Greetings from Sedona…
The dearth of any important news since my last post offers another opportunity to explore recent developments which highlight the consequences of violating a key libertarian principle. If you are new to this site you may be thinking that I am nuts dismissing the impact of recent dismal reports on employment, the Greece bailout, housing prices skidding to new post bubble lows, lousy auto sales, etc. Regular readers of my posts will agree that none of them were of any surprise and therefore deserve no further comment at this time.
The Passing of a True Leader
Jack Kevorkian died last Friday.
I honor his passing because he fought and sacrificed himself for the right to assisted suicide. Whether he understood it or not, his crusade was to reinstate a key element in the broader, most fundamental right to self ownership. Central to analysis of any political issue is the answer to the question, “Who owns you?” Nothing is more important to owning yourself than having control over your very existence, including your right to contract with someone to help you end it. Laws criminalizing disposing of your life as you see fit are among many facts proving you do not own yourself, but that “society” owns you! We owe a large debt of gratitude to people like Jack Kevorkian who gave so much of himself for our most fundamental of rights.
If you do indeed own yourself, you must be allowed to dispose of your most intimate assets (your body and soul) in any way you see fit, even if you are stupid about it, as long as your actions do not interfere with anyone else’s right to self ownership. That is the point that Dr. Kevorkian was trying to make. Indeed, he viewed himself as the Doctor of Life because of his efforts to allow people to die in dignity, not Dr. Death, as the press corps called him. He was a true leader in supporting the notion of self-ownership.
The Absurdity of the Global War on Drugs
With all the distressingly pressing problems we face it may seem a bit silly to be complaining about not being able to have someone help you die. Such an attitude is a mistake because it is the principle that is important. Non-recognition of your right of self ownership invariably has severe and expensive consequences. Illustrative of this is the most important event since my last post – the killing of seven people in an attack on an Acapulco, Mexico resort.
This attack at an Acapulco resort was not the first of its kind, but remains an important sign on the long road to oblivion paved by the war on drugs. I believe attacks like this mark the bloody beginning of the bloody end of that war; one which is immoral, bankruptingly expensive and easily the most racist thing we do in America.
That people may steal to support a drug habit, for example, is no argument for criminalizing drug use. Stealing is immoral for any reason and that is the act to be punished, not its motivation. The argument that one unobjectionable act may lead to another immoral act is an argument against anything that may offend anyone. Breathing is antecedent to every immoral act! That someone may drive under the influence of drugs, to cite another example, is an equally spurious argument. Driving while impaired for any reason is both illegal and immoral.
Sadly, very few people care about principles unless there is money involved. By my reckoning the criminalizing of drugs costs America a rock bottom minimum of $100 billion per year.
That does not include the many hundreds of $billions in indirect costs of the blighting of huge swaths of urban real estate to which lily white suburbia and exurbia outsource production and distribution of recreational drugs.
The Acapulco attack is another sign that the costs will escalate dramatically in the coming years. It is a statement that the presence of American tourists will be no deterrence to violence. Mexico is now owned by illegal drug producers and distributors. The illegal drug trade makes the dealers the richest and most powerful force in Mexico, and they will not be defeated by the drug revenue infested and corrupted Mexican police and military.
The inevitable next act in this horror story is sharply increased American taxpayer funded aid to fight the drug war in Mexico, followed by boots on the ground when the aid fails. Mexico is too big a country and to valuable an asset in the supply chain for the cartels to give up as easily as they did in faraway Columbia. If you doubt my prediction, please note that our border with Mexico is already a hot war zone, and getting hotter every day.
The drug war might not be so bad from a global perspective if we did not drag everyone down with us. As an example, now that Osama bin Laden is dead, there is no reason to remain in Afghanistan other than the drug war. We have already heard how the drug trade finances terrorist organizations. This reasoning can and will be used to occupy virtually any wasteland in the Middle Mast or Africa. In addition to the huge financial cost, the drug war will sap our military strength along with the political will required to combat real threats to our security. This is our future as long as we persist in the notion that violating the right to self ownership is permissible.
Do we have a true leader on the horizon to show us the way to self ownership in the war on drugs?
All the best to you all,
steve (at) SedonaCyberLink.com