The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why is freedom good — but exporting freedom bad?

The question that forms the title of this post first entered my mind when I put up a post about Martin Luther King a couple of months ago, around the King birthday celebration. People honor King for working to free his people — Americans of African descent — while I look at his other attempts — to interfere with our trying to extend freedom to the people of Vietnam — and see King a lot less favorably.

But more recently this same question has occurred to me in the context of two other people, politically far removed from King: Ron Paul and Gary Johnson. Paul and Johnson are both considered libertarians: Paul was the Libertarian nominee for the Presidency in 1988, though before and after that year he has been involved in Republican Party politics; Gary Johnson is seeking to be the LP's candidate in 2012, though, similarly to Paul, he has been an officeholder under the Republican banner. And both seem to feel that taking part in foreign wars to attempt to gain freedom for other people is a bad thing.

Ron Paul: The war mentality was generated by the Iraq war in combination with the constant drumbeat of fear at home. Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, who is now likely residing in Pakistan, our supposed ally, are ignored, as our troops fight and die in Iraq and are made easier targets for the terrorists in their backyard. While our leaders constantly use the mess we created to further justify the erosion of our constitutional rights here at home, we forget about our own borders and support the inexorable move toward global government, hardly a good plan for America.

Gary Johnson: I would completely withdraw our military presence [in Afghanistan].

The question with which I titled this post applies to all these people. Why is freedom good — but exporting freedom bad?


Stampeding Herd said...

2 of your 3 stated principles are in error. The government has one function only: to provide the people with an environment that is free from force, so that they can live is not a govt function to provide goods that the people can't or won't provide themselves...the gov't has no place in industry... lincoln was totally wrong in his statement that gov't may provide goods if it can do so at a cheaper price...that would place the gov't in direct and unfair competition with private industry... read THE PROOF OF FREEDOM on
The nature of the human species requires that it be totally absolutely free. raynewman

Opinionator said...

Yours is a totally libertarian point of view. And while I understand it, I can't subscribe to it. If private enterprise will not provide a good at a price people can afford, people may be deprived of a necessity simply because they do not have the funds. I imagine that this is acceptable to you, but it is not to me.