23. I would feel better if there were video cameras on most street corners, to prevent crime.
I’m taking it to mean that they’re Big Brother video cameras. Of course, I don’t want Big Brother to do anything, which would include surveillance of myself or anyone else. I want it to get out of the way so that I can more effectively provide for my own defense. Nonetheless, given their existence, do I feel better, which I generally take to mean: safer? No, and neither should anyone else. All this nonsense about cameras and security screening, ad nauseum, is nothing more than a grand exercise in keeping the public in line by making it difficult for anyone to realistically assess the risks to themselves and loved ones. Big Brother plays the role of a parent who shields its child’s view of some horrifying image while uttering the words, "don’t worry, everything’s going to be all right."
London is the most surveilled city in the world, with 400,000 cameras. A lot of good it did them in the recent train bombings, eh? And how many pedestrians and commuters are less vigilant because they’ve bought into the lazy fantasy that Big Brother will defend them? The U.S. military defends us. Police pick up the pieces after a mugging, a burglery, a rape, a kidnapping, or a murder takes place. Cameras serve only to help law enforcement gather evidence after the fact, in order to aid in their pursuit of job promotion through capture and prosecution. I’m not saying that prosecution of objective crimes is bad, it’s just very necessary to understand that it is not any sort of defense, and it’s role as deterrent is dubious, at best.
Owners of homes, properties, and business establishments have the right to put up as many cameras as they want. You have the right to associate, or not.
24. It should be legal for two consenting adults to challenge each other to a duel and fight a Death Match.
It’s difficult for me to imagine a scenario where such behavior would be anything but childish and stupid. But freedom is a principle with me, and even if this sort of thing was happening every day of the week, I wouldn’t think of intervening. Ever. Period.
25. Since parents can’t be trusted to monitor what their children watch, TV content needs to be more regulated.
Parents can’t be trusted by whom? You? Are you the world’s authority, from whom parents must win trust? No? Ok then, if not you, who? Who is this person? You see, neither you, nor I, nor parents, nor anyone has any obligation to anyone else to behave in a manner that such other would deem trustworthy. I think that parent’s should monitor and regulate what their children are exposed to, not just on the TV. Others may disagree. This sort of question is a clever way to pretend as though there is some single standard of appropriateness. There’s not, and since there’s not, it can only mean that some people get to conjure up standards they agree with and impose them, by force, on those who don’t agree. But, that sort of tyranny would just be too hard. We can’t "trust" parents to abide. So, let’s just go and steal airtime from the producers and broadcasters and do it that way, shall we? You see, once you allow theft as a solution, it’s only logical to steal in the most efficient way.
26. If a company invents a pill that cures cancer, they should be allowed to charge whatever they want for it.
Because it’s nobody else’s business. Ever. But again, a premise gets smuggled in, which is: license or permission required. And again, as usual, it comes down to theft. All democrats, all socialists, all communists, almost all republicans, and most libertarians are thieves. But most don’t like to get their hands dirty. So, they become downright masters at theft-by-proxy. Everyone has their favorite Robbin Hood. Most of you are thieves because most of you accept the premise. That’s where the theft is. It doesn’t matter whether you believe that "we should allow" the drug company no profit, some profit, a lot of profit, or whether you would allow them unrestricted pricing. As soon as you accept "allow" as a premise, in the context of granting license, you’re a rotten thief. The only "allowance" that rightly enters into this is that you allow yourself to mind your own business and leave others to theirs.
27. The fact that many people starve to death is unfortunate but unavoidable.
Other than the rare exception where a human being is literally incapable of sustaining himself, there will likely always be people who starve to death because their capacity to reason through difficulties has not been cultivated. Prior to technology, humans were on a level similar to animals: either their knowledge was sufficient to their environment, in which case they prospered, or in wasn’t, and they perished. Even with technology, there are instances where circumstances make survival impossible in spite of every rational effort. Starvation is usually avoidable, but stealing from some people in order to help others is neither a moral or a long-term solution. Rather, the long-term solution is in getting rid of state redistribution, which shields people from the natural consequences of their actions, such as living in volatile areas. That said, humans are imperfect, and so even their best solutions will sometimes fall short, even in an environment of complete freedom to act rationally.
28. It bothers me that many American companies have moved jobs overseas.
I certainly condemn all actions by the state to either outright prevent "outsourcing," or to manipulate economies via tariffs and quotas in order to create false incentives for companies to hire onshore. Companies are rightfully as free to do whatever they want with their property as you are to take a vacation to France instead of to Albuquerque, New Mexico, in order to "support American jobs." Companies who seek to get the best bang for their buck are not a wit different that you are for doing the same, and I applaud the efforts in both to always strive to do more with less. It’s a big part of what drives our prosperity. The fact that this activity also helps local economies overseas, trains their workers, infuses capital, and puts them on their way toward industrialization is a dandy side effect. It’s not a primary consideration, but I’m quite pleased it works out that way.
29. It’s wrong when environmental regulation puts people out of work, like when limits on logging make it harder for loggers to log logs.
It’s wrong to steal the property of others under any pretense. The ends don’t justify the means, and I don’t mean to imply the desired ends aren’t dubious. It’s not that such regulations put people out of work that makes it wrong: it’s that it’s wrong to steal. That holds even if the environmental regulations resulted in nothing but good consequences.
30. Most people are too stupid to know what’s best for them.
In fact, most people do have a good idea of what’s best for them, which means that they know what their values are. It’s the religious right and the elitist left that think otherwise, and believe themselves competent to know what’s best for everyone else. The authoritarian conservative wants to maintain the old taboos. The authoritarian liberal wants to introduce some new ones. But even if it were largely true that people are too stupid to know what’s best for them, it doesn’t mean that I, you, or anyone else does, and we certainly have no right to impose our will on them. Besides, one of the most effective cures for stupidity is to leave people to their own.
31. A person has the right to claim the Holocaust never happened, if that’s what he believes.
The most frightening thing about this question is that there are no doubt many who answered "Strongly Disagree." The thought police are never far off. The Holocaust happened, and there is no God. Those who believe the opposte, in either or both cases, have a right to their fantacies.
32. Books with potentially deadly knowledge (like instructions for making awesome bombs) should be regulated.
There are certainly considerations in an area like this that make blanket statements of principle — like the right to free speech and the press — difficult. But, luckily, there’s another handy principle: everything is limited. The fact is, you cannot forceably regulate such information in a free society and remain a free society. If you accept freedom, you accept its limitations and risks. That said, I think that intelligent and responsible people in possession of such information should take all prudent measures to keep such information closely held.
33. Being poor and black is an advantage in getting into college.
It seems to be the case, and I’m sure it isn’t doing them any good in the long run. That said, all colleges should be private, and all private institutions should rightfully set whatever admission rules they want, on any basis they want, including on the basis of race, gender, religious affiliation, or whatever floats their boat. And, yes, that means that any and all business establishments would rightfully be able to discriminate in hiring, or fire black people — because they’re black — if that’s what they want to do. If I want, I can be so stupid with respect to entry into my own home (for how much longer, I don’t know), and any distinction between personal and commercial property in this regard is completely meaningless and logically untenable. Freedom means letting people be stupid. It also means letting them face the consequences of their own stupidity.
For the record, my company actually has a disproportionate number of blacks and Hispanics. I didn’t hire them and keep them on board because of their race, but because they’re very good at what they do. I would be doing them an extreme disservice to keep them around for any other reason, unlike the race[ist] racket, where the spokesmen, the evangelists, and the hangers on seek to keep minorities down in order to keep themselves "relevant" and prop up their bogus livelihoods.
Update: Here’s Part IV (final)