What kind of future do I want my kids and their kids to live in?
A tightly controlled, safe future where they are watched out for and protected from anything that might harm them? Where human rights are thrown under the bus in the name of some nebulous common good? Or a liberated future where they are free to explore their full potential, as long as they don’t violate the identical rights of anyone else, with no implied guarantees? Where risks are acknowledged, yet not given artificially exaggerated weight?
No contest. I want my descendants to live free.
When I close my eyes and envision their futures, I don’t want to imagine them existing in a gray Soviet world, where Homeland Security (the American KGB) tracks and watches their every move for “their own good” and to protect the “homeland.”
I appreciate and even anticipate some of the technological advances that are on the horizon. However, unless some serious course changes are made, and soon, America is heading toward a strange future. One where technological wonders are in our pockets, our cars, businesses, hospitals and homes, but we won’t really be free to enjoy them. A future where everything not prohibited is mandatory. Where no action is possible which does not violate some arbitrary law passed to protect someone at the expense of everyone else. A strange combination of both the glorious color and the dreary grayness of science fiction at its extremes.
A safe society is an illusion. In fact, legislating security makes individuals much less safe in very real ways. It trains them to be helpless. It makes them believe they are incompetent to handle normal life situations by perpetuating the myth that “things are different now.” It makes them think they have to depend on others — professionals — to educate their children, to protect themselves and their property from crime, to enforce contracts, and to know what to do in any situation. That is a lie, and it is no kind of life.
Any safety to be found will be real only if it grows out of liberty, which gives true safety a chance to germinate and thrive. Real safety based upon confidence, experience, and respect for natural law rather than a false safety based on feelings, prohibitions and control.
Even though the safety won’t be perfect in a free society — it can never be in any real-world example — a life of liberty is fulfilling and colorful. It is more meaningful. I want that world for my kids, because I want that world for myself.
Thorns and all.