The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Liberty, not the world, will end with a whimper

Last week I suggested you keep an eye on Democrats up for re-election and how they stand on gun control measures being considered by what we, sometimes laughingly, call "our government." The following comes from a New York Times article about how Democrat office holders are facing some backlash regarding gun control legislation.

As Congress considers what, if any, laws to change, Mr. Manchin has become a barometer among his colleagues, testing just how far they might be able to go without angering voters.

The article is more opinion than news... which is what "news" is all about these days; influencing people rather than informing them.

There is a quote featured in Thursday's summary of NY Times articles (which I get in an email each day):
“We give up our rights one piece at a time,” a banker named Charlie Houck told the senator.

I note that the author of the article made very sure we knew that Mr. Houck is a banker. Why is that relevant? Is Mr. Houck's opinion more or less important because of that fact? I would suggest that Mr. Houck wasn't attending that meeting as a banker but as a citizen of West Virginia, a constituent of Senator Manchin.

And Mr. Houck is absolutely right. That is exactly how rights are taken away. At first.

"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."  A statement by one Wendell Phillips, abolitionist. He was right... about the price of liberty and about slavery. At the time, however, he was viewed as radical and dangerous. And not just by the slave states. Though we are not taught that in school, are we?  When I was in school, the distinct impression was that the non-slave states were united and their citizens spoke as one in opposition to slavery. As I grew older, I realized that this was completely untrue.

Our opinions are shaped by what we read and what we hear. Seemingly few of us arrive at independent conclusions. This is why I urge people to read opposing viewpoints and try to understand the reasoning behind them. It is much too easy to dismiss arguments out of ignorance of the opposing side, much too easy to support imposing the will of one side upon the other when all you hear or read is that which supports your own preconceptions.

The debate will continue on gun control and those in favor of increasing it will scratch their heads over why it failed because they do not understand, and simply dismiss, all the arguments against it.


T.C. said...

Freedom has been on the run for some time now. Ironically, and at the same time, I've observed a (renewed or discovered) interest in libertarian and classical liberal principles. As you know, I'm gravely concerned with the amount of interventionist policies being rammed through various legislatures in the West.

I look at Quebec, Massachusetts, California and even politicians like Bloomberg and wonder what is driving this excessive and obsessive faith in the nanny-state. Neigh, sometimes I wonder if the problem is worse in the U.S.!

At some point, we have to reverse this.

Douglas said...

We cannot reverse it, I don't think. I have decided that it is what the people want. It's not what we think they need but it is what they want.

T.C. said...

Perhaps, but it doesn't hurt to remind people of the alternatives. The freebie welfare state is simply not sustainable.