Free Markets, Free People
For a libertarian blog, this is a subject that we rarely opine about. Probably because its a rather dead horse that just doesn’t need any more beating. Even so, we do all too often have occasion to discuss the ill effects of the War on (Some) Drugs, such as the asset seizure case Bruce highlighted.
In that vein, Randy Barnett offers up his latest law review on the subject “The Harmful Side Effects of Drug Prohibition” and this abstract:
Some drugs make people feel good. That is why some people use them. Some of these drugs are alleged to have side effects so destructive that many advise against their use. The same may be said about statutes that attempt to prohibit the manufacture, sale, and use of drugs. Advocating drug prohibition makes some people feel good because they think they are “doing something” about what they believe to be a serious social problem. Others who support these laws are not so altruistically motivated. Employees of law enforcement bureaus and academics who receive government grants to study drug use, for example, may gain financially from drug prohibition. But as with using drugs, using drug laws can have moral and practical side effects so destructive that they argue against ever using legal institutions in this manner.
This article will not attempt to identify and “weigh” the costs of drug use against the costs of drug laws. Instead, it will focus exclusively on identifying the harmful side effects of drug law enforcement and showing why these effects are unavoidable. So one-sided a treatment is justified for two reasons. First, a cost-benefit or cost-cost analysis may simply be impossible. Second, discussions by persons who support illegalizing drugs usually emphasize only the harmful effects of drug use while largely ignoring the serious costs of such policies. By exclusively relating the other side of the story, this article is intended to inject some balance into the normal debate.
The harmful side-effects of drug laws have long been noted by a number of commentators, although among the general public the facts are not as well known as they should be. More importantly, even people who agree about the facts fail to grasp that it is the nature of the means — coercion — chosen to pursue the suppression of voluntary consumptive activity that makes these effects unavoidable. This vital and overlooked connection is the main subject of this article.
It’s a pretty interesting read. You can download the entire article by visiting Randy’s post linked above.
Malthusian extremism is alive and well:
Extremist green campaigning group WWF – endorsed by no less a body than the European Space Agency – has stated that economic growth should be abandoned, that citizens of the world’s wealthy nations should prepare for poverty and that all the human race’s energy should be produced as renewable electricity within 38 years from now. Most astonishingly of all, the green hardliners demand that the enormous numbers of wind farms, tidal barriers and solar power plants required under their plans should somehow be built while at the same time severely rationing supplies of concrete, steel, copper and glass.
That was written by The Register’s Lewis Page, who continues:
It’s not just resources that are limited, in the WWF’s view: human potential itself is up against a hard limit beyond which the race cannot ever advance. Even progress thus far, as seen in the wealthy nations, has been achieved only by an unfair and wasteful over-use of precious resources: we rich Westerners are already beyond the practical limits that humans should ever aspire to achieve in terms of health, wealth – and even of education. That’s not economics – that’s religion. And not very nice religion either.
He’s dead on, of course. Humans, per groups like the WWF, are undesirable parasites. In effect, the WWF would prefer the scourge of humanity to be wiped clean from the plant. And yes, Page is correct – we are talking about a form of religion and “not a very nice” one either.
But, you say, that’s an extremist group, who would ever take seriously the nonsense they’re pushing? Ben Pile fills us in:
At Rio+20 next month, the world’s elites will meet in Brazil with the aim of holding back human progress. Forty years ago, two ideas about humanity’s relationship with the natural world caught the imagination of the richest and most influential people. The first was that the demands of a growing population were taking more from the planet than could be replaced by natural processes. The second, related idea was that there exist natural ‘limits to growth’. These two reinventions of Malthusianism became the basis of a new form of global politics, which has sought to contain human industrial and economic development ever since.
On whole, it isn’t a “new form of global politics”, it is instead the oldest form of politics with a goal just as old – rule of the elites.
Moving on, the Rio+20 is sponsored by what organization?
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today asked young people from all over the world to “make some noise” to help accelerate progress on the negotiations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Conference (Rio+20) which will take place in Brazil next month. “The truth is I am disappointed with the negotiations. They are not moving fast enough. That is why I need you,” Mr. Ban told students attending the 13th Annual Global Classrooms International High School Model UN Conference, taking place at in the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York, on Thursday evening. “When I say make some noise, I mean raise your voices. Demand real action. Shame those governments into doing more.”
If you’ve ever wondered at the propaganda effort accompanied by the junk science used to propagate the “Global Warming” scam and tried to puzzle out the intent of all of that, well there it is. Imagine a program to hold back human progress and limit growth. Imagine the effect of such horrific ideas on real people. Think of a “great leap backward” and all that that loaded phrase may conjure in your mind.
The “world’s elite” comprise the real 1% and they’re extraordinarily dangerous. They would change life as we know it based on their religion – because their attempt at using “objective science” to support the institution of the grand design has been shredded. And don’t be fooled by the veneer of officialdom. The UN’s agenda is every bit as radical as the WWFs.
That’s what you have to realize. There is nothing benign in their intent. The only thing different about the UN and the WWF is how they’ll try to present their plan. The WWF will be blunt. The UN will flower it up. But in the end, they both want the same thing. And that would mean millions and millions of the 99%’s lives.