Friday, March 8, 2013

The Price of a Free Society

When some people complained about the costs to the public that the Occupy Wall Street protesters incurred, their defenders were very quick to say that such is the price of a free society. As much as I thought the OWS folks were a bunch of deadbeats and were wasting our money, I had to agree with that.

But those same people, on that side of the ideological spectrum, regularly act to limit the freedom of those with whom they disagree with. A few examples:

  • Injuries caused to cyclists, it is said, incur some costs to the public, so they create legislation to force people to wear helmets.  
  • Sugary drinks, they believe, are evil and a cause of the so-called obesity epidemic, so they have no qualms forcing people through regulation to drink less. Or they try to control what parents send with their kids to eat at lunch.
  • They believe that violence is caused by video games, so they want to ban those.
  • Guns are used in some violent crimes, and despite the fact that Americans have a specifically Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear them, they rave and rant irrationally about banning them and create ridiculous categories based on the way the gun looks to ban them.
This list could go on and on and on.

So where is the reciprocal understanding that there is a cost to a free society? 

Oh I get it, when they agree with the exercise of freedom, it's okay, and it's "the price of a free society," but if they think they know better or just plain disagree with exercise of a particular freedom, then screw that, they'll force people to do what you want.

Ah.. if only everyone were so "liberal."

UPDATE (14 March 2013): Interesting, related piece on the new theocracy in America.