I believe I have established the fact that most of our problems relate to excessive regulation. We have in fact “regulated” ourselves out of the productive society that we used to have. Both Democrats and Republicans favor “Big Government”. The only difference between the two major parties is simply one of what should be regulated. No one except Libertarians will ask the question: “Should we be doing this?” “Is what we are attempting to do even `Constitutional’?” No where in the Constitution is the federal government given the authority to regulate drugs, decide who is allowed to prescribe. There is no Constitutional basis for our drug laws. For the regulation of business to the point it now is. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution was written to prevent the states from applying tariffs and duties to good manufactured in another state. There is no evidence that anything more than this was ever intended by those who wrote the Constitution. Nor is there any Constitutional basis for the sort of military policies we now have. As a matter of fact, our first President said that we should avoid “entangling alliances” with other countries. We haven’t follow George Washington’s advice here. President Eisenhower warned us of a military-industrial alliance that would cause us to spend more money than we needed. We haven’t heeded his advice either. We are the world’s largest military arms seller. A regular “Guns R US” if you will. We have supplied right wing “strong men” the world over with the means to oppress their people in the name of “anti-Communism”. Saddam there in Iraq was only one of those who benefitted from US arms and advisers. The late Shah of Iran was another. If there was ever a book written “How to make enemies everywhere”, it would be a handbook written by the US government. We do have a lot of enemies, and their numbers are growing. Eventually we’ll have a repeat of 9-11 again. Or some other terrorist act if we continue to do as we’re now doing…
Unfortunately we have a lot of “vested interests” who want to keep our current “status quo”, mainly because it is profitable for them, even if not so for the rest of us. The same applies to “The War on Drugs”, our various “security agencies”. Our laws and regulations create a lot of jobs (mostly well paid with good benefits) for perhaps a million or more. Plus laws like civil forfeiture offer even more “benefits” in the form of cash and other sorts of goods. Pretty much “legalized theft” when you get down to it. There are a lot of people who benefit from the government’s laws and regulations. Sufficiently that they will fight any attempt to change the laws and regulations that exist mainly for their own benefit. Then to many people the very idea of allowing people the freedom to make decisions for themselves regarding the use of drugs, both recreational and medical is something that they are strongly opposed to on the basis that there are those who will harm themselves and become a burden upon society. This is actually the basis of the “Nanny State” where it is assumed that most people are incompetent to take care of themselves. That there needs to be a professional “master” class making the decisions. I believe that deep down you’ll find a lot of supporters of both of our major political parties who feel this way. That the proper role of government is to take care of those who are incapable of making such decisions for themselves. You can “justify” almost any law or regulation on such a basis. Of course this sort of “attitude” isn’t one that Americans at one time believed in. Unfortunately today we see increasing numbers of people who do believe this, including the President of the United States of America and most of Congress. The basis of Obamacare is that you are incompetent to make a decision for yourself as to the level of health insurance that you decide upon for yourself. Of course given all the laws and regulations regarding health care today, you have little more choice than your dog does when you take him to the vet. Someone else makes the decisions for you, regardless of what you might now think about the issue here… Of course if health care wasn’t as expensive as it is today, there would be far less actual justification for Obamacare. And under a true free market, health care would be far less expensive, as people would be far less dependent upon the medical profession than today for many things. The concept of “self care” makes a lot of sense if there are no prescription laws or drug laws for that matter. Medical knowledge is available to any person who wishes to spend the time to learn what is needed. And computer software also is available. No doubt in a free market without restrictions, there would also be various levels of medical providers, not just the MD level. The same thing would apply with medical institutions and so forth. While this is “guesswork”, I’d say that there would be a reduction of at least 50% in costs, making health care actually affordable.
The basic essence of Libertarianism is that you are competent to make these decisions for yourself once you reach adulthood. Also, under Libertarian thinking, a “crime” has to have an “unwilling victim”. Thus, there can be no such thing as a “victimless crime”. This idea of course terrifies a lot of people, but it is really the way that a truly free society should operate. There is also a big difference between “thought” and “action”. A man who views child pornography may never actually “act” upon what he sees. The mere possession of such things should not be a crime. We don’t live in George Orwell’s “1984” where they supposedly did have “thought crime”. Just as the knowledge of how to make explosives doesn’t mean that the person in question will actually make them. The same thing applies to a lot of what is now “law”. There is a big difference between “thought” and “action”. Plus, most of our “victimless crime” laws are based not upon actual harm to an unwilling victim, but upon the idea that the issue in question is “immoral” and should not be allowed. For example, in Muslim countries leaving Islam is a crime that carries a death penalty. In some Muslim countries it is illegal for a woman to drive a car. So you can see that the fact that something is “illegal” does not mean that it is “wrong”. Only that an established government for whatever reason decided to make it “wrong”.
I think from all this that any libertarian can see that there are issues that can be used to “educate” the general public upon the advantages of libertarian thinking and philosophy. That libertarianism is not like what Ayn Rand wrote about in her novels. That version would never attain majority support from the American people. Winning a couple percent in an election isn’t really getting support from the majority of Americans!
In part 4 of this essay I’ll explain further as to what Libertarianism can accomplish.