You can’t have freedom if you want government to force people to make “good” decisions.
Freedom requires a recognition that people are free to make good decisions sometimes. But it is also a recognition that people will make bad decisions at other times. Obviously, we would (as a society) wish to limit bad decisions of individual that compose our society, however, that cannot be the goal of any central government. It is in the ideal of freedom, that individuals make decisions for themselves, their individual lives, and their individual goals. People decide what they want to spend their individual energy on and they decide what they want to risk their resources/money doing. They also decide what is important to them. No one; to include a government (which is merely a collection of other men) can tell and individual what should be important to him.
Governments, Leaders, and Dictators have a tendency to believe that if they only had control over everyone’s lives and could remove certain “bad” choices, that society would run with a quiet efficiency that will make them the envy of the world (Utopia); but they never ask themselves why, if that were true, countries such as Cuba, North Korea, Cambodia, and even, the former Soviet Union, who do/did have such control over the citizenry, are not the pinnacle of the worlds societies. They are not, because this thinking, and its premise, are obviously wrong!
Choice can either be a good or a bad based on an individual’s perspective! Opening a business can either be good if successful, bad if it fails. But who defines successful? A business owner can be satisfied that his business lasted for 3 years. To add more complexity, the same business may fail in one location and thrive in another so how can a central (Federal) government limit, or otherwise regulate, a business in one location and not another? So should government stop everyone who wants to start such a business from doing so? Obviously not! Individuals must choose for themselves and suffer (or enjoy) the consequences of their decisions. Governments/leaders/dictators always fail to understand, that they cannot STOP every individual people from making “bad” decisions. When faced with choices, Inevitably, some people:
1) will make decisions that they believe to be good (but are likely bad for others); some other people,
2) will know that their decisions are a gamble (in which the outcome may be bad for themselves, and still make the risky decision); and still other people,
3) will know that their decisions are bad (and still they make the bad decision merely because they choose to).
Government believes that those who administer the government can create a society where everyone gets what they want. Government believes that THEY can find a balance within a society in which everyone can “do well”. Government believes it is possible to plan and direct a great society, yet, THEY ignore the basic tenants of human nature, one of which is; that people will make choices based upon their own INDIVIDUAL goals, wishes, abilities, dreams, and motivations.
This poses a significant problem for government because Government cannot collect enough information and data to ensure everyone is making those right decisions for their individual lives that government establishes. Look no further than any prison and ask yourself a serious question; If government can’t control decision-making by individuals in a prison, why do they believe, they can possibly beat the odds and control 300 Million people who believe that they are free? So it stands, Even if you made America a Prison… Government would still fail in its governmental goal of control.
On The Path To Socialism
As part of its goal to limit “bad” decisions, every Socialist-based, Communist-based, and Dictator-based government attempts to force the people under its charge to comply with its mandates. It strives to make allowable behavior so strict, obvious, and well-defined that any other decision is inherently wrong. But Alas (who writes like that), Individuals will always find ways they deem best, to accomplish their personal objectives. Each individual method leaves government with less control. So in order to solve the “individual” problem, government must strangle away the vast number of choices and direct that energy into the fewest possible options. To do this, however, requires the people in charge (government/leader/dictator) to threaten and then apply force against anyone who dares to deviate.
Establishing strict rules of behavior, is the process and purpose of creating Laws. As an example, National Healthcare (Obamacare) was established and its only practical goal is to wrestle Individual healthcare choices/options away from being the responsibility of the individual and give control to the Central (Federal) government. Even the President Of The United States admits that is his preference.
Basic laws that apply to everyone uniformly, and are approved (and willing to be followed) by the society have their role, so long as they do not violate the Constitution OR INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS. The problem is that Politicians choose to make law after law after law in order to funnel individual freedom into limited options that benefit government itself, and that it controls. Government does not make laws for individual rights any longer, it makes laws for government rights.
“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground.” — Thomas Jefferson
Any successful society must be based on the individual as he/she pursues what he/she wants, earns, and desires. Those who would suggest government should, “do something”, whenever there is no harm to others, are part of the problem. They are asking government to have a larger role in individual lives and individual decision-making. Naturally, and conversely, this diminishes individual freedom and liberty. Government gets stronger, while the individual gets weaker.
A person who enjoys his freedom, would rather be 99% free than be 100% safe, because if everyone is 100% safe, then everyone must be 0% free…