Freedom Versus Control And The Current Dilemma

For the last 10 years I’ve had a rule and that was to stay out of political discussions and divisive current events.

This post explains why. 

During the recent Carona Virus Pandemic this has become increasingly difficult for me and I’ve found myself slipping more than once on this rule.

Yesterday I made a Facebook post and received a biting comment from someone i consider a friend, that reminded my why I’ve stayed out of discussions like this for the past decade.

For the most part, I think I’ll continue staying out of these arguments as I believe, for the most case, my comments don’t have much of a positive impact on the over all scheme of things.

But for the sake of my own sanity, I intend to continue to educate myself on these topics, as well as work them out in my mind as best I can.

Hence the reason for this post.

I’m not writing this post to use as a message to send to my email list.

I’m not posting this on Facebook.

If you’re reading this post, it’s because you came to my blog and you can either love it or leave it.

This post is for me. 

My big issue.

I believe in personal freedom.

I buy into the idea that people have inherent rights that should not be violated and that governments are created by individuals to protect these rights.

During this Carona Virus pandemic people’s rights have been trampled on and with good reason (the threat of sickness or death to many).

I think Elon Musk put it so well in his recent podcast interview with Joe Rogan when he said…

“In general, I think we should be concerned about anything that’s a massive infringement on our civil liberties.

You gotta put a lot of weight on that.

A lot of people died to win independence for the country… and fight for the democracy we have.

We should treasure that and not give up our liberties too easily.”

Based on my very limited understanding of history, I would say that this is wise council.

It seems to me that much of the terror that has plagued humanity has been perpetrated by out of control authoritarian governments.

This one major reason I am wary and suspicious of government authority and control.

There are others.

This seems to me to be, also a belief and attitude of the founding fathers and why Thomas Jefferson said “in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution …”

So excuse me when Government officials say…

“Trust us, have ‘confidence’ in us, we are taking away your liberties for your own good.” – I get pretty freaking suspicious.

The Other Side

When Joe Rogan asked Elon about what he thought about using the reasoning of ‘protecting public health’ to take away people’s liberties… Elon stated that his view that people should have the ability to choose to stay home or go out – was his opinion.  He didn’t really have much of a response.

And certainly this is the great question and good reasoning people use to justify the violation of civil liberties.

“If you leave your house and go out into the public – you could get someone sick and maybe they could die.  This is why the government should have the right to force people to stay home.”

What do we say to this?

It really is a great question.

Perhaps, let’s re-phrase the argument in another way.

“If you choose to leave your house and drive a car, there is a chance you could crash into someone.  This is why the government should have the right to force people to stay home and not drive.”

Is it not the same basic argument as stated above?

For some reason, the 2nd version sounds ridiculous.

When it comes to driving, we have laws intended to protect people’s freedom and protect people’s lives.

IF, someone drives a car recklessly and injures or kills someone, there are consequences and this is meant to deter the harmful actions of bad actors while protecting the rights of everyone.

Same with speed limits, DUI laws, so on and so forth.

We don’t ban all drivers from the roads.

Indeed it would be hard to accurately pinpoint the originator of the spreading of a virus, but we could have laws in place that punish people who knowingly venture into the public with a deadly communicable disease.

This would deter people who felt ill from venturing out, while also protecting the rights of everyone.

Of course this may not be a complete or perfect solution but at the end of the day, we don’t live in a perfect world.

In life, there are risks.

We have to decide whether we value our freedoms enough to take occasional risks, or prefer to give up all our freedoms in the hopes that some all knowing government agency will be able to protect us from all the boogie men out there.

I would prefer to remain mostly responsible for the decisions and risks I take in my life.

Like it or not, that’s just the way i feel.

I’m thankful for the order and rule of law and general sense of freedom from violence that is generally in place thanks to the government performing some of the vital and proper roles they do perform.

I’m not a proponent of anarchy.

I do think there is a proper role of government.

What exactly that is, indeed, seems to the pressing question of the day.

Thanks for stopping by and whatever you do, always go for your dreams,

Paul Hutchings

Paul Hutchings

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