Hensley: Liberty Cures Vices

Society has many vices like alcoholism, prostitution, the use of unsafe drugs, etc. The State has made these vices crimes thus ensuring the proliferation of such societal diseases. Liberals and conservatives believe the cure to such ailments lies in the hands of the ever-expanding government. Many Christians have been duped into believing the State can create a moral society. The true solution to the problems of our society lies in liberty, not authority. If we allow all to pursue their self-interests then we will see a moral society, a stateless society.

This concept, that liberty cures vices, is an old idea, showing up in the works of the egoists like Tucker. In State Socialism and Anarchism, Benjamin Tucker wrote, “Interference with another’s business is a crime and the only crime, and as such may properly be resisted. In accordance with this view, the Anarchists look upon attempts to arbitrarily suppress vice as in themselves crimes. They believe liberty and the resultant social well-being to be a sure cure for all the vices. But they recognize the right of the drunkard, the gambler, the rake, and the harlot to live their lives until they shall freely choose to abandon them.”

How can liberty cure these societal ills? It is human to better oneself. The vices are proliferated through poverty, itself a disease that liberty can cure. If everyone had universal wealth (achievable through mutual banks, deregulation, occupancy, and use, privatized currency, and the free market) then we would see dramatic drops of crime, prostitution, drug use, abortion, and others.

Let’s explain why. Take prostitution for example. Now, I have no problem with it, but I would not pay for one or anything like that. This is mostly out of a belief that by using the services of one I would have diminished my worth in the eyes of a future girlfriend or boyfriend. This does not apply to the prostitute themselves as I feel it’s a rather genius and lucrative business for those who decide to do it (thus I feel it should be legal and only for those who want to do it and don’t need to). Also, you can find and have sex for free, so I’d consider it a waste of money.

Anyway, one of the main reasons women (and some men) turn to prostitution is out of a need to escape poverty. Many in many countries are ethnic minorities in impoverished neighborhoods who lack an education. If the neighborhood had, say, a mutual bank then they could borrow money, start a business, and raise their incomes. This business will create jobs and wealth, allowing the new business owners to have the money to get an education and providing them the skills to expand their business or create new ones. This new business will lead to a chain reaction as the business buys components to build its product or products, leading to new businesses popping up to provide those components and new jobs to satisfy the growing demand for those components. If it’s a store, it’ll buy its products from factories or farms and that will lead to the same scenario. The store will start a chain reaction where new factories and farms will pop up to provide these products and jobs will be created.

Drug use is caused by those in poverty looking for an alternative method to satisfying their need to escape the black hole that is poverty. Lack of education prevents them from getting a job so they resort to selling drugs. It’s the same situation as prostitution. The many sellers of drugs increase the prevalence of drugs in the neighborhood and the likelihood of use. The poorest areas have the highest drug use rates.

Putting prostitutes in prison won’t help their situation. Making drugs illegal won’t help end drug use rates. Demonizing and making safe drugs like LSD, DMT, peyote, magic mushrooms, and ibogaine illegal really won’t help. Ibogaine can cure opioid addiction and LSD alcohol addiction. Making these things illegal doesn’t help anyone. It hurts people, it separates families and destroys communities.

If Christians want a moral society then the answer lies not in authority, but liberty. Authority creates the poverty that fuels these vices. Authority profanes morality and curtails the self-interests and liberty of individuals. This prevents people from bettering themselves.

True liberty is liberty from poverty and the State. If we allow people this liberty and grant the opportunity to pursue their self-interests, providing them the means to do so, then we will create a moral society. We will create a society free of most crimes. This idea is key to attracting Christians, Christian fundamentalists, conservatives (at least, the Appalachian ones), and even other religious people like Muslims to the anarchist cause. A free society is a just society and a just society is a moral society.

No one needs to force his views upon others. In an individualist anarchist society, everyone is achieving his goals without interfering in another’s (as the natural law states), leading to peace and good in the world. We need a cure to these societal diseases. Authority is not that cure. Liberty, however, is. Whether you are Christian or secular or religious or atheist or Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist, liberty benefits all.

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Dakota Hensley an individualist anarchist and Christian anarchist from Southeast Kentucky. Follow him at @DakotaAHensley.

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