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A Clarification (The War on Drugs/Alcohol)
Every sort of chauvinism is mistaken
Last comment by JimmyMack 2 years, 1 month ago.

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Much dismay has been made, both intentionally and unintentionally, over the debate on drugs and alcohol. I present this piece to clarify the libertarian stance on this issue. It is my hope to not sway anyone’s stance, but rather to show the logic behind our ideas. I hope you read this with an open mind.

It has been espoused, and mostly incorrectly, that libertarians are only “Republicans that wish to smoke pot.” This is an incorrect interpretation that comes from misunderstanding. Yet, this notion is not unnatural; we have been brought up to see drugs and alcohol as evil, and by many respects they are. They infect a man’s life like cancer and remove his well-being, wealth and bonds with family and community. This piece is not to defend drugs and alcohol in that context, but rather to defend the freedom to choose.


Freedom to oneself is a righteous thing, but freedom for others has long been something of mans’ contempt. Thomas Jefferson place it clearly by saying; “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” Yet, with each cut, each inch we give away of personnel choice to the hands of the State, we lose this liberty. Many a nation has come and gone that wished it all their societal burdens be removed from the individual and given to the ever watchful eye of the politician. All have lost their freedoms in the process.

As Libertarians, we hold personnel choice in the highest regards. Not because we feel man will always make the best choice, but rather man is able to make the choice entirely. We feel the government should not be the final authority as to how one should live their lives. More specifically, choices should not be forced upon another individual by force of guns, imprisonment, and fines; unless, of course, their choices hurt another individual. Then that is, indeed, the role of government. If a man chooses to drink, he must bear the costs and responsibilities related to his body. If an accident should arise, the government should hold him accountable. The two issues need to be separated. Still, this should be left to the States individually. Constitutionally there is no power given to the federal government to make such a law. Rather, since it is not within the powers of the federal government, it is thereby left to the states. A concept far lost on many Americans.


Much like Prohibition in the 1919, the climax of the temperance movement, showed us how such policies will fail. It showed us how unintended consequences arise from busybodies who wish to improve other people’s habits thru government force. Groups like the “Anti-Saloon League,” dismissed the large population of people that used alcohol responsibly, and striped their rights for the few who did not. Many were forced to give up personnel choice, for the “good of society.” A truly collectivist thought, if I ever heard one. To those who open their eyes, the effects of Prohibition (and any other drug/alcohol mandate) are clear.


Transitioning to the “War on Drugs,” the substance might be different, but it harbors the same effects. A defender of the “War on Drugs” must-honestly-ask themselves; has it worked? Are we better off today? I would say, with a sternness “No!” The drug wars and black markets only exist because of our policies. By legally prohibiting barriers of entry into a business, the government raises the demand (and in effect price). As the late economist Milton Friedman once said; “What more could a monopolist want?” By making it harder to sell a product, only the most ruthless in society are able to do so, and along with them comes death and destruction. If man truly wishes to remove this, they must remove the motive, specifically, the profit motive.


Still, with these policies, we prop up the Nanny State. An idea of government into our own lives has morphed into a ban on; fatty foods, raw milk, salt, etc. “The idea that in a free society each individual decides for himself what is good or bad and what is risky is completely foreign to the patronizing moralizers who are now in control.” As Dr. Ron Paul puts it. “The government today is involved in compulsion or prohibition of just about everything in our daily activities. Many times these efforts are well intentioned. Other times they result from a philosophic belief that average people need smart humanitarian politicians and bureaucrats to take care of them. The people, they claim, are not smart enough to make their own decisions. And unfortunately, many citizens go along believing the government will provide perfect safety from them in everything they do. Since governments can’t deliver, this assumption provides a grand moral hazard of complacency and will only be reversed with either a dictatorship or a national bankruptcy that awakens the people and forces positive change.”


There is more to discuss on this topic, but for brevity I will let this stand. Please, watch these clips below. Once you understand the logic, I think than, we can have a constructive conversation. Thanks you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLsCC0LZxkY (Milton Friedman)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuHvoRwmUAc (Reason Foundation)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qaiz8gNw3M (Fox Business News)


Latest Activity: Feb 20, 2012 at 5:20 AM


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LibertyDrum commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 09:13 AM

Yes I did, thank you.

sebekm commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM

All of this is well and good, but if any of it translates to "we should be able to put into our bodies whatever we want," then it is NOT in the best interests of the citizens of this country.

LibertyDrum commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 14:06 PM

Seb, Then the next logical questions would be WHO decides what we put into our own bodies, and where does power come from?

sebekm commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 14:57 PM

Yes - those are the right questions.

A1: The answer is not always "us."

A2: In our case, the U.S. Constitution - which supposedly gets its power from "us."

Meanwhile, here's "like mother, like daughter" - just another example of what happens when somebody decides to put whatever she wants into her body:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles...

I see another senseless death on the horizon......

LibertyDrum commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:15 PM

A1: I understand what is NOT the answer, but again, it's not "us" who decides, than it has to be someone else. Correct? If we are not able to make our own choices, than who is?

A2: So are you saying that within the Constitution it gives the Federal Goverment the power to regulate personnel consumption of drug/alcohol?

I have seen the article you posted. I understand the story as well. There is indeed sad stories, but this is also a good example of how our current policies are not working. As hard as the moral busybodies will try, you can't outlaw bad role models.

Did you watch the clips I posted, Seb?

sebekm commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:23 PM

Yes I did. As to drugs/alcohol, the solution to violation of the law is not to eliminate the law. This in effect is what Paul is suggesting.

Obviously the Constitution empowers the control of drugs and alcohol, since that's the current state of affairs.

We live in a representative government. Whether we like it or not, our representatives are US. Therefore, WE decide. We ARE making our own choices - through our representatives. That's why we elect them.

No system is perfect. No system will conform to every want or desire of every single citizen. Our society is based on a "majority rule" principle.

IMHO - the libertarians will NEVER be in the majority so almost all of these arguments are moot.

As we are getting TOO basic here (as in Civics 101), I think this blog string - for me - is exhausted. Again, I'll let you have the last word.

Speak it well.

LibertyDrum commented on Monday, Feb 20, 2012 at 15:51 PM

I'm fairly certain there is not mention in the constitution empowering the Federal goverment to control substances. Rather, as I said in my piece, since it IS NOT with the constitution, it is there by left up to the individual States, per the 10th Amendment. I would assume just because the Federal Goverment does something, doesnt make it constitutional. I have many examples of how they do not act in such a manner. One specifically would be be the auto bailouts. I beg anyone to cite the authority for that.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 07:43 AM

Just because a substance is legal if prescribed by a Dr. does not make it good for your body.

Just because it is illegal does not make it bad for your body.

The choice should belong to the individual.

The VA ships railroad car loads of high powered drugs to vets at their mailboxes every day.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:01 PM

Individuals decide what to put into their bodies. Re: Drugs; legalize them, tax them, and educate the populace re: the pitalls of use. The money being made by the Narco-Terrorists is approaching the trillions of non tax paid benjamins. Take it away from them and give it to the lesser of two evils: the Federal Government.

JimmyMack commented on Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012 at 16:20 PM

And to pacify LD: let the Fed's parcel out the new found money proportionatly to the States that can demonstrate their total number of abusers\addicts. The more abuser\addicts the more money for treatment and education...etc. That way each state will have a sayso into how many of their citizens have chosen what substances they have put into their bodies and can thereby get reimbursed for it.

LibertyDrum commented on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 09:00 AM

Forgive me Jim, but past experience has left me skeptical about the idea of "proportionatly." If the Stimulus Bill is any example, more money goes to "supports" and less to "non-supporters"

But it's defiently an interesting idea, none the less.

JimmyMack commented on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012 at 14:43 PM

Yes TOT, we seem to be on the same page...I think... on this.


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