From an article distributed by Connecticut Libertarian Party activist Marc Guttman:
It’s often said that if someone doesn’t like something the government is doing, he or she should convince enough people to change it. Is this our idea for community, granting government the power to push through special interest will and expect that if innocent individuals want not be obstructed or burdened, they need toil and spend their resources to try to persuade others and gain power within the government to stop the intrusions on their human rights? This isn’t the blueprint for a harmonious society. It usually has a way of turning would be cooperative participants into adversaries and is a terrible waste of human creativity and capital.
Do we want our rights and property always at the whim of the voting majority and those best able to curry government’s favor or rather a government that protects every individual equally? Some wrongly believe that perceived positive ends justify and are achievable by aggressive means. They accept infringements on innocent individuals as an acceptable trade-off, proceeding with the temerity to impose their preferences on and at a cost to others.
Many policies are illegitimate uses of force. As our government violently imposes democracy onto overseas communities, appreciate that individuals under such arrangements often lose. Consider black individuals under the Fugitive Slave Act and the Jim Crow South, dispossessed Native Americans, women prior to suffrage, draftees under military conscription, Germans under the democratically-elected Nazi Party, alcohol-consumers under prohibition, ill patients forbidden therapies, gays denied equal legal marriage recognitions, raw milk drinkers, homeowners blocked by zoning laws from growing gardens. Hair-braiders, eyebrow-threaders, home decorators, yoga instructors, coffin makers are some of the many would-be entrepreneurs boxed-out by regulatory barriers erected by “captured” regulators and legislators influenced by those in the industry maneuvering for competitive advantage and to limit others’ entry. What mass of citizens is banding together for their cause? The costs of these regulations to taxpayers and private actors in the economy is enormous. Such interventions limit our choices, protect cartels, increase prices, and decrease quality and safety, diminishing our qualities of life.
Diffuse costs and concentrated benefits is when the cost of a given policy to each individual is much smaller than the benefit to an enriched industry, corporation, or special interest group. It is not worth the effort and expense to individuals to form an organization and spend for lobbyists and advertisements, because their sugar costs are $12 more each year, to go up against sugar producers defending their protective sugar tariff. There are thousands of unfair policies that together compose a substantial burden. Other interventions externalize costs, losses, and risks, socializing private costs. Think taxpayer-provided bank bailouts and caps on BP’s liabilities.
Let’s revoke our consent for intrusions on individuals. In karmic fashion, we are all harmed when we initiate force. Non-coercive, voluntary cooperation and community reward best.
Marc Guttman is an emergency physician and editor of the book Why Liberty – Personal Journeys Toward Peace andd Freedom. His website is www.WhyLiberty.com.
The above article has also been published in the Norwich Bulletin.