Originally posted on Facebook Notes
Many forces in society strive to make life more hassle free. We see everything from safety standards and litigation to rules and regulations. There are drug laws which although meant to address collateral damages from drug abuse, also exist to prevent people from damage to themselves from using them. There are OSHA standards, labor laws, health inspectors and review boards. Cigarettes for years have had warning labels and the past few decades have seen extremely large lawsuits with large financial settlements to smokers.
Some would like to see the abolition of personal ownership of firearms, and although they cite crimes committed (generally with guns obtained illegally and obviously ‘used’ illegally) with guns but the same people also regularly cite accidents and crimes-of-passion in their arguments. The past has seen prohibition. Generations have lived through a growing welfare state. (yet no real reduction in poverty)
In just about any case, regardless of the rules in place, things still go wrong, people still do bad or foolish things and get hurt. But why stick to just health and safety issues while we are at it?
Well, of course, if some had their wait we wouldn’t. Recent years have seen talk of restricting fat in foods and perhaps even punishing makers of foods deemed ‘bad’.
Many people make choices for any number of different reasons. I can recall back in high school taking a skills evaluation – a couple of them in fact. Just about every one I took recommended that I should probably become an accountant. Maybe I should have been required to become one? How wonderfully utilitarian!
Now we see a government that is willing to decide what legal advice is deemed good and bad, and gesturing to levy real punishments for that they denote in the ‘bad’ category. The same can be said for investments and profiteering.
We are being told how to be responsible for the environment – green is in! We are told what we can throw away and how, told what we can drive and what fuels our vehicles can use, told how to eat, how to prepare our food, what is good and bad to eat – not simply what’s good for us, but what is moral and right! They tell us how we should protect ourselves and our families, how to manage our health care, what is deemed good business, how to invest and save for retirement, how not to get sick, how to travel abroad, what to do in a storm, when to wash our hands, what words are proper to say and what words are not, what entertainment we ‘should’ be listening to, how to treat other people!
Of course people have advice and criticism all the time. It is the nature of the human condition. “Opinions are like assholes” someone once said – “everyone has one and most of them stink!” But the modern equivalent of an opinion evolves into a government program, which equates to a mandate backed by penalty – whether that penalty is penal, fiduciary or through severe social and personal repercussions. Where does it all end? Do they really think they legislate away stupidity?
Freedom means the right to do as you choose, even if that choice is not the best choice! If you support the cause of freedom, you must stand up for the right of people to make (and require them to live by) the wrong choice or the bad choice right along side the righteous and good!