harm – in order to prevent harm from being caused. The result of this Kafka-esque assertion is confusion and cynicism. Some things are legal to do while others are not, without a defining standard that makes moral sense of it. It is legal to wear shorts and sneakers while riding a motorcycle. But it is illegal to not wear a helmet. If the point underlying such laws is that motorcycle riding is dangerous, then motorcycle riding ought to be outlawed.

Libertarians say such laws are affronts – because no one else is harmed by a motorcycle rider’s decision to ride his bike without a helmet on. The same goes for seabtelt laws and the whole panoply of such laws, including regulations that have the force of laws – such as the ones requiring anyone who wants a new car to buy air bags, even if he does not want to pay for them. That make it illegal for him to even disable them.

These are examples of  evil laws – to a libertarian – because they make “criminals” out of victims. Put more finely, the government becomes criminal – when it legalizes victimization.

And that is why libertarians oppose what the government – and those who defend its legalized criminality – style “taxes,” which is a word used by government to camouflage what is understood by almost everyone to mean robbery, when it is performed by someone not affiliated with the government. Libertarians oppose all forms of robbery because they do not see that anyone has a right to take anyone else’s money. They do not argue over the supposed merit of what is done with the money taken from other people  . . . because the money was taken from other people. It does not matter – to the person from whom the money was taken – that it was used to fund something considered by those who took it to be meritorious. What matters – to the person who was robbed – is that he was robbed.

The usual response here is that without such robbery, important works such as “national defense” (and of course, the schools) would go “unfunded.” Ordinary robbers never use such terminology.

They are too honest.

The rationalization put forward by the proponents of legalized robbery assumes people are unwilling to pay for the things they deem worth paying for. This is absurd, of course. And – off course – it does not actually assume that. The true assumption behind the disingenuous  assertion is that the things some people think are worth paying for must be paid for by everyone else, most especially those who do not want to be forced to pay for it.

Libertarians point out not merely the immorality of this – no small thing – but also the dangerousness of the thing, in that if it is accepted that forcing Smith to pay for the things Jones thinks are worth spending money on, then Smith has an equal “right” to wheel around and use the same system of legalized coercion to force Jones to pay for the things Smith, in his turn, considers important.

This is how elections in a “democracy” devolve into what H.L. Mencken styled them: A kind of advance auction of stolen goods. And the inevitable result of such auctions is that – eventually – there is nothing left to “sell” because no one has anything left to be taken.

Here is another way to understand libertarian thought – because it something that almost everyone already agrees with yet almost no one seems to understand:

Few people – other than bullies – like bullying. Or bullies. Yet almost everyone votes for one at each election. People who – on their own – would never threaten other people with force to get them to hand over money or to make them “buckle up” (or wear a “mask”) or take drugs – enthusiastically vote for a politician who promises to do just that.

This is immorality cloaked in poltroonery.

If you would not do something to someone else that you would rather not be done to you, perhaps reconsider voting for someone else to do it on your behalf – so that you can pretend to yourself that you didn’t do it.

It’s an old rule that used to be considered golden. Libertarians didn’t invent it.

But they do agree with it.

. . .

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37 COMMENTS

  1. If it was stated previously I missed it but, I don’t see the phrase “sin tax” so far.

    It’s this mentality that has driven much of these anti-Liberty laws. It reveals the Pietist Millennial (Rothbard) mindset that says GovCo is here to do God’s work. Without the help of these (ungodly) people God’s plans will be thwarted. It’s simply breathtaking in its arrogance and hubris. In the case of banning certain plants (about six actually) these folks can pat themselves on the back for going after “sinners” while simultaneously erecting a deadly drug cartel of pharmaceutical companies. Any time people want to do God’s work by using government it always ends in tragedy, see Gaza. In fact it’s the work of Satan to get people to think that, see 1 Samuel 8, link below.

    Also note, since the advent of re-legalization of marijuana it’s never simply, “OK, it’s legal now.” It takes YEARS to “find a way to manage” this change. On the other hand, any time GovCo wants to ban something it can be done in days…if not hours.

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Samuel%208&version=NIV

  2. From BaDnOn: “but all the Libertarian candidates I’ve ever investigated would’ve been far superior to their R & D counterparts.”

    Along with candidates, I include include LP members as some of the most interesting, knowledgeable people I’ve met. David Nolan was the founder of the LP – MIT engineering graduate, who created the Nolan Chart -World’s Smallest Political Quiz. Met him in person, no disappointments.

    https://bubbleenterprises.co.uk/general-management/the-nolan-chart/
    👍

  3. Cannabis is still 100% illegal in NC. Where I live on the coast we get a lot of out of state visitors, especially from VA, and some of them have no compunction about blazing it up outdoors, on decks, etc. I’ll admit it catches my attention. From reading police reports it seems folks still do get arrested here for cannabis but there always seems to be some other drug, like meth or coke, on them as well, which any libertarian worth his salt would also say should also be legal. Sometimes I wonder if this is really the case, it certainly could be, but never was in the case of this guy I knew back in the day (cough, cough) or if another kind of “plant” is involved in a sort of routine way.

  4. Hear, hear, Eric!

    Perhaps I can post this on Herr Schlicter’s page. I learned that Schlicter(!) translates to “Arbitrator”. How fitting. His positions are arbitrary, indeed, as are those of “conservatives”.

    Notably, on Schichter’s “Town Hall” site, one must register to even SEE the commentary. These days, the ability for people to speak freely on a website speaks volumes about its content generators and attitude toward free speech.

      • Hey Eric,

        I learned you have to PAY to comment on Schlichter’s Townhall site. $49/year.

        Note the difference in business models. At EP Autos, you are free to pay whatever you think the content is worth, and those of us who appreciate the site are happy to pay $49/year or more. One doesn’t need to pay to comment, however, or even register.

        “Townhall”, however wants you to pay before you are allowed to speak your mind about their articles. This probably keeps out the “Earthluvrs” and “Lyspooners”, but it also likely keeps out anyone who has anything important to say, or anyone with a contrarian viewpoint, because who wants to fund a site you oppose?

        You’re doing it properly, Eric, so keep up the good work!

  5. “There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.”  Robert Heinlein

  6. Libertarians at the state level need to take a hard look at who is providing their funding and the candidates they are supporting by “voting their conscience”.

    Yes, I’m looking at you, Georgia, particularly in the 2020 Senate races.

  7. ‘Libertarians oppose all forms of robbery because they do not see that anyone has a right to take anyone else’s money.’ — eric

    Don’t know whether he’s a libertarian, but new Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has shocked Europe by refusing to pony up any more loot for the Ukie war. Andrew Anglin elaborates, in one of his usual slapdash, hyperbolic rants:

    ‘Of course, I wish he would have said “things are tough all over.” I think that all Slavic languages, and maybe all human languages, have a phrase that means “your problems are not more important than everyone else’s problems, and they’re not my responsibility.”

    ‘The bluntness of “things are tough all over” is important in this situation. It is the defining phrase of the Ukraine war, because the war has been so defined by this k*ke Vladimir Zelensky going around to everyone in the world and telling them it’s their responsibility to deal with his problems.

    ‘Every Zelensky surrogate (many of whom are attractive sluts) does the exact same bit, this whining, demanding thing. It’s worse than black people’s whining, honestly. Black people’s whining is more just saying “I hate you, whitey,” while Ukrainians explicitly say “You are responsible for dealing with my problems, and I demand you do so immediately.”

    ‘My new response is: “Oh, so things are really tough in the Ukraine? Then move to Gaza.”’

    https://tinyurl.com/38dfex2j

  8. The issue of MJ legalization offers an example of a path forward. Some states found their balls, and decided to do what they/their citizens want, not what Fedzilla wants. Its refreshing and long overdue. In Az, legal flower is now pretty well ensconced. And not like some states, that put all kinds of restrictions on it. 12 plants for 2 adults, as long as it cant be seen from the road.

    The guy who lives behind me and one house over is a city cop. He can see right down into our backyard, and he commented on the smell from my garden. We had an interesting conversation, as he was watering his roses. Seems a lot of cops no longer give a rip about MJ, at least around here.

    A grower forum I spend time on, has growers from all over the country. They say your beloved Virginia is moving up in the world, the laws there (according to growers) are more lenient than Co, Ca, Wa, Or. In Az we still have a long way to go on random stops/check points/driving while impaired, but as states decriminalize, even de facto, legalize drugs, this strengthens state rights and is a solid way to put Fedzilla back in their lane.

    Now if we could get a legitimate Governor who stood up for us, by protecting our citizens/our border, we’d once again be golden. As for those cops with cases of beer in their trunks, I often see cops sitting by the side if the road. I get the feeling there is a lot of day drinking going on.

    • Hey Norman,

      That’s right, and I still don’t know if any legislature in any state has advanced a legalization bill to being signed by that states governor. I could be wrong, but I think every state having legalized MJ became such by ballot measure.

      Perhaps that’s a way to nullify other Fed laws, as you’ve indicated. I wouldn’t mind a proposition neutralizing federal gun laws, for example, but it might be doubtful that it passes these days given the composition of Az voters. Perhaps best to start by county?

      • You aren’t wrong, BaDnOn. Everywhere that allows weed, its been done by ballot measure. I think (IIRC) Az took three times to get it right. Our constitutional carry probably rubs the feds the wrong way. One of the first, and still best. No permit needed. The Donks are pushing hard to take over the legislature on the grounds that vouchers are ruing education, and the state budget, when in fact it looks like the ESA (3% of the budget) is improving education on many fronts. Since I no longer have a dog in this fight, yet still get monkey hammered with property tax, I derive joy in the fact that the voucher program is allowing a small % of kids to learn important 3R skills, and pissing off the NEA.

        Don’t fret about the composition of the population. Its the ones doing the counting, and its all done through smoke and mirrors. The triumphant of cheat, Hobbs, Maize, and Fuentes have so skewed Maricopa county if we don’t get back to honest counts we’ll end up two states. They can have everything south of BCC on the I17, and south of the I10 heading west from Phoenicia.

        • “Our constitutional carry probably rubs the feds the wrong way. One of the first, and still best. No permit needed.”

          This I love. Best in the “Union”, I believe.

          I hate being taxed for schooling, and resent every assertion that I’m part of some social contract wherein I’m responsible for educating anyone else. I’m happy that the voucher program irks the socialists, however.

          “They can have everything south of BCC on the I17, and south of the I10 heading west from Phoenicia.”

          That works for me, these days. 🙂

    • I’m no expert on marijuana laws but my understanding is that prior to the 1960s weed was mostly a drug for the hispanics. That, combined with basically everyone who attended college since 1968 having at least tried it means it would be politcal suicide to oppose legalization.

      I do wonder what the long term effects will be. I was in Denver for a few days. Pretty much every 10th person smelled like they just finished up a joint. It was as prevelant as tobacco smoke smell from back in the day. Say what you will, but America built the bomb, won World War II and put men on the moon on nicotine and caffine. Although actually only about 1/4 of the population smoked even at the peak. I wonder what great feats we’ll acomplish when 25% of the population smokes pot daily (or hourly).

      (present company excepted, of course) 😜

        • I should mention the Vegas Strip was much, much worse. Stayed at Harrah’s for a convention, first time I really spent more than a few hours on LV Boulevard since 2016 or so. People just walking around with a lit joint. Even though I think they don’t allow smoking in public, the cops didn’t seem to care. And then the people having trouble getting on and off the moving walkways and escalators…

          I know that’s not what people imagined when they voted for decriminalization. Hopefully the population will get it out of its collective system in a few years, but I wonder if this is just going to be the new normal.

          • ReadyK,

            Remember it IS Vegas, and you’ve been able to freely walk about with a drink since its inception. As far as Denver goes, I’m not sure anything has really changed, save for where the pot sales revenue is going.

      • Sativa strains allow for some productive activity. The dank stank, not so much. I no longer smoke, since my old lungs don’t like it anymore. We give away everything we don’t use in making edibles. Maybe, if more people smoked, especially older R/D, boomer types, the blind trust in white coats, Tee Vee, and politicians might end. Also, all the blood lust for endless wars could just fall away. Since the country can no longer afford all its wars, it would be nice if we ended them, before they ended us and our exorbitant privilege.

      • It would be interesting to know how many more people now use cannabis because it’s legal where they are but didn’t before because it was illegal vs. those who used it anyway when it was illegal and still do when legal. I’m guessing there would be some, just out of curiosity, but not really that many. I don’t see any anecdotal evidence of this because it’s still illegal in NC but I know peeps still use it and have since it became a thing decades ago.

        • Absolutely, very few people use it/try it, just because it became legal, IMO. The question needs asking is how many have always used it? You just didn’t know before, because they could manage their shit, and kept it on the DL. Az has always had a high % of smokers, going back as far as I can remember. For the sake of argument, maybe 20-25% of the population. Half of those are true dopes, the kind who look to GovCo to solve everything, the other half are ones you’d have no idea, unless you saw them smoking.

  9. A constitutional government of, by and for the People requires those same People to keep it in check. Once out of control it could take a full revolt to bring it back in check and/or a new form of government.

    Checks and Balances obviously do not work. Once a government, regardless of type, find the People apathetic and looking to it for all the answers there is no return.

    As an anarchist, IMO, the best government is no government. Probably great for population control as well.

  10. The only candidate for the LP nomination I know of is Dr. Michael Rectenwald. I no longer follow any political party. Suppose if I did, it’d be the Constitution Party. But the GOP/Dem have such a stranglehold on the US that it’s moot.

  11. I might not be a dyed in the wool Libertarian but I know that I want to be left alone by .gov, msm and there corporate lackeys. I’m guessing a Libertarian Republic might resemble some ideas L. Neil Smith showed in his books.

  12. And no matter what, random events will still take place:

    https://abcnews.go.com/US/details-emerge-after-off-duty-pilot-allegedly-shut/story?id=104247388

    The main focus of the media has been on the ‘shrooms, which some are saying his psychologist was administering. For sure the guy has issues and probably should have been on medical leave, but that’s just Monday morning quarterbacking on my part. The reason it made the news was because it was a unique event. The thousands of flights per day that complete without incident, who cares? The one anomaly of the year, that’s the big story. Meanwhile, the general aviation accident count in 2019 (latest data I could easily find) was 1032, with 414 fatalities. That’s alarming for sure given the total flight hours, but no one notices.

    But what action should be taken, if any? If you’re a nervous flyer, you’d probably love to see the jumpseats removed and psychological screening above and beyond what’s already in place. If you’re an airline, you’re more likely to listen to the nervous flyers than everyone else, because marketing these days is all about public preception, not about selling product. And if you’re an insurance company you’re automatically slotted into “nervous flyer” status because it’s your money (not your polcyholder’s) if there’s a payout. And they pretty much make the regulator a nervous flyer too, so that they can be the hero and save us all from that happening ever again (but it will, just with a variation). And once that payout happens, “society” will have to pay.

    And there’s the rub. If you turn yourself into a vegetable instead of an organ donor on your bike, well, now you’re a “burden” on society. In theory, the collective has to pay for your upkeep. Canada has said “enough” and is starting to encourage suicide to control costs. I have the feeling the EU will do the same thing. This shouldn’t be the case, but that’s the world since August 15, 1971. If you’re a fentanyl junkie, you’re not only a burden, you’re also not contributing your fair share of the load… But fear not! You’re politically useful until the cities are emptied out to make way for the new 15 minute megacities, but that’s a topic for another day. As for everyone else, you’re not just hurting yourself, you’re hurting Uncle Sam! You’re on the hook for your share ($267,594) of the US debt, and you owe it to us! If you’re not performing at peak efficiency because you tied one on last night, well, you’d better get in line buddy!

  13. The Stupid Old Adams in Israel are behaving worse than wild animals, they kill humans whenever they want. Then they invade and covet, the filthy swine that they are.

    Such stupidity is not rewarded, can’t do stuff like that, there is always retaliation when you are fighting every single day of your existence. Chosen idiots, about all they seem to be.

    “The whole world’s going to pot, whether we like it or not, I got a hundred dollar bill says to keep your pills, it’s all going to pot.” – Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, It’s All Going to Pot

    • ‘Gaza’s Health Ministry said the death toll among Palestinians has passed 8,000 — mostly women and minors.’ — Ape News

      That’s chivalry, son — Israeli style.

      Are you not entertained?

      • The Israelis are far more proficient fascists than the German Nazis ever were.

        As in the infamous Star Trek episode, “Patterns of Force” put it, when Kirk and Spock (funny how the Captain and First Officer do the ‘forward recon’) ambush a couple of Ekotian nazis to get their uniforms, which magically fit, and impersonate them, Spock (famously portrayed by the Jewish Leonard Nimoy), as an SS-Untersturmfuhrer (equal to a “butter bar” Second Lieutenant), notes as Kirk puts on an Allegemeine-SS officer’s uniform (which he incorrectly identifies as “Gestapo”, later on, Kirk requests that McCoy be beamed down as a “Gestapo Doctor” with a colonel’s rank, though more properly it’d be a “Standartenfuhrer” in the SS Medical Corps), remarks that Kirk (played, of course, by the half-Jewish William Shatner) makes a “convincing Nazi”!

        Nearly sixty years later, the Jews in Israel would STILL be “convincing” as NAZIS.

  14. Government is guilty of abundant crime, since nearly everything they do DOES inflict harm. From stealing your money at gunpoint, to waging war all over the world, for all but about 15 years of its existence. Yet it will happily throw you in jail, or shoot you, for harming no one. So who is it that holds the moral high ground again?

  15. Crimes against “the state”. No victim & often cited as being “for your own safety”, such as seat belts.

    These are elements of control. The state has assumed ownership over your body & is forcing you to protect its property.

    Sure they couch this in a bunch of morality language, but that is just for marketing.

  16. Folks continue to vote for more of the same (Rs & Ds)
    and expect positive change.

    Insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over again
    and expecting different results.”
    – Albert Einstein

    Don’t blame me, I voted Libertarian (No Victim = No Crime)

      • I don’t think that universally the case, Mr. Kable. It’s the idea of dismantling the theft machine from the inside. Some Libertarians are more complicit than others, but all the Libertarian candidates I’ve ever investigated would’ve been far superior to their R & D counterparts.

        • Besides massive election fraud, the libertarian party was likely at fault for Kari Lake’s loss in Arizona. She supposedly lost by 12000 votes.

          • She “lost” by whatever amount they needed her to lose by, just like our “elected” governor in Wisconsin won by the amount he needed.

          • Why do you ASSume the LP vote would or SHOULD have gone to the GOP candidate? There’s a REASON that even Ms. Lake didn’t make the sale to the LP voters to “hold their nose” and elect a GOPer.

            And who’s to say even those votes wouldn’t have been overcome by the blatant FRAUD that was the 2022 AZ Gubernatorial election?

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