Rule Five MYOB Friday

Robert Heinlein once noted that “ninety percent of all human wisdom is the ability to mind your own business.”  As usual, Heinlein was right.

So why don’t more folks take that to heart?

I’ve said this before in these virtual pages, many times, usually when discussing social issues:  I really don’t give a good goddamn what people do, as long as they leave me alone.  That applies to all sorts of things, from marriage to marijuana.  The problem with holding such a philosophy is the fact that too many folks don’t extend the same courtesy in return.

That’s the problem with espousing libertarian values.  Everybody seems to like the “nobody gets to tell you what to do” side of it, but few are willing to accept the “you don’t get to tell anyone else what to do, either.”

Examples on both sides of the political spectrum abound, but the most egregious examples these days come from the left:

  • On college campuses across the nation, conservative speakers are threatened and shouted down.
  • Pols on the left are making noises that “hate speech” isn’t protected by the First Amendment.
  • Intrusive and unconstitutional gun control is a plank in the Democratic Party platform.
  • Proposed restrictions on everything from SUVs to housing come from the left.

To be fair, AG Sessions is making noises about using Imperial power to crack down on those states that have legalized marijuana.  And GOP pols are consistently against legalizing sex workers.

And both sides still favor using the tax code to force you to submit your personal financial business to the Imperial government every year, in detail, in the laughable guise of a “voluntary” self-assessment.

Here’s my take on most issues:  If what you’re doing doesn’t infringe on anyone else, it’s not their business.  If you don’t like what someone is saying, don’t listen.  If you don’t like SUVs, don’t buy one.  If you think tobacco, or marijuana, or alcohol is harmful, don’t partake.  If you disapprove of gay marriage, don’t marry a person of the same sex.  And if you think prostitution is immoral, don’t visit a prostitute.

It’s really very simple.

But somebody else does those things, it doesn’t affect you.  You may not approve of other people doing those things.  But…  mind your own damn business.

Government seems to be filled with busybodies of every stripe.  I suppose that’s to be expected; one wouldn’t become a pol if one didn’t have an irresistible urge to stick one’s nose into other folks’ business.  Now, if your neighbor doesn’t mind his own business, it’s annoying.  When politicians propose using men with guns to force themselves into your business, that’s frightening.  Your neighbor can be an unwelcome intrusion, but government can send men with guns out to compel your compliance.

It’s increasingly a tough world for those of us who just want to be left alone.