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Libertarian and Green Values: Personal and Social Responsibility

This is a libertarian perspective on personal and social responsibility.The questions are from a paper on ten key values of the greens.

How can we respond to human suffering in ways that promote dignity? A giant impersonal bureaucracy financed by involuntary taxation has replaced the thousands of diverse institutions that used to respond to human suffering. Only the libertarians have the courage to declare the welfare system a disaster and call for its end. Humans want to respond to human suffering but the system imposed on us now is the worst of all possible ways and it inhibits the evolution of more humane alternatives.

How can we encourage people to commit themselves to lifestyles that promote their own health? By making people (not government) responsible for their own health. Medical knowledge, medical tools, and medical skills have been restricted by law to a wealthy elite. Knowledge, tools, and skills need to be allowed into the population so everyone can learn about and do more of their own medicine and their own health. The FDA must lose its power to withhold lifesaving drugs from the people. The AMA must lose its power to put people in jail for practicing healing arts. The present cultural trends toward healthier lifestyles are encouraging and will accelerate if people are given greater responsibility.

How can we have a community- controlled education system that effectively teaches our children academic skills, ecological wisdom, social responsibility, and personal growth? Such systems can only evolve in the absence of compulsory government schools. The education system does not need to be "controlled" any more than the entertainment system. Since we want our children to acquire certain skills and knowledge a market in education will make these available without the need for any centralized control. The political instead of educational agenda of compulsory schools teaches only obedience and servility. Let people purchase whatever education they want and the educational institutions will compete to provide it.

How can we resolve interpersonal and intergroup conflicts without just turning them over to lawyers and judges? Paid arbitrators and mediators are a fast, fair, free market alternative to governmental justice. All that is necessary is for both parties to agree to abide by the decision of an arbitrator and pay their (usually reasonable) fee. Since arbitrators are in the business of marketing justice they try to provide the best quality at a reasonable price. If they become slow, corrupt, or overly expensive they will lose business to competing arbitrators.

How can we take responsibility for reducing the crime rate in our neighborhoods? End the prohibition of drugs to take the profit out of crime. End gun control to make violence less safe for criminals. Focus all police activity on violent crime instead of victimless crime. The drug war is responsible for most violent crime and should be abandoned immediately before more lives are lost. The libertarians are the largest organization with the courage to state the obvious; the drug war is bogus and violence will continue to increase until we end it. The government has also aggravated the neighborhood crime problem by disarming the peaceful honest people. Most people hate violence and it can only flourish where the majority of the people are deliberately rendered powerless to intervene. This allows the violent minority to terrorize the peaceful majority with impunity. The people then support the building of more jails and the writing of more laws without realizing that this approach will never solve the problem. The United States already has a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other nation and half of them are there for victimless crimes. This is absurd. If the government would empower the people instead of trying to mother them the problem would be solved.

How can we encourage such values as simplicity and moderation? By encouraging people to reject the authoritarian and violent values fostered by government. Simplicity and moderation don't come from government. They come from the peace and harmony that can only flourish in an atmosphere free of fear and distrust.