Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Self Control

Michael Gerson is taking Ron Paul to task for his performance in the recent Republican debates.

Paul was the only candidate at the debate to make news, calling for the repeal of laws against prostitution, cocaine and heroin. The freedom to use drugs, he argued, is equivalent to the freedom of people to “practice their religion and say their prayers.” Liberty must be defended “across the board.” “It is amazing that we want freedom to pick our future in a spiritual way,” he said, “but not when it comes to our personal habits.”

This argument is strangely framed: If you tolerate Zoroastrianism, you must be able to buy heroin at the quickie mart. But it is an authentic application of libertarianism, which reduces the whole of political philosophy to a single slogan: Do what you will — pray or inject or turn a trick — as long as no one else gets hurt.
Without self control self government is impossible. Gerson says that self control is impossible (how did we manage for the 30 years heroin was legal over the counter?). Thus we will need minders. Drug minders for sure. Probably sex and food minders as well. Not to mention income minders.

It used to be government was to protect us from each other. Now it is tasked with protecting us from ourselves. A much bigger job. No government ever invented has been equal to that task and you don't even want to live under governments that would make serious efforts at TOTAL Control. Such governments have a bad name. They are called Totalitarian.

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