Last week we talked about why you have to live by a congruent philosophy if you want to manifest a life of prosperity. There was a lot of controversy in the blog when I said that in order for your philosophy to be congruent, you would support legalized drugs, prostitution and even discrimination that are individual choices and do not infringe on the private property and right of others in society.
Not to belabor the point, but I want to share my personal experience and explain why I believe you must give more importance to logic over personal feelings in situations like this. And you should know I have some very strong feelings and experiences in this matter.
I was a teenage alcoholic and drug addict. This led me down a journey that involved getting kicked out of school, breaking the law and finally getting arrested for armed robbery. Now some of you will see this as validation for why we need laws against drugs. (And some of you used that very example of people becoming addicted to drugs and then stealing from others. And some of you talked about how kids would get addicted to drugs.) But that’s missing the point here…
There are already laws against stealing from others and I and any other Libertarian would still support them, because stealing from others impinges on their rights. These are necessary to ensure everyone’s prosperity. And of course it was illegal for me to be using alcohol and other drugs as a minor as well. So those aren’t really relevant here.
In my case, I had a very addictive personality and simply traded one addiction for another. I went from dope to cocaine, crack cocaine and even heroin before finding crystal meth, which was the worst addiction I ever experienced. I came very close to overdosing several times and could have easily have lost everything including my life. They were the darkest days I ever experienced. So these days I hate drugs, don’t smoke or drink. I know they are poison for me and are not something I can control.
But as strongly as I feel about them, that doesn’t give me the right to restrict other people’s choices about them. To do so would contradict the laws of prosperity and would mean I had no clear philosophy for the beliefs I live by. And with no congruent philosophy, I would undermine and sabotage myself.
The fact is, there are many people that can use drugs recreationally without the kind of consequences I had. I play softball with a few guys that smoke dope on the weekends. They have no real addiction problems and simply enjoy the relaxed state it brings them. I have another friend who tokes up a couple times a year to celebrate the solstices. And yes I even know people that are responsible, productive members of society that occasionally use “hard” drugs in the privacy of their homes.
I have no business in their business and my rights do not include restricting theirs. And here’s another interesting fact some of you are probably not aware of…
I was actually robbed, shot and left for dead by a crack head. And no it wasn’t at a crack house and I wasn’t using drugs at the time. I just arrived home late one night and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a desperate addict needed a fix. I don’t know if you’ve ever been shot, but I can tell you it’s not fun.
The pain, surgery and follow-up complications caused me misery for two years. If anyone has the right to be emotional and let their feelings cloud their judgment on this issue, it would be me. But that wouldn’t serve me either.
The fact is there are already laws against stealing and killing people. If I am rational about my situation I still have to say that the problem was not because someone is a drug user. If he had the means to smoke crack at his own home and pay for it, there is no issue. The only issue is he violated my rights to seek his pleasure.
And that is the real issue for prosperity...
You can have morals and ethics and hopefully you do. But when you try and legislate those morals and ethics upon other people, that is the slippery slope that leads to repression, fascism, socialism, communism and lots of other isms that are anti-humanity, and thus anti-prosperity.
Yes feelings are important and we should all heed them. But we also must be smart enough to recognize them, question how they got there and whether following them is illogical and irrational and will actually lead us to bad actions. You don’t want to set precedents that preclude you from reaching your true prosperity.
So how you doing on that?