"Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." Friedrich Nietzche

"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mandatory Evacuations and Personal Liberty

Hurricane Irene is charging up the Eastern coast and will do a whole lot of damage. All up and down the Eastern Seaboard local and state governments are issuing mandatory evacuation notices. I assume that mandatory means that an individual property owner has no choice and must leave for safer ground or . . . what? Be arrested, fined? If not, then the notices wouldn't be mandatory, would they?

The rationale behind these mandatory evacuation notices is that if a person needs help, emergency crews may not be able to get to them or, if they try, the emergency personnel themselves could be injured or killed.

But, as a libertarian and from a personal liberty point of view, I believe that property owners have the right to stay with their property even if they may be seriously injured or killed. Yes, you, as an adult, have the right to endanger your life as crazy as that may be. Think of all the dead, frozen bodies on the way to top of Mt. Everest.

Of course, to not evacuate in the face of the great danger that this hurricane presents can only be a choice for an adult. Children must be evacuated. They don't have the knowledge and experience to be able to make a truly informed choice about whether to go or to stay; whether to risk life and limb.

Having said that, there is one other caveat for those who ignore the evacuation notices and it is this: You made your choice and you are on your own. We (rescue crews) will not come back for you. If you are seriously injured or die that is strickly your responsibility and you cannot sue the city, county, state, or federal government because of your adult--and stupid--decision.

That is the nature of true presonal liberty: making decisions and living with the consequences and not blaming others if things go wrong.

So the evacuation notices should be that it is strongly recommended for you (an adult) to leave but if you choose not to, then you are on your own come hell or high water. You and only you will be responsible for whatever happens to you.

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