Judging Other People's Lifestyles

Oh I just LOVE how everyone’s hopping the bandwagon to make judgments on the Duggar family for having their 20th child, calling them all sorts of various names and descriptions for their decisions, the source of their choices and pretty much making summary assessment on how they’re doing the “wrong” thing.

I tell you what, the older I get, the less inclined I am to tell other people how to live their own lives. People love to find justification, mostly by saying: “It’s hurting people!” Or, what’s really bad, “It could hurt people!”

I find a severe disconnect between potential and actual, and while your argument may be the examples of child predators having a high potential to do harm and that we can’t just let them wander on school grounds, I agree with you. But short of proof, we can’t just go around juxtaposing people’s freedoms on various forms of potential no matter how “good” you think it might be for them.

Freedom is essential to the human soul. For thousands of years, all anyone has ever thought about has been being free — whether from tyranny, raids, slavery, military juntas, gang wars … you name it. Humans are masters at finding ways to rule other people. Whether through a powerful royalty, devious monopoly, corrupt government, or even worse, general political correctness, people find ways to control other people’s lives for the “good” of society.

Oligarchal morality always benefits the state, based on the premise that people don’t really know how to manage their own lives and need a favored few to do it for them. Whether you’re a leftist and don’t want the faith-based conservatism to rule your life, or you’re a rightist who hates humanist liberalism to rule your life, it doesn’t matter, because you keep wanting to replace the other guy’s way of life with your own as the societal rule of thumb.

Don’t you see the inconsistency of such a belief with how America was framed? We were built to be free! This country was built on the stark principal that individuals were capable. Period, and simple. Capable. I, the individual, am capable of managing my own life, my own success, and my own failure. I am capable. So long as I remain free, then I have no one to blame or credit for my successes or crashes but myself. I am held most accountable for my own actions, for good or evil.

While society binds us together, we can’t allow it to oppress us. There is a balance, but the balance must always be voluntary. The key to every free society stems from the choices of the free individuals who comprise it. So long as those people are free to participate and free to leave, the society flourishes. Don’t believe me?

Consider the American military. We are the world’s largest volunteer military force. We are the most effective, efficient and powerful military in the world, because every member chooses to be there. Granted, once they sign the line, their lives are bound, but every four to six years, they are free to leave, barring temporary stop-loss measures.

While an obtuse comparison, I grant you, the overall principal is valid. And furthermore, consider examples in history where bands of free men who choose to fight were often far more powerful and effective than conscripted soldiers who are there by force. Free men with incentive are more powerful than slaves running from punishment.

The value of our free-market system was that you had to choose to participate. Your incentive was life and prosperity, but no one forced you to it. If you chose not to participate, you might not eat, but you were free to live that way. No one came, telling you how to live your life and then tried creating laws to make you shape up with how they thought you should be living.

In that system, the incentive of life is a powerful one, more so when there is less of a safety net. Contrary to popular belief, the wild west wasn’t so wild, but was colored and tilted by traveling shows like Buffalo Bill and other stage shows, constantly talking about fighting indians and roving bands of gunmen. It simply isn’t true as a general case.

The biggest struggle people out west had was really just making a living. And yet, despite the daily struggles, and the rare occasional threat of death from something other than some wild predator, our nation prospered like no other before it. And we tend to forget that in favor of governmental securities of our mortgages and health care, as if the culmination of human technology and society was just to avoid feeling bad about not having everything you wanted.

Okay, so tonight was a rant about individual freedoms, but it ties in to the Duggar family because they have every God-given right to live their lives as they want. It doesn’t matter their motivations, or even their methods. What matters is that there are two law-abiding citizens who choose to have many children. We can argue historical child rearing and quantity, we can argue what’s “best” for the kids and how they suffer because they don’t get as much time from their parents as WE think they should, but in the end, our opinions are worth shit, and should remain so.

I have no right to pass judgment on them for any decision they make, short of a decision that directly begins abusing another human in an unlawful manner, and having 20 children is in no way abuse. Strange for the times? Sure. But they’re taking care of them, and they’re living their lives how they want, and I will fight tooth and nail to preserve that right.

So long as I preserve their right, I subsequently preserve my own. I will preserve your right to smoke pot, have sex with the same gender, or even an animal, to live naked, to kill yourself, to worship PVC pipes as your god, to drive a car without a seatbelt and ride a motorcycle without a helmet, to do any number of things that don’t infringe on other people’s rights.

People then might argue: when someone not wearing a helmet goes to traction and sits on life support and the taxpayers have to pick up that tab, then they should have to wear a helmet. But the fact that people are guaranteed emergency care is an infringement on my ability NOT to help people whose lifestyle decisions I disagree with that. That’s a systemic infringement on my ability to put that money away in case someone I actually care about gets hurt and needs my help. That’s money I earned and that no one has a right to but those whom I love, whom I’m invested in.

“But it’s best for all of us.”

No, actually. It’s not. It’s pacifying our entire culture into a safe-center where no one takes real risks and no one really suffers the consequences of their poor decisions. It’s becoming a neutrality that eats at the potential of our spirits and destroys who we are as a people, as a species.

“I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.” – Anon

Yup, that just about sums it. Night folks.