Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vignettes. ii. Liberty, freedom, and the right to exist.

I do not have the right to exist in this civilization without the permission of someone else. Therefore, I can never be free.

You might ask, "how can that possibly be true?" Well, let me answer. To exist, I need the following five things:

1. Clean air.
2. Clean water.
3. Nutritious food.
4. A way to shelter myself from the elements, if necessary.
5. A way to dispose of my waste that doesn't conflict with the aforementioned needs.

If I do not have ALL FIVE of these things, I cannot exist. In this civilization, I definitely cannot get the last 4 things without someone's permission, and I effectively don't get the first either, because too many people seem to think they have the authority to dump poisons in the air. Furthermore, if someone ever figures out a way for corporations to own "air rights", then I am sure it will happen.

If you don't have the right to exist, how can you possibly have the right to "pursue happiness?" How can you be "free" at all? Well, you can't do either, really.

Oh, sure, you might be able to get "liberty." Liberty is awesome if you're the one in the position to do the exploiting and not the one being exploited. People who think that liberty is the most awesome thing ever usually call themselves "libertarians."

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