Dignity requires liberty. Only when we are truly free — free of rulers — will we live with dignity.
The state steals our dignity. It imposes authority, exploits fear, compels collectivism, enforces conformity, and demands capitulation. It denies respect for individual rights and responsibilities, the essence of human dignity.
A victim might have to obey a kidnapper, in order to endure. If he goes further and accepts the captor’s authority, this is a failure of perception or character. And if he allies with the criminal, he too becomes a criminal.
The state kidnaps us at birth, and we have to decide how we will respond. To tolerate the state is corrosive, to embrace it is wrong, and to affiliate with it is immoral. [click to continue…]
Security means being free from danger, threat, or harm. It is a state that cannot fully exist, and one that would make our lives sterile if it did exist. Helen Keller cautioned,
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
We do, nonetheless, strive to achieve a degree of security, each of us seeking protection from risks that concern us. Looking to the state for security, however, entails the loss of liberty. Benjamin Franklin famously warned, “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Roderick T. Long notes that the “balance” commonly sought is a trap: “You can’t trade off freedom against security because they’re exactly the same thing.”
The state is the most dangerous provider of security, since it exacts liberty in exchange for its promises. Since the state imposes itself through violence and the threat of violence, and acts as a monopolist, it is also the worst provider of any service, including security. When the state promises security, it delivers insecurity. [click to continue…]