I’m Torn on This One

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

On the one hand, my default position would be that no one should lose her job, her reputation, or her freedom over marijuana. I’d also imagine most people would be sympathetic to someone who recently lost a spouse in a car accident. It would also appear that in this case, the police found the pot after entering this particular woman’s home illegally.

On the other hand . . . according to the source in the story, if this had happened to your average resident of Tennessee, they at the very least would be subject to a criminal investigation.

But there was no investigation. Which is likely because this woman was—and still is—the director of the Tennessee state agency “whose mission is to eradicate marijuana.”

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

55 Responses to “I’m Torn on This One”

  1. #1 |  JOR | 

    #43, Perfectly reasonable points. The state itself is as much an effect of privilege as a cause of it, and so it stands to reason that there are other forms of privilege. While the state may help enable these other forms of privilege, the state is not usually necessary for their existence and they’re worth objecting to in their own right. That’s why anti-statism, at its most coherent, is only a part of a deeper anarchism, and anarchism at its best is part of a broader libertarianism.

  2. #2 |  MH | 

    Without the violence of state-enforcement, “privilege” and “egocentrism” are fairly toothless, and while objectionable, they are part and parcel of the human experience. State power by contrast is a specific evil that can be opposed for specific reasons, not requiring a “New Libertarian Man.”

  3. #3 |  JOR | 

    Systematic violent enforcement of privilege predates the existence of states. And states don’t just pop up out of nowhere. They are the result and ongoing process of systematic violence and the widespread beliefs justifying it, not a floating, inhuman magical construct causing all systematic violence.

  4. #4 |  MH | 

    True, libertarianism opposes all forms of aggressive violence, not just that from the state. Didn’t mean to imply otherwise. But libertarianism is not directly concerned with the ethics of physicians, nurses, and managers (inasmuch as they don’t use force or fraud), as discussed in Helmut’s comment that you referenced. Libertarianism can be viable if it restrains itself to specific ideas that could be realistically accomplished. It becomes a utopian vision if it requires broadly changing human nature. In short, I don’t want people to be jerks, but I don’t want my philosophy to depend on no one ever being a jerk.

  5. #5 |  JOR | 

    Systematic violence is as much a result of privilege as a cause of it. Standing against one requires standing against the other. To the extent that one trivializes or makes excuses for one, one will in the fullness of time trivialize or make excuses for the other.

    Appeals to supposedly immutable traits of human nature are almost always naive or question-begging. Some would say libertarianism is already a “utopian vision” just by opposing aggressive violence, because there’s nothing more human or natural than violent domination and extortion, etc.

    Nothing and everything can be ‘realistically accomplished’, depending on how you mean that. My philosophy doesn’t depend on no one ever being a jerk any more than it does on no one ever being a murderer. It only depends on recognizing those things, confronting them. The world will most likely never be perfect; when one shitty thing passes, human ingenuity will no doubt conjure new shitty things to take its place. There will be no end of history, libertarian or otherwise, only constant effort and striving. Until we get hit by an asteroid or something.