Wednesday, January 10, 2007

And there's nothing "free" about our society, except government requisitioned handouts

I'm not in favour of people engaging in risky behavior that could potentially harm others, like for example, drinking a 40 oz bottle of vodka and getting behind the wheel of an SUV, but Lew Rockwell gets it right when he says "government in a free society should not deal in probabilities." Government issued safety costs us all, proactively:

Now, the immediate response goes this way: drunk driving has to be illegal because the probability of causing an accident rises dramatically when you drink. The answer is just as simple: government in a free society should not deal in probabilities. The law should deal in actions and actions alone, and only insofar as they damage person or property.

[..] To underscore the fact that it is some level of drinking that is being criminalized, government sets up these outrageous, civil-liberties-violating barricades that stop people to check their blood – even when they have done nothing at all. This is a gross attack on liberty that implies that the government has and should have total control over us, extending even to the testing of intimate biological facts. But somehow we put up with it because we have conceded the first assumption that government ought to punish us for the content of our blood and not just our actions.

There are many factors that cause a person to drive poorly. You may have sore muscles after a weight-lifting session and have slow reactions. You could be sleepy. You could be in a bad mood, or angry after a fight with your spouse. Should the government be allowed to administer anger tests, tiredness tests, or soreness tests?
HT: Karen De Coster, who references Mr. Rockwell's article published in 2000 here, in a post concerning Toyota's "fail-safe system" to combat drunk driving, that some supposed defenders of liberty heil as "a great example of the way the private sector solves problems. There's more demand for reducing drunk driving, and Toyota is responding to that demand with innovative engineering."
How about this: will the consumers have a choice when it comes to putting these expensive things on their cars?


Little Tobacco said...

once it becomes state mandated, it is no longer the private sector that will be solving the problem. if there is a market out there for this system ( ivsuspect parents purchasing a car for their kids) then bully to Toyota. If not, then one hopes Toyota does not lobby the government to make them mandatory for drivers. I can see the present Ontario government attempting to make such technology mandatory fro young drivers which would be the start of making it mandatory for all drivers.

rhebner said...

The 'probability' of an accident after consuming a 40-oz bottle is very close to 100%.
I'm no fan of RIDE stops, but if the police wait until 'actions' occur, then the chance of an innocent person being killed/injured are pretty good.

How do the police explain to the family of an innocent victim that they knew the other driver was blind drunk, but they had no right to stop him because he hadn't yet done anything wrong (yet).

basil said...


If the police feel the need to pull some one over, they do, as they have always done in the 40 years I have been alive. I been told stories of various crimes, minor driving infractions (being told I didn't wait a full 3 seconds at a stop sign, which was not true), which were as likely as not outright lies - but they'll find their excuse if they need one. Usually it was obvious they just didn't like the look of me or my passengers and/or they were bored.

Random house searches would lessen may kinds of violent crime - find those guns before they're used by searching everyone's house on a random basis! I have heard young people (our future law makers and voters) agree that such searches would be OK since they, themselves had nothing to hide and, of course, it might help reduce murder. It might also uncover drug labs, grow rooms - who knows what kind of social ills could be sought out and terminated. And of course, the only people who would oppose such rules have something to hide.

Lisa said...

I've nothing to fear but my food ration, as one of the "greatest Canadians", Emily Murphy reminds us:

Getting a warrant to search a place for a suspected câche of poisons is almost as difficult as getting a passport to Russia. Society holds up its hands in horror and talks of "violated rights" if a policeman appears at its door with an order for search, and calls him names, the scope of which can only be measured by their ability to pronounce the English language. It is absolutely astounding what a hullabaloo can be made by an otherwise perfectly gentle lady, who has been asked to open her trunk or pass over her keys.

A most causal consideration shows, however, that if a câche of deleterious drugs be found in a suspected house, the magistrate's order was justified; if not found, the householder has a very high joke on his side and all the satisfaction. He may know, too, that as a citizen he has "the proved pre-eminence of worth," or —well, that the police through some favorable revolution of the stars, walked right over the câche and never noticed it.

If a housewife has the corners of her cupboards clean, and last night's dishes washed, there is no great trouble in the letting police "look through" any more than prospective buyers or inspectors from the gas company.