Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Equations for Civility and Liberty

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Thus quoth wily old Ben Franklin who, however, got it all wrong. What people deserve is beside the point. What do they get?
Ludwig von Mises knew better. "Government is the negation of liberty," he wrote. But negation of liberty does nothing to promote safety.
Trading liberty for safety is a fool's errand. If anything, civil order and government--which is just another word for monopoly violence--are inversely related. How can it be otherwise? Why would planned, centralized violence prove any more conducive to safety than the unplanned, decentralized version?
You can even make a case the inverse-square law--which describes physical phenomena like magnetism, light, sound, and radiation--applies.
intensity = k x 1/distance^2
Replace intensity with safety and distance with government encroachments. The formula encapsulates a well-established social phenomenon. Civil order drops precipitously as the welfare-warfare police state expands even minimally.


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