Want a better world? Don’t impose your values on others

Posted: January 26th, 2010 by Militant Libertarian

by Kent McManigal, Albuquerque Libertarian Examiner

Browsing through the “news” I find a lot of evidence that people don’t wish to deal with things themselves.  They would rather send the hired guns of government in their place.  This is the lazycoward’s way out, and it is wrong.

The whole “texting and driving” issue is but one example.  Another is the recent focus on “blight” in Clovis.

If something really is a problem that needs to be solved- and that isn’t always as clear as some would want you to think it is- then the proper way to deal with it is to take care of it yourself.  The wrong way is to pass another “law” that will then use the guns of government (paid for with money stolen from the very people at whom those guns end up being aimed) to enforce your values on people who obviously do not share them.

It is your responsibility to watch out for yourself.

It is your responsibility to not initiate force, not personally and not by proxy.

It is your responsibility to be aware of your surroundings and remember that others may not be aware of theirs.

It is your responsibility to mind your own business.

It is your responsibility to respect the rights of others and to keep in mind that you have no right to not be offended and that a real right never imposes an obligation on another person, no matter how much you wish it would, and no matter what your justifications might be.

And, if something annoys or upsets you, it is your responsibility to take steps, at your own expense and on your own property, to shield yourself from that annoyance.  It is not up to the one who is annoying you as long as he is not trespassing or threatening you.

This makes me think of the “Serenity Prayer”, which states: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. ”  Yet, one thing (not the only thing) about this “prayer” has always bothered me.  Not everything thatcan be changed, should be changed.  Real wisdom needs to be able to tell the difference there as well, if serenity is ever to be found.  Getting over the addiction of feeling that you have the right to control the non-aggressive behavior of others can be extremely liberating.  Give it a try.

Don’t forget to check out and contribute to Project LTE.  A letter-to-the-editor needs you!

Notice the mighty fine “Time’s Up” flag near the end of this post on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog.


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