Matthew Mario Di Pasquale · Opinions
Warning: This post contains political heresy.
The United States (US) isn't a free country. No country is.
Ultimately, I value freedom. To achieve freedom, I suggest we dissolve all governments and abolish all laws and not form any new governments or make any new laws.
The way Hans Monderman fixed problems with roads is how I think we should fix problems with the rest of the world.
I think things would be better if we were free, but even if we could prove that certain laws (or restrictions) "improved" things, I still don't think we should have them. I think we should let people be free.
Maybe I'm closest to an individualist, but who knows? Labels aren't perfect. Neither is language. I don't like to label myself as this or that, especially when it comes to politics. I don't identify as any ideology, let alone any political ideology. Even if I did, I'd rather be a nonconformist, like Albert Einstein or Ralph Waldo Emerson. Actually, I don't even want to be a nonconformist, because then I'd be conforming to nonconformity itself. :-)
If I had to label myself as either a leftist or a rightist, or either a liberal or a conservative, I'd say I'm a rightist, or a conservative.
Maybe you're wondering whether I'm a Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, or member of some other political party.
Well, I'm unaffiliated: I don't align myself with any political party.
If I had to join a political party, though, I'd probably choose the Libertarian Party, since their political positions seem to best match mine. If I could only choose between the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, I'd choose the Republican Party.
When I first registered to vote, I registered as a Democrat even though I didn't agree with some of the political positions of the Democratic Party.
Later I changed my party affiliation to "unaffiliated". Ie, I became an independent voter.
Now I'm not registered to vote where I live.
For US president I voted for Donald Trump (the Republican Party's nominee) in 2016 (I think that was the first time I ever voted.) and Jo Jorgensen (the Libertarian Party's nominee) in 2020. I'm not sure if I'll ever vote again.
I agree with Thoreau.
Dissolve all governments.
And abolish all laws.
Also, I agree with a lot of Milton Friedman's ideas.
Imagine we had only one law, a law that made it illegal to unfairly kill another person, ie, to murder. But we already have that law, and people still break it anyway. You might say that's because we need to improve our law enforcement. But even if we had perfect law enforcement, wouldn't people still murder? And some would even still get away with it.
Maybe it'd be safer and better to get rid of the anti-murder law. Then, instead of depending on law enforcement, people might take more responsibility and be more inclined to protect themselves, and instead of having their hands tied due to their respect for the anti-murder law, the "well-disposed" might feel more free to use deadly force (if necessary) in self-defense. So the very law meant to stop murder and to punish murderers may instead be facilitating murder and sparing murderers. The very law meant to make the world more safe may instead be making it more dangerous.
People already use this line of reasoning (that even if we make something illegal, people will do it anyway) to argue that we should abolish other laws, such as abortion bans. They say that even if we ban abortion, mothers will do it anyway but by using methods that are less safe. So an abortion ban, while meant to save lives, actually puts more lives in danger. You can use this line of reasoning to argue against any law. You could even argue, according to reactance theory, that making something illegal makes it even more likely people will do it. Just listen to The Fantasticks (1960) - Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt - Never Say No.
Making laws likely results in a sort of Golem effect: a type of self-fulfilling prophecy. By making laws, legislators imply that they think people can't or won't naturally behave themselves, take care of themselves, or cooperate harmoniously together. If we treat people as immoral, incompetent, and selfish, then they're more likely to act that way.
Laws may disincentivize people from learning to think for, behave, and protect themselves. People may depend on the law to tell them what's right and wrong or how to behave, instead of using their own intellects, judgments, and consciences. People may depend on the law to protect them instead of taking responsibility and protecting themselves.
If laws really did make things better, then why is it that you can visit a town and find in it two neighborhoods where one is better than the other, but the persons in both those neighborhoods are subject to the same laws?
Even if we could prove that having certain laws actually makes things safer and "better" overall, then I still don't think we should have them.
A law by its very nature curtails freedom. So even if you think a certain law makes things "better" and you agree with it, you're limiting the freedom of those who don't agree with it.
Would you rather be a king's slave and live in harmony and prosperity or a free person and live in disorder and poverty?
Many would prefer the former, but let others choose the latter if they want.
I'd of course like to have freedom, harmony, and prosperity, all together, and I think we can.
When deciding if we should make a law, let's consider not whether the law will have good or bad consequences but whether the law is fair. We can only speculate (even if we're informed by sound research) about the consequences of a law, and often our speculation is completely opposite of the actual consequences, since often laws have counterintuitive effects: Laws often backfire, or do more harm than good. (Even scientists' hypotheses of controlled studies are often wrong. How can we expect legislators' hypotheses of chaotic societies to be any better?) However, we can reason (not speculate) about whether a law is fair, and I don't think any law is, unless everyone that's subject to it agrees to it.
Forcing people to obey laws is imposing your beliefs on them, and it's not fair to impose your beliefs on others, whether religious or moral. Don't stop a cheetah from stalking its prey. Don't interfere with Mother Nature like that. Don't apply our laws to a tribe in Africa. Don't impose our way of living upon them. Similarly, don't apply our laws to, eg, a family in Connecticut.
Let people live freely. If a person, or a group of people, such as a tribe, family, or company, isn't harming others, then let them live by their own laws, or none at all. If they're harming themselves or other members of their group, then let them work it out. If they're harming others outside of their group, then let those others protect themselves by using diplomacy, avoidance, or even reasonable force to stop the harm and, if possible, repair the damage.
Evolution, which follows Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns and includes going from atoms to molecules to DNA to brains to technology, has occurred freely, without man-made laws, for billions of years. I think we should allow evolution to continue freely, especially since I think that would give the best results, and so I think doing that is consistent with utilitarianism. I don't think we should "play God" by trying to control or influence evolution (or nature). Ironically, I don't see, eg, conducting stem cell research as "playing God". I see humans conducting stem cell research as a natural result of evolution. However, I see restricting, eg, stem cell research as "playing God". Still, even if we could prove that having certain laws accelerates evolution, then I still don't think we should have them. I favor freedom, even if that means we won't flourish. Restricting ourselves with laws in order to succeed is like pretending to be someone I'm not in order to attract a woman. I'd rather give myself the freedom to truly be myself, something I think is easier said than done.
Perhaps part of the reason people have differences in their political opinions is related to the differences in their personalities. For example, according to the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), I tend to be more P than J, so maybe that partly explains why I want less structure: less government and fewer laws. Whereas someone who is more J might prefer more structure: more government and more laws. I'm honestly not sure if having no government and no laws would be best. I think so, but even if we had a libertarian government, according to something like what the Libertarian Party stands for or what Milton Freedman advocated, then I think that'd be a huge improvement, and perhaps I'd be satisfied, but I don't think we should have copyright or patent laws, and I think citizenship and marriage should be abolished.