June 08, 2012

And if, in four years, we as a people decide we don't like peace, prosperity, and freedom, we can always vote tyranny back into office again.

Posted by Dr. Frank at June 8, 2012 05:01 PM


He really soft-pedaled the dramatics there. I felt a serious dearth of storm-panicked horses and blood rites involving dismembered chickens and such.

Posted by: Nate Pensky at June 9, 2012 03:40 AM

Hey interest groups, voluntarily give up your special privileges. I totally promise everyone else will too. Oh yeah, and don't worry about those unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats and judges who can unilaterally make public policy or the media-educational complex who will teach your children what bad people you are and how you betrayed the revolution by voting "libertarian" for one election. No, just do it, this will fix everything!

Oh, and one more thing, lets make it easier for people to become addicted to crack/meth/heroine. You see the problem with Detroit isn't that half the population is destroying their own humanity and the way we are trying to protect them is designed not to work, the problem is that we are trying to stop them at all.

Posted by: josh at June 12, 2012 01:11 PM

Dr. Frank,

Your system is optimized to produce the results you are seeing.

If you want to know why the world is changing in such an unlibertarian direction, understand how the system changed and who changed it and why it can't unchange. The piece of land I am standing on right now is on its fifth (lower case "c") constitution at least since the 1770s.

Posted by: josh at June 12, 2012 01:16 PM

"the problem with Detroit isn't that half the population is destroying their own humanity and the way we are trying to protect them is designed not to work, the problem is that we are trying to stop them at all."

Doesn't the first clause here undermine the second? i.e., if it's designed not to work, it's not really trying to stop anything. I agree though, that that's essentially the situation. My view is that, bad as things are, the current regime of drug enforcement only makes everything worse, and by a huge measure. If the "making things worse" part is indeed an intentional part of the program, then there's even less reason to endorse it, seems to me, even if, as is obviously the case, withholding endorsement has only symbolic effect at best.

My only reason for posting that video is, I like the guy and I think people should be able to hear what he has to say, including my few readers.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at June 13, 2012 02:52 PM

The war on drugs is some fairly tyrannical government by historical standards, but that doesn't mean ending the war on drugs will make the situation any better. The violence won't end. Is makes just as much sense to kill people over turf if crack is legal as it does if it is illiegal (do you think the police would all of the sudden start preventing this kind of criminality, while having less ability to mkae routine stops and searches, and less ability to get criminals to roll over on each other?) It will make it much more difficult to lock up violent criminals which is the only reason crime plateaued in the 2000s. Remember, the slaughter of cities predates the war on drugs. If anything, the war on drugs has alleviated some of the worst aspects of new deal anarcho-tyranny. If you think it couldn't get any worse, think again:


The problem is, the ptb, will not let the police win and but needs to maintain the dependence of a particular segment of the population, so they won't let the police retreat either. You can't vote our way out of this, and even if you could, you'd be voting for unspeakable barbarism.

I like libertarians too. A sane government leads to something very much like what a libertarian imagines he can vote into existence. However, you can't get a sane government form counting of heads, so beltway libertarians end up being Lenin's useful idiots or phony opposition.

Posted by: josh at June 13, 2012 04:12 PM

Look, it's a complicated issue. The libertarian formula of "economics uber alles" is an insular approach. Culture matters as well. People respond to social pressure, and repealing anti-drug laws inevitably leads to a relaxation of social taboos on drugs, which would be another nail in the coffin of Western civilization.

We've seen this with no-fault divorce, single motherhood, New Age education and child-rearing. So it's not difficult to imagine the same with hard drugs.

Social libertarianism is just not realistic. The statist left will always push to socialize any negative externalities of freedom, and will always find willing buyers. So yeah, in effect libertarians serve the ends of the statists.

Posted by: MakeMake at June 15, 2012 01:16 AM

Too many things are illegal. There are too many ways that people risk imprisonment for more or less normal behavior or for inadvertent transgressions of increasingly abstruse laws. Western Civilization may be ailing, but incarcerating 1% of the population will do nothing to aid it. "Realistic" or not, I'm glad some people are still complaining about this.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at June 15, 2012 06:14 AM

I agree there are too many laws, but I don't see how selling or using hard drugs is "more or less normal." I also don't see how one who doesn't use hard drugs can become "accidentally incarcerated", aside from the general but rare case that anyone may be framed or mistakenly imprisoned for any crime.

I understand how you're approaching the issue, but I simply don't see how a society that passes laws to limit the size of soda cups is not going to pass a zillion more laws to deal with the inevitable social costs and consequences of legalized, and likely mainstreamed, hard drug use.

Simply put, those who "complain" about this are not going to achieve their desired ends of greater liberty.

Posted by: MakeMake at June 27, 2012 06:55 AM

"Hard drugs" is a distraction, Makemake, and not relevant to Gary Johnson at least: he's talking about cannabis. As I said, I think fewer things should be illegal, and I'd probably like a good deal fewer things to be illegal than Gov. Johnson does and, apparently, even more fewer than you do.

But I'd take legalizing cannabis as a big step in the right direction. I'm not a pot smoker myself, but smoking it is indeed "more or less normal" and it is crazy to be rounding people up and putting them in prison, sending paramilitary units to break down little old ladies' doors, shooting their pets, setting their daughters on fire, capriciously terrorizing citizens, etc. for the sake of a pointless prohibition effort that everyone really agrees doesn't stand a ghost of a chance of prohibiting anything anyway.

Of course it's not really meant to. It's a ready pretext for these intrusions. It's the intrusions I'm against, not the phony pretext for them. Even granting arguendo the possibility that these perverse practices are on some level motivated by a genuine impulse to deal with social costs or whatever -- which I don't believe for a moment --when it comes to cannabis, the cure is manifestly and overwhelmingly worse than the disease.

More generally, overcriminalization is a genuine problem, and people really do get ensnared in abstruse statutes that they could not possibly have known they were violating. Read that Three Felonies a Day book if you doubt it.

Now I know my support for this or that candidate or expression of this or that opinion about this or that matter is unlikely to have any impact at all on anything. But what are ya gonna do? My love for the TV Personalities didn't manage to make them international superstars either, but I still get to listen to those records and say I like them, unless there's a statute against that (which there may well be for all I know.) Ditto Gary Johnson. Sometimes you just gotta buy the records anyway, knowing full well that it won't change the world. Or don't buy them. Do what you want.

Posted by: Dr. Frank at June 28, 2012 04:50 AM
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