THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
What libertarianism isn't
Faces of fear amuse the Guardianisti

I wish I had said that...

Spare Me – and Walter Williams – Your Self-Serving and Insulting Sermonizing

...because I have often thought it.

I respect ordinary thieves much more than I respect politicians. Ordinary thieves take my money without pretense. Unlike typical politicians, these thieves don’t bore me with silly explanations of why their thievery is for the greater good. Nor do ordinary thieves insult my intelligence by proclaiming that they’ll use the money that they steal from me to make my life better than I would have made my life had my money not been swiped from me.
Don't get Professor Williams or me wrong. For my part, I hate criminals. I want fewer laws partly because the ones that matter - against violence and fraud - could then be enforced more vigorously. Criminals have stolen from us not just our property, but the sense of personal security I remember growing up. No-one locked their doors in our street, because no-one had to. How many of us feel as safe in our own homes today?

But at least, as Professor Williams points out (and as I experienced directly when I practised criminal law) thieves don't ask to be respected by their victims. In this respect, they are more honest than politicians.

It is possible to be a decent politician if you go into it to get the state off people's backs and are able - in the face of all the temptations on offer to the masters of a state spending half what its citizens earn, to remain true to that purpose. Margaret Thatcher was one such, but then look what a revealing rage she inspired in regular politicians.

h/t the most excellent Café Hayek


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Omission, end of para three....add

Likely will result in less crime targetted at your family. Thieves are rational people (unless they are drugged-which argues the case even more positively), they will not target a location or property where the odds of detection or retaliation are likely. They will move on to the easy target.


Seems you are offering us a choice between bullshit or horseshit. Both can be useful in moderate quantities, but nobody requires too much.

What we have to consider about your comparison is the promise of the politician to protect us from the thieves and those who may wish to injure us, if we just give up our personal weapons and agree to be taxed for protective services of the constabulary and "justice" bureaucracy. Having entered the contract, they then abdicate most responsibility for their end of the contract.

Much better that sane citizens recognize the fraud and set about protecting themselves. That will not rid you of the expensive and inefficient bureaucracies that the politicians have set up, but will, with prudent dissemination of information that it would be unwise for the criminals to target you or yours.

You may perceive that my brand of minimal government "libertarianism" excludes most of the normal areas easily conceded to minimal government. Even cursory reading of the newspapers reveals that Britain is returning to the degraded and vile excesses of crime that existed in former times before the Peelers were constituted.

james higham

I respect ordinary thieves much more than I respect politicians.


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