Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Hi mister straw man, sing a song for me.

How to become a libertarian.

I can't really see how one can contend number 4, "Seemingly harmless things can lead to terrible outcomes". Unless you suppose that the government is omniscient of course. As for the "argument":

Take seatbelt laws, for instance. Most states have laws on the books forcing people to wear seatbelts. Well, if the government learns that it can restrain us physically, who knows what might happen! They might restrain us further and further, until we live in tiny cages while the government dangles tiny pieces of fruit in front of us, just out of reach! You wouldn't want to live in a world like that, would you? If not, then you should oppose seatbelt laws.

Have anyone actually said that? A libertarian would probably not argue against seatbelt laws on the grounds of a slippery slope. Instead, he or should would argue that the government hasn't got the right to decide if I should ware a seatbelt or not while driving. I'm not infringing on anyone's rights if I don't, I only harm myself. I think it was David Friedman who said that "part of freedom is the right of each of us to go to hell in his own fashion."

One might wonder why I take the article serious at all. There's only one reason, because Wikipedia links to it as a critical essay.