What Is Right Isn’t Always What Is Legal
This article was featured in our weekly newsletter, the Liberator Online. To receive it in your inbox, sign up here.
When discussing libertarianism with others, never forget that we have one of the best tools at our disposal at almost all times. We have the biggest recruiter to libertarian philosophy, and that is government.
One of the best ways that we can utilize that tool is that we can talk about the difference between what is right and what is legal.
Those two are NOT one in the same. On the one hand, we can talk about the things that are right. We can talk about the things that we know to be true. We can talk about the things that are the result of the decisions that you and I make about what is right for us.
On the other, we have what is legal. Those decisions aren’t necessarily something we were a party to. Many times these things were decided before we were even born, and often, they were decided hundreds or thousands of miles away from the situation at hand by people we’ve not met and we’ll never meet. They know nothing about our situation.
Do you honestly believe that we would see people that were arrested for feeding the homeless without a permit if we were focused on what is right vs. what is legal?
Do you think we would see people fined for growing their own food, instead of having a lawn? Or for having chickens in their backyard for fresh eggs? Or want to be more self-sustaining?
Would we see children suffering because they aren’t able to get the medicine that their doctor would otherwise prescribe if it were legal?
We can utilize these examples and many more as we talk about the difference between those two things, because we can then drive the discussion to be about how when we let others make our decisions, we’re at their mercy. We aren’t deciding for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. We outsource that morality to somebody else.
When you outsource that decision-making, when we outsource that morality to someone else, you’re at the mercy of what they believe to be right, good, and true, and not what is the best outcome for you and for me.
When we’re talking about libertarianism, we can really take an opportunity by focusing on the difference between right and legal. Again, they’re not the same, and we don’t need to let people think that they are.