Are we as a people able to take care of ourselves, or do we need managing and planning in order to live happy, successful lives?
The question comes to the forefront as New York City’s mayor (and meddler-in-chief) Michael Bloomberg’s controversial ban on large soft drinks was smacked down. While New Yorkers everywhere (but mostly in New York) celebrated their newly rediscovered consumer freedom, news host and notorious gun control advocate Piers Morgan had to rain on the parade, suggesting that “people need the nanny state occasionally.” He was dead wrong… but also strangely right.
Wrong, because the government has no right to tell the people how to run their lives. Because certain people don’t have ownership over certain others. Because a bureaucrat is completely oblivious to the everyday needs, thoughts, and considerations of the average person, and can’t possibly make an accurate decision to further the citizen’s goals. Because a person will seek to fulfill his or her needs regardless of legal obstacles.
Right, because thinking is hard work. Because personal liberty also comes with personal responsibility. Because making our own best decisions, and standing by them, is a frightening prospect, and even the wrong decision by another is safer than having to make the right one ourselves. Because, even if we manage to secure liberty, right at this moment we don’t deserve it.
Photo credit: Dan Iggers