Wednesday, August 15, 2007

ain't nobody's business if you do.

Most people who condemn currently illegal consensual activities know little or nothing about them. All they know are the sensationalized media accounts designed not to educate, but titillate. Unless they take part in the activities themselves - or have close friends who do - most people have bad relationships with the mere existence of these consensual activities. The primary emotions seem to be revulsion and fear, born of ignorance. Revulsion and fear keep one from investigating and learning that there is nothing much to be repulsed by or afraid of. It is a closed loop of ignorance (ignore-ance).

The unwillingness to see that "It is my judgment, based on my ignorance, that is causing the problem" is the problem. Bad relationships promote worse relationships. Worse relationships promote impossible relationships. Impossible relationships promote laws against consensual activities.


An excerpt from the outstanding (so far) book, Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do, by the late Peter McWilliams.

3 comments:

kursk said...

I wonder if he would have condoned his murderers actions..perhaps he was just indulging in his own murderous ways, didn't hurt anybody else, right?

Bleatmop said...

"McWilliams here contends that consensual crimes--those involving drugs, gambling, sex and unusual religious practices, among them--should be allowed if they do not physically harm others or their property"


Overall I'd have to agree with that, although with some limits.

I think the "not physically harm others or their property" sounds easy in theory, but is difficult in practice. Does a drop in property value due to a neighbors actions constitute physical harm to said property? If not, then what does? If so, then how do you regulate that? It seems to me that even a simple Libertarian value has immense difficulties in implementing in any real way. This is part of my struggle of liking Libertarian values, but being unable to see their practical easy use. I could make other examples, but this makes my point well enough without this becoming a rant :p

Janet said...

bleatmop:
Does a drop in property value due to a neighbors actions constitute physical harm to said property? If not, then what does? If so, then how do you regulate that?

Of course a drop in property value due to a neighbour's actions constitute physical harm - thus, the neighbour should compensate you for the loss to your property value, or if they don't, you can (if you believe it is worth your while) take the person to court to recover damages.

There is no need to regulate, simply a need for a court system suitable for reconciling differences between individuals. :)


kursk, I have no idea what you're talking about.