Reconsidering the Conflict

November 6, 2008

We tend to talk about political differences in terms of Democrats vs. Republicans. You could also call it the central planners vs. the classical liberals (now more commonly called libertarians -- little 'L'). Because there's such a gulf between Republican voters and Republicans in office and because this is not a specifically American conflict, I'm going to call the teams "planners" and "libertarians". There seems to be an underlying assumption that the two groups have a simple difference of opinion. Sometimes we're in charge, sometimes they're in charge. The pendulum swings back and forth, etc.


The contrast boils down to this: If libertarians get their way, everyone (including the planners) will be left alone in peace. If the planners get their way, everyone (including libertarians) will be subjected to the control of others by force. These are not equally defensible positions. We cannot "agree to disagree". Vegetarians and meat eaters can agree to disagree. Music fans can agree to disagree. For libertarian vs. planner, it's the difference between saying "I like meat" and saying "Everyone must buy and consume meat". It's the difference between saying "I like country music" and saying "Everyone must buy and listen to country music".

To say that we must accept the planners' ideas is to say that a woman walking to her car must accept rape. The idea that we must compromise with such people, "hear them out", or "let them have a turn" is ridiculous.

I'm tired of acting like we all want the same thing and just disagree on how to get there. The planners are actively working to violate people's rights. We do not have to meet them half-way. They are aggressors, criminals, our enemies.

If you don't care about your own freedom, that's fine, but when you give it up for yourself in ways that affect everyone, that is not fine. If you're a planner reading this and thinking "Hey, I value freedom!": Sure. Maybe you do. That doesn't mean you aren't destroying it. Being opposed to plane crashes isn't the same as knowing how to fly. Your ignorance and good intentions aren't sufficient safeguards for liberty. They are, in fact, the problem.

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