Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Libertarian Leanings-

At times I have referred to myself as a Mercenary Anarchist. This is a reference my work in corrections and my personal libertarian leanings. Though I lock people up according to law, I don't always believe in those laws for which they are locked up.

I do, however, believe in law and order. Just not a lot of it.

Many of the people I lock up are incarcerated for drug related crimes. I believe that laws protecting persons and their property are necessary. I do not really think that the elaborate and expensive drug enforcement current in our society is similarly necessary. However, the laws are not difficult to abide by. I do not have a particularly difficult time earning a living locking up people who elect to be stupid.

I would eliminate most of the laws regulating the drugs and their marketing. Simplify the system to protect children from predation and easy access, and eliminate any laws that simply relate to drug possession and sales.

On the other hand, prosecution for behavior related crimes would not be mitigated by drug use. Being under the influence would not provide any form of excuse. The choice to use any drug would encompass any consequences of that choice. Laws protecting persons and property would be firmly enforced.

All other laws would be assessed and simplified, as well. Regulation would be minimal, and freedom maximized.

I realize that this is all a pipe-dream.

It is such because of the various natures of people. Some have a temperament to regulate. Once they have regulated what is minimally necessary to insure free human interaction, they will continue to find things to regulate. It is the fundamental compulsion of who they are.

These people make use of a valuable resource. The people with a temperament to enforce. Unless it is taken to extremes, this is a useful pairing. The regulators regulate, giving the enforcers something to enforce.

It is easy to see how this can cascade out of control. More laws. Laws that are well intended, but become complex and sometimes contradictory. More enforcers to enforce the expanding number of laws. All of this creates a greater overhead for regulation and enforcement. The cost of the system grows ever greater.

At this point in my life, I live and work with the enforcers. Most are dedicated and do a great job. However, most do not think much about the laws they enforce. Since more laws feeds the need to enforce, they are often supportive of the regulators.

Everywhere I have lived the regulators have held power by permission of the people being regulated. Over-regulation is at least slowed and minimized by systems that allow for the removal of regulators that become unpopular. That would include regulators that do not control their enforcers.

Still, I see a continuous expansion of regulation in the world in which I live. This is contrary to my love of freedom, and the consequential aversion to regulation.

I have no real hope of seeing a world of true liberty. Perhaps that is not really possible, given the nature of humans.

I must adapt to ever growing regulation, and seek to exercise such liberties as I can.

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