By Tom Rhodes, July 11, 2011
The difference between statists and libertarians, statists being the bulk of both Democrats and Republicans, is that the statists believe they know what’s best for you, and don’t think you should have the liberty to choose what you think is in your own best interest. This is called the Nanny State, or paternalism. The government wants to take away your choice. It doesn’t trust you to make your own choices. Do you get that? The government doesn’t trust you.
The best description between libertarians and statists can be represented by the lowly light bulb. Statists have decided that you are too stupid to pick the right light bulb; therefore they are taking away your freedom to choose how you want to light up your private living space. Libertarians on the other hand, don’t think that the choice of how to illuminate your private living space is any business of the government.
The reasoning for using one type of light bulb over another goes far beyond just energy usage, other factors include; quality of the light provided, the initial cost, the total cost of ownership, and even heat. Yes HEAT, the energy used by an incandescent light bulb that does not go to making light is heat, some say wasted heat. The fact is in a small well insulated house the heat produced from lighting is not wasted, and may provide enough warmth to negate the need for additional heating, and certainly supplements heating during the colder months. This heat when chilly, if it doesn’t come from a light bulb will have to come from some other source. Your thermostat doesn’t know where the heat it is measuring came from, furnace, space heater, or light bulb, it makes no difference.
Some of you don’t like the way the new bulbs come on slowly. Some of you don’t like the curlicue shape. Some of you don’t like not being able to attach your lamp shade to the bulb. Some of you just don’t like cold flickery fluorescent light. Some of you have noticed that CFL’s don’t in fact last longer than incandescent bulbs, and cost a lot more. Some of you are skeptical about promises of long-term savings. Some of you don’t want to spend more for a CFL now. Yet others of you hate having to shut down your furnace, air conditioner, and/or fans, evacuate all children and pets, and treat your home like a hazardous waste site if you happen to break a carcinogenic mercury filled CFL type light bulb.
It doesn’t matter what you need or what you prefer or what you think is in your own best interests. The government has decided that the only concern is watts per lumen, and you are too stupid to realize that. Your other wants and needs are not as relevant. Because the government thinks you’re too stupid to realize that your needs are subservient to the government desires, it doesn’t trust you to make the decision they want you to make, so has taken away your freedom to make that choice.
It doesn’t matter whether a statist calls themselves a Democrat or Republican, they believe in statism. Statism is the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty. When the government decries what light bulb you must use, or what food you can eat, or how much you should save, they are saying to you that you are too ignorant, too weak-willed, and computationally too incompetent to satisfy your real or underlying preferences. You save too little for your retirement because you are overly impatient and cannot postpone spending. You eat too many calories because you ignore the costs of future illness due to obesity.
This is the difference between statists and libertarians in a nutshell. Statists don’t trust you and believe that they are better able to decide what’s best for your life than you can; so they take away your freedom (choice) for your own good. Libertarians believe that the state can’t possibly know what’s best for every individual so you and every individual should have the freedom to choose what you feel is in your own best interest. Statists simply put hate freedom.