Falsifying Liberty

I believe liberty to be worthwhile, to say the least. I also believe it is objectively superior to any alternative. This means I should try to falsify this hypothesis to myself. If I can’t think of ways which– if they held up– would prove my belief is based on a falsehood if it is, my belief is worthless.

How could liberty be falsified? If I could find one example where liberty– freedom tempered with responsibility– fails, that would do it. So far I keep coming up empty.

People have given me lots of examples where they imagine liberty fails: drugs, sex, “immigration“, etc. (and even the post office!) In every case, they weren’t thinking their position through very well or were trying to argue against liberty by artificially keeping The State a part of the scenario.

Sure, some people neglect their responsibility. This simply means humans are flawed and since they can’t always be responsible for themselves they certainly shouldn’t ever be put in charge of others.

Sometimes, people want to argue that because exercising your liberty in some essential ways is illegal, it can’t work even if it weren’t illegal. They imagine this rights-violation shows that liberty would fail even if the artificial barriers they refuse to reconsider weren’t there. The “we can’t get rid of government border controls because of democracy and welfare” people fall into this category.

That’s just dumb. If you want to argue against freedom of movement, you’ve got to at least discuss it without the artificial constraints of keeping other Big Government programs propped up to make sure liberty fails the way you want it to fail. And if you can get rid of one facet of tyranny you can get rid of the others– don’t pretend otherwise.

Yes, I am biased. I am pro-liberty and I am against theft, aggression, and slavery. I think I am able to consider all claims, however, I don’t need to wake up each day and decide anew whether I would be within my rights to go next door and start slaughtering people so I can take their stuff. You can ponder that question with each new day if you believe it’s necessary, but I’m done with it. No one has the right to archate and nothing can change that fact.

If, in the course of pondering this question yet again, you come to a different conclusion for reasons no one has presented before, try to convince me you aren’t just wallowing in statist superstition. Maybe you’re on to something and have discovered a way to falsify liberty, but I wouldn’t bet money on it.

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Kent McManigal

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