Free People Don't Ask the Government for Permission

"Liberty," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "is unobstructed action according to our will; but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others."


We've recently celebrated another Veteran's Day, where we've heard all the usual "freedom isn't free" speeches extolling the role of the U.S. military in protecting our liberties. I've got nothing against the military and respect those who served in it, but wish that Americans would spend less time waving the flag and trading in bromides—and more time thinking seriously about the precarious state of our own freedoms.

"Liberty," Thomas Jefferson wrote, "is unobstructed action according to our will; but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law'; because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual." That's as good a definition of liberty as one will ever find.

Americans are supposed to be free to live as we choose—unobstructed by government and limited solely by others' right to exercise their free will. Jefferson's words can be summarized by that old cliché: Your right to swing your fist ends at the beginning of my nose. Obviously, our nation's founding was fraught with hypocrisy given that a large portion of the population wasn't free at all, but that doesn't mean that the country's ideals aren't worth pondering today.

The second part of that Jefferson quotation is as important as the first part. Just because the government has passed laws, through its established process of legislating and regulating, doesn't mean that such rules are worthy of blind obedience. Many are legitimate, but others merely are the "tyrant's will"—an effort by one group to impose its preferences on other people. We've got plenty of laws against murder and mayhem, so most lawmaking now is devoted to these other meddlesome things, which is what Jefferson warned against.

Our country has strayed so far from those concepts that we've morphed into society where we constantly need permission from the government to proceed. Whereas government previously needed a compelling reason to restrict our actions, it now demands a host of permits, fees, pre-approvals and justifications. This "Mother, may I?" situation has turned the notion of a free society on its head.

"Whether it be building a house, getting a job, owning a gun, expressing one's political beliefs, or even taking a life-saving medicine, laws and regulations at the federal, state and local levels now impose permit requirements that forbid us to act unless we first get permission from the government," wrote Timothy Sandefur in his new book, "The Permission Society." He blames the Progressive movement, which is accurate, but conservatives also do the same thing when it comes to drug laws, tariffs and security measures.

One of the best permission-society examples involves occupational licensing. If you want to earn a living in any number of fields, you're required to spend thousands of dollars in government-dictated training—much of it irrelevant to the job you want to perform—and then get a permit. These rules apply not only to highly skilled professions such as surgery, but to fields such as hairdressing and tree trimming. Keep in mind that a competitive market—not government rule-making—does the best job of assuring that people have necessary skills.

Instead of making it easier for people to work, our state government is ramping up its undercover stings so that it can arrest people for committing these victimless crimes. Not only must we ask permission first—but we risk fines and arrest if we don't. That's true even though most licensing rules are not about protecting the public's safety, but about established industries using their political clout to pass laws that limit the competition.

Critics of the licensing regimen often focus on the many practical ways that it harms people, by limiting economic opportunities and forcing people into the underground economy. Likewise, those of us who argue against the state's burdensome building regulations and conditional-use permits—i.e., you can operate your business only under the conditions detailed by the government—focus on how it inflates housing costs and harms business development. That's true, but maybe we need to talk more about how these rules stifle our freedom.

The most pernicious recent permission-society law is Assembly Bill 5, which forbids companies (those who failed to successfully lobby for an exemption) from hiring contractors to perform many jobs. Government decides in advance whether we can enter into work relationships of our own choosing.

There's no easy button to clear the decks of Nanny State rules. But Sandefur suggests that all new laws should start with a presumption of freedom, with the burden of proof resting on those who propose them. He compares it to criminal courts, where we are presumed innocent until proven otherwise. Until we reorder our thinking, I'm afraid our liberties will continue to fritter away—and freedom will become just something that we prattle about during holiday parades.

This column was first published in the Orange County Register.

NEXT: What's the Matter With Idaho?

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  1. We have to get permission from a Government-Almighty-certified Doctor of Doctorology to scratch our asses, blow our noses, or blow on a cheap plastic flute… Because my freedom to freely scratch my ass, blow my nose, or blow on a cheap plastic flute… Stops at the limits of the freedoms of doctors to parasitize the rest of us, for the BIG $$$BUCKS, by enlisting Government Almighty to SHAKE US DOWN for our last dime!

    To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!



    2. So tiresome.

  2. Well, we should still have to ask for government permission when buying a gun. According to longtime libertarian activist Michael Hihn, libertarians should support common sense gun safety laws like requiring people to complete a training program and pay for a firearms license.


    1. Ha…Hihn!

      1. Absolutely, and we should also have to ask for government permission when posting a “parody” online, to make sure it’s not too deadpan and, hence, illegal. This points to the key purpose of all permit requirements: to reduce criminality in our great nation. See the documentation of America’s leading criminal “satire” case at:

  3. Freedom To Speak? Going! Gone?

    At the moment, the great threat to freedom of speech comes not from governmental agencies but from non-governmental ones. Websites supposedly inviting comments censor them as harshly as the North Koreans would. These sites include The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal; for example, the following posting was rejected by the “moderators” at The Wall Street Journal, which censors links:

    A Sign Of The Times

    “There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper.” -Camille Paglia (b. 1947)

    Under threat, men fight or flee; women seek protection. Men more likely will employ cognition; women, emotion. These biological traits allowed humans to survive and prosper.

    Yes, history is replete with women of competence successfully wielding power. Queen Elizabeth I. Catherine the Great. Margaret Thatcher. They did so, however, in a context of patriarchy not matriarchy.

    Throughout history, name one advanced, successful, matriarchal society. Can’t?

    The emotionally-laden testimonies of witnesses called by the Democrats are signs of the times — a progressively fragmenting, declining nation on fire transitioning from patriarchy into matriarchy.

    See “Matriarchy In America” at the website, Nation On Fire.

    1. Well, isn’t going to remove your politically incorrect post (which DEEPLY shocked and offended me, by the way), so there is that… Freedom still lurks in hidden places here and there… But PLEASE don’t tell the Feds!

      1. Well, isn’t going to remove your politically incorrect post

        They can and do. Although it’s unlikely unless you offend one of their snowflake editors or the snowflakes SJWs in the comment section spam-flag it. They will, however, happily die on the hill of defending – nay, demanding – censorship by ”””””private””””” companies

        1. I’ve been reading the comments here for several years now, and you and PB are the only ones I can remember being banned or having posts removed. Did they remove yours because you kept wishing that various writers would get raped to death, or was there more to it than that?

          1. Hihn also got banned, and all of his rants got scrubbed from the threads.

            1. Ah, you’re right, I’d forgotten about Hihn’s original account. May he live the rest of his days far, far away from Internet access.

    2. Yes, Yes – We’ve all (any person supporting USA concepts) has been moderated (“banned”) out of all decent commenting by liberal media outlets. Goes without saying.

      But you forget; who created The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and does your freedom of speech “entitle” you to force-ably post on their their created and offered services?

      Perhaps you should create your own bucket (website) to stand on or just post at Reason; as is where I am. But please don’t encourage this ever-growing practice of making Individual Rights an “entitlement” to other peoples property.

      1. “But please don’t encourage this ever-growing practice of making Individual Rights an “entitlement” to other peoples property.”

        Amen!!!! Well said!

  4. because law is often but the tyrant’s will

    Amen. I’m going to celebrate my freedom with a 98 ounce Coca Cola before President Bloomberg is elected.

    1. 98? Where’s the freedom in that?

      I want my True American™ 1776 Gulp. One thousand, seven hundred and seventy six ounces of freedom, delivered on the claws on a bald eagle.

  5. Thanks for the post.

      1. Wow holy shit, even bots forget to link sometimes.

  6. He blames the Progressive movement, which is accurate, but conservatives also do the same thing when it comes to drug laws, tariffs and security measures.

    Republicans legislators supported and a Republican president signed a jailbreak euphemistically styled ”””””criminal justice reform””””’ as well as the SAFE Act allowing pot dealers to access federally regulated banks in contravention of the law. Meanwhile your chocolate messiah did nothing on criminal justice reform and actually cracked down on legal pot dealers as well as gun brokers whores and payday lenders with Operation Chokepoint. Is there anything conservatives could do to get you stop lying about them?

    1. No you’re right. Conservatives are the paragon of liberty. That is why they want to ban flag burning, impose tariffs, and hire more thugs with guns to stop that “””””scourge””””” of illegal border crossers.

      1. Great comment, Jeff!


        1. Oh screw off.

      2. The 2016 Democratic choice for president was Hillary Clinton, who was one of two co-sponsors (and one of 5 ultimate sponsors, 4 of them democrats) behind the Flag Protection Act of 2005, which would have banned flag burning.

    2. Chocolate messiah?? He was as much white bread as he was chocolate. Wasn’t he raised by two old honkies?

      1. It’s amazing how many anti-racists still honor the one drop rule.

      2. Milk chocolate messiah

  7. Poor Steven Greenhut.

    He wants America to be a place of Anarchy not a Constitutional Democratic Republic based on tiny and limited government.

    BTW: Thomas Jefferson clearly would have never agreed with you. He helped form and served as President for this Republic.

    1. You clearly didn’t make it to the 4th paragraph.

      1. FYI: I didnt read past the heading.

  8. Someday us Libertarians will finally kick to the curb Anarchists who are just misstating what Libertarianism is about.

    1. Poor alphabet-troller troll. Still hasn’t read enough of the dictionary to understand what “anarchist” is, and still thinks it a synonym for “chaos”.

    2. At least the alphabet troll admits it is a troll.

  9. all new laws should start with a presumption of freedom, with the burden of proof resting on those who propose them.

    Moreover, the presumed benefit of a new law should be measurable, and if the benefit is not obtained those who proposed that law should be banned from “public service”.

    1. One of my pet fantasies is that every law has to include a description of the problem, a description of the path from problem to solution, and a list of all expected consequences both good and bad. Any if anyone affected by the law can show that any part is wrong or incomplete, the law is voided in its entirety. In particular, showing any unexpected consequences is what matter. It would force politicians to list as many possible consequences as possible and not just wave their hands.

      Of course, the state being the state, its judges would bend over backwards to allow the most atrocious and vague definitions, such as “Other miscellaneous affects on the economy”. Thus one other aspect is that judging all of these lawsuits would be handled only by juries chosen at random, with unanimous approval required to keep a law; and especially with no appeal process, since the entire point is to keep it out of the lawyers’ hands.

  10. While I sympathize with the ideas of this article, I am also aware that there are implications to people doing whatever they please. Most rules we have today are because someone complained and asked for the rule. So you start with the idea of freedom, but what happens when someone comes and petitions the government for limits on that freedom. Does that petitioner have the freedom to say another person’s freedom affects them in a negative way. The problem here is establishing the balance. This needs to be a constant dialog in our society.
    Here is the rub. In evaluating the balance between freedom and effect are we looking at the issue objectively or are we applying the standard of the tribal group we identify with. I can’t help but think the later is now predominate.

    1. Most rules we have today are because someone complained and asked for the rule.

      That’s a nice way of saying cronies lobbied for protectionist laws and donated lots of money to politicians’ election campaigns.

    2. Or – what about the level of government being appropriate?? How about a Constitutional litmus test? 90% of what the federal government “dictates” at it’s almighty king-like authority should be localized.

      1. This is an interesting response because the level of government control is often dictated by who controlling that level of government. In Wisconsin for example Republicans pushed for local control up to the time they controlled the state government. After that the Republican pushed the idea of uniform laws across the state. When local government sought to exercise control over sand mining the Legislature thought that state level controls were better.

        1. Yes, Republicans who push “controls” like Democrats do compulsively are no better than Democrats themselves thus came the RINO acronym. [WE] voted upon Ice Cream flavors isn’t what this country was founded upon. Individuals each choosing their own Ice Cream flavor while not forcing others to make it and making it themselves if they need to is the principle this Republic was based upon and touted by the GOP platform.

    3. “Concentrated benefits, diffuse costs” summarizes a huge percentage of the problem. It is an eminently Google-able phrase, along with “regulatory capture” of the political process. I can screw the public if enough of me and my fellows can gang up on the rest of you, and y’all let us get away with it!

      Anyone for getting all of us PhD mechanical engineers together, and getting the politicians to bless the following? … Before anyone is allowed to get an oil change, you and your car are required to get a prescription first, from a degreed, credentialed, board-certified PhD mechanical engineer!!!

      1. Just shut the hell up already

    4. Laws don’t stop people from doing what the please. They only punish them after the fact.

    5. “Does that petitioner have the freedom to say another person’s freedom affects them in a negative way. The problem here is establishing the balance. This needs to be a constant dialog in our society.”

      Do some reading,; I suggest this thing called the Bill of Rights, You can find it in a document called the United States Constitution, Amendments I through X.

      1. That document’s far too…edgy… for squish4ever’s reading list.

      2. You should note that courts including SCOTUS have ruled that rights defined in the first 10 amendments are not absolute. So I will stick with my comment that freedom is a balancing act to find out what is accepted within the rights defined in the Bill of Rights.

        1. We get it. Now walk us through your views on extermination camps and their relation to the Bill of Rights.

          1. I’ll give it a try: if the majority of the population believe that they are being negatively affected by the existence of the Jews, then we balance those interests and exterminate only half of them.

    6. what happens when someone comes and petitions the government for limits on that freedom.

      You tell them, “fuck off”.

      Does that petitioner have the freedom to say another person’s freedom affects them in a negative way.

      They have a right to say whatever they want to, but that shouldn’t give them the power to infringe on anyone else’s rights. If that “negative affect” is a violation of such petitioners’ rights, then “another person” was acting outside of his own rights. It is the violation of petitioner’s rights that would be the problem, not the exercise of any rightful freedom by “another person”.

      The problem here is establishing the balance.

      No. There is no “balance”. We may do as we please as long as we do not violate others’ rights. We may not tell others they can’t do as they please if they are not violating our rights. End of story.

      This needs to be a constant dialog in our society.

      And the constant reply to those who would restrict the rights of others because they feel themselves “affected” should be “fuck off”.

  11. Has anyone yet come up with some other way Uber drivers in California and New Jersey can continue to operate under the new restrictions? Seems to me the test to work on is whether it’s the contractee’s main business. If Uber could become part of some other business, such that driving would no longer be their main service, that would seem to fill the bill. Anyone have a suitable model for that yet?

    For instance, how about if businesses needed to get their customers, workers, and suppliers to their locations? They could contract with drivers to do that. Problem solved!

    1. Also, it seems there should be a way to cut out the middleman that is Uber. Why not just have the software execute itself, without the intervention of a business? Then the drivers would truly be working for themselves.

      Also, is there some special provision in these regulations for workers to form a co-op or partnership? Nobody would be hiring them, they’d all just own shares.

      1. The last idea is interesting but how do you enforce the co-op. The co-op drivers negotiate a better rate with Uber, but Uber then preferentially send business to nonco-op drivers.

        1. No, I meant for Uber to reorganize as a co-op.

    2. The law in CA is now in effect. Uber has said that it’s not their main business and thus they don’t have to call the drivers employees. I think the argument is that they are a technology company or something along those lines. In any case, look for this to end up in court soon enough.

  12. “Whether it be building a house”

    I see the overall message here, but we have to break it down. Someone can build it on a foundation that shifts, collapses, destroys the house, along with the surrounding ones. It’s not uncommon for people to remove trees and stumps and as a result cause a mudslide because they took away what was holding the hill up. That’s one example as to why you have to get permission. What if that happens to me and the person responsible is bankrupt?

    Don’t even get me started on those fucks that think they own land and then build on it. I once had an entire fence built on my property. If I didn’t do anything then eventually those fucks could have owned the 15 feet past their property they built on. Most recently an electric/water ready storage structure which I now own. (How nice of them. I think they’re the ones that also spraypainted vulgarities on it for me.) If they would have gotten the permits that couldn’t have happened.

    “Likewise, those of us who argue against the state’s burdensome building regulations”

    That one building in Vegas by the Cosmopolitan comes to mind. The one with the design that could cause the building to collapse in on itself. The one that remained empty and served as a billboard until removed. If it fell it could have landed on Planet Hollywood, Bellagio, or what was the Monte Carlo.

    Humans are flawed and sadly we have to contend for that.

    1. ALL local “big city” examples and why cities elect a mayor and council members. This is NOT a job for our “international affairs” (i.e. national defense – as in Union of States) governing body.

    2. So no house has ever been built with a shitty foundation since the government stepped in and regulated it? There aren’t corrupt and shitty inspectors that are bought off? Wouldn’t just be easier for the market to say “hey, don’t use that guy. He does bad work?” Rather, people say “it passed inspection, it must be ok” and work is done to the lowest standard necessary to pass because the government created an artificial floor for the quality of work that the market adapted to?

      1. That’s like saying pulling out doesn’t always work so if you’re going in raw might as well let ‘er rip.

    3. That’s called responsibility and accountability. People need to be be held accountable for their actions, such as collapsing buildings. The problem with mandatory building permits is that they pretend to exist to prevent building disasters; yet if your example is taken as stated, it self-evidently did NOT prevent a dangerous building,it endorsed it. By your reasoning, the building process should be even more bureaucratized and hog-tied, and in reality, no amount of pre-screening can ever by 100% effective, so nothing would ever get done.

      Related to being accountable is the matter of threats. People should be able to react to what I call “imminently unavoidable threats” sometime before an action becomes unavoidable. You swinging your fist at my nose does not become actionable only once contact has been made; I have the right to block your arm before that time. Similarly, Bostonians one hundred years ago should have been able to block the filling of the molasses tank before it collapsed, and neighbors of this Vegas building should have been able to block its construction — but that means as soon as practical, with lawsuits challenging the design early on, and if they lost they’d have to abide by the decision. If they were later proved correct and the building did fail, then the previous lawsuit’s failure is probably good evidence for intentionally deceiving the court and increasing the damages.

      1. Ideally, being free to build sounds nice, but it is a Whack-A-Mole. You fix that problem and more come up and the remedy is regulation.

        Lawsuits to make yourself whole again in the event of loss due to the negligence of others?

        Insurance companies will just become regulators to protect themselves. They’ll refuse to insure buildings that don’t meet their codes. The libertarian fix is to not start a business until you have all the money required to pay off all potential lawsuits. Otherwise, you’re going to be controlled either way. As of now, the government isn’t losing money on your designs. Insurance companies will and they’ll be much more strict and you either listen or you don’t build because they won’t insure you. If you’re an insurance company that tries to be less strict then you’ll go broke paying out settlements. Do you have a fancy new building design? Insurance company won’t like new or fancy because of the potential for problems. You’re already a risk to them before you call an agent. Want to build an amusement park? They’ll hang up on you.

    4. Literally everything you listed here is easily handled by tort remedies. If somebody takes an action that causes you actual harm, you bring suit in civil court and collect damages. If you have concerns about their ability to pay, then you require them to carry liability insurance. Et voila.

      1. Does requiring someone to carry liability insurance constitute an impingement on freedom?

        1. Yes.

        2. Yes; but holding them responsible for that liability in the justice system isn’t…. And that is how justice should be working in this country.

          Our state will actually let anyone with the correct tax filing (proof of ability to cover the standard accepted liability estimates) even drive a car without any insurance so long as they have the assets to cover any liability that may result from driving.

  13. Our country has strayed so far from those concepts that we’ve morphed into society where we constantly need permission from the government to proceed. Whereas government previously needed a compelling reason to restrict our actions, it now demands a host of permits, fees, pre-approvals and justifications. This “Mother, may I?” situation has turned the notion of a free society on its head.

    Um. From the beginning you always had to ask permission to run a business, especially a big one. There was never a time when there weren’t licenses, permits, and charters. OK, there are way more now and regulations and regulators are far more intrusive, but it has never been a fully free country.

    1. Really? Americans in 1790 had to get permission to open a restaurant or blacksmith shop or build wagons?

      I don’t know. I’d be fascinated by any history of such permitting processes. But I suspect that when society wasn’t even rich enough to pay for the standing armies known as police, they sure couldn’t afford inspectors to run around looking for unlicensed businesses, let alone the bureaucracy to maintain records of such things.

      1. It was handled privately in those days. If the local cartwright enjoyed the favor of the local bigwigs, and you tried to open a shop to compete with him, then large, ugly men would come in the night and beat the crap out of you to discourage you.

        1. I’d prefer some citations, some actual historical data.

  14. The author of this article and libertarianism in general conveniently omit the most important section of Jefferson’s quote. “ but rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will, within the limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.”

    The equal rights of others.

    The earth is a closed system. When one person wastes resources as his own, those resources are my equal right also.

    Libertarianism doesn’t address this.

    1. “Libertarianism doesn’t address this.”

      There’s a lot of bullshit claims which libertarianism ignores

        1. Says the Holocaust denier

          1. That’s irrelevant troll.

    2. Libertarianism doesn’t address this.

      Yes, it does—by rejecting it. I own my resources, you own yours. You have no rights to mine. Fuck off, slaver.

      1. Those resources are part of the earth and you have no more right to them than anyone else.

        1. you have no more right to them than anyone else.

          That’s correct. Anyone who purchases resources from the previous owner has the same rights to them as any other owner of resources. Anyone has the same rights as me to sail the ocean or fly in the air. We all have the same rights, including the right to own resources. If you disagree with that, then you are a Communist, and are wasting your time commenting on a Libertarian comment board.

            1. I didn’t say communists shouldn’t be allowed to comment here. Only that it’s a waste of your time.

              1. That was a waste of your time.

    3. Purchase the resource or it isn’t yours.

      1. So you think we have to purchase our rights, like freedom.

        You’re the slaver.

        1. A resource isn’t a right, stormfag.

          1. When it’s required for life liberty and the pursuit of happiness it is, troll.

            1. You don’t know the difference between rights and entitlements, commie.

              1. Perhaps you could express your perception of the difference as it relates to the resources I require for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, troll.

                1. The difference is in whose problem you think it is that you require those resources.

              2. Stop calling him a commie. He’s a Nazi.

    4. The earth is a closed system.

      Take an astrophysics course, stormfag.

      1. Aside from a few pounds of space dust it is.

        Educate yourself.

        1. We’ve been to the moon. We have probes in deep space. We get energy from the Sun. We are not a closed system.

          1. None of that supports my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

          2. You are talking to an anti Semitic, neo Nazi, Holocaust denier about thermodynamics. What do you expect?

            In the second law entropy must equal the change in heat /temperature. You have not accounted for the Jew factor. Because heat is not a state function like work the second law does not apply because of Jews. They introduce a negative factor in the net equation J. So dS< δQ/T J

            So we see that the earth is not in thermodynamic equilibrium as it should be, it is also flat and the Jews have flattened it to bake matzoh for the strange ritual of eating that once a year, along with other foods, wine, and getting together with friends and relatives.


            1. You are a troll.

              1. And you’ve openly stated that you want to undermine the First Amendment.

                1. That is both a lie and irrelevant, troll.

            2. When I tell people that most white separatists are leftists, not right wing, they don’t believe it. Check some of their literature and you’ll see it’s true.

    5. “The earth is a closed system. When one person wastes resources as his own”

      E = mc^2 — Where the heck did you lefties go to school and what the heck did you learn there????? I used ‘m’ to create ‘$’ and now you pretend that you own my ‘$’ and my creation.

      What you really tried to say is, “You don’t own what you create – [WE] own it.” and is the same criminalistic intentions quoted by Obama who spouted, “You didn’t build that.” Down with property rights, down with individual rights.. Sell your soul to the [WE] foundation because you don’t own you – [WE] own you.

  15. “There’s no easy button…” ? Of course there is. Take away the coercive govt., specifically the initiation of force, threats, and politicians/bureaucrats can entertain as many bad ideas/policies as they want, it won’t hurt us without our voluntary support. Now, they don’t need our permission to rob us, taxing the hell out of us, or to come up to us, ask if how much money we have on us and take it by Asset Forfeiture Law. This would have been unthinkable, even by the worst police, just 25 years ago. Now, it’s routine.

  16. “Free people don’t ask permission…”
    People in every political jurisdiction (nation) ask permission to live their lives. It follows, there is no free country. We live in an unfree world and people created it, allowed it, and deny it, claiming to be free, even in N. Korea. Worldwide, people are living a lie, are delusional. And they strongly resist all evidence of this. They love their delusion. They fear awakening. They would rather die. In every country people volunteer to join a gang who destroy property, murder, and get killed doing it. They feel proud to do it. And the public cheers them on. It’s mass insanity.
    Who advocates a voluntary society and gets cheered? Few. Who puts reason, rights, and choice forward as the only moral politics? Many might agree, then as soon as the first detail is revealed, such as abolishing all drug laws, or law itself, they would be shocked and run away. Tell them we can have rules without rulers, order without coercion, and they can’t even imagine such a world. John Lennon’s song “Imagine” might be their favorite, but they can’t agree to even try it just a little bit. This is crazy. This is a hypocritical existence, a cognitively crippled mentality. And it’s the norm.

    1. Who advocates a voluntary society and gets cheered?

      Ted Nugent?

  17. Outside the realm of licensing, every time some business leader in an unpopular industry gets ordered to appear before some committee in Washington so show-boating senators or congressmen can speechify and try to make the evening news with their badgering, my skin crawls. If you are not breaking any laws, government is supposed to leave you alone, not order you to come grovel before your betters.

    Citizens, not subjects.

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