Sunday, September 05, 2010

Personal Preference vs. Economic Activity

John Derbyshire in a critique of the Glenn Beck Million Christian March (Well really Restoring Honor Rally - but...) mentions a few things about "conservatives" he doesn't like (I agree with his list - mostly). This is one of my biggest pet peeves:

the infantile narcissism of believing that all life’s ills have a remedy in law
Ya know Derb? I have this problem with "conservatives" all the time. They have as much faith in the power of the state as the socialists do. They just want to use it for different purposes. You know how it goes with them "well surely the state can't create economic utopia, but it can cure vice."

Except vice is when you do something bad to yourself. Well assign a policeman to every house, street, and place of business. And they need not be regular police - secret police will do. Or as we prefer in the US - undercover cops and informants. That will stamp out vice. Unless the informants and undercover cops are on the take. Which they are in any well established system.

There are some things about human nature that can't be fixed at the point of a gun. Economic activity and personal preferences are the big two. The best that can be hoped for is reasonable regulation (which is to say regulations that >99% will follow with no enforcement). Generally these days in America we have a Personal Preferences Party and an Economic Activity Party. Each side does its ratcheting against the other side and very little deratcheting is going on.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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