This is Essay Thirteen in the series Lighten the Load, a back-to-basics re-think of government. What should a government be and do? What should it definitely NOT be and do? Is it even necessary at all? If so, how much and why? How do we decide, against what criteria?
by Steve Cook
One can broadly categorize the laws enacted by governments into two categories.
The first is laws intended to proscribe easily recognized counter-survival acts and actually target criminals. Laws against murder, arson, embezzlement and so on are examples of such laws.
The second is laws intended to safeguard the privilege of groups seeking to commit counter-survival acts and these actually target non-criminals.
An example of such a law is that recently passed by the European Union to outlaw hundreds of herbs that have been the remedy of choice for people for centuries without creating survival problems.
That law, criminalizing non-criminal action, conveniently removes from the market place a certain amount of (growing) competition to the multi-billion dollar drugs industry, an industry whose products as a matter of record have killed vastly more people than the much older herbal remedies ever did.
If we merely expunged from the statute books those laws designed to protect privilege and vested interest and left in place only those laws that proscribe truly counter-survival acts (such as poisoning people) we would be in much better shape and a whole lot happier.
Next in this series: Attacks on Survival Codes
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