People can’t be forced to be free

There is no way to force someone to be free. As a libertarian I see the absurdity of that impossible notion.

So when I point out the wrong of liberty-destroying laws I am not demanding that those who feel they need them give them up. That would be trying to force them to be free. On the contrary, they can live under any handicaps they choose. How is that for irony? They are free to be enslaved if that is what they clamor for.

The problem arises when those counterfeit laws that attempt to regulate or control something other than an attack or theft are imposed on those of us who don’t need them and don’t consent to them. Those of us who are not afraid of other people living free within the full scope of their rights. Your right to be a slave ends at the other guy’s right to liberty.

I see the words liberty and freedom as having distinct meanings; unlike some who use them as synonyms. There is some overlap, though. Freedom is doing what you want, whether right or wrong. Liberty is the freedom to act as you want, but only within the boundary of your rights. You might be free to rob a stranger at gunpoint, but since you have no right to do so, and would violate his property rights if you tried, you have no liberty to commit this act. In fact, he would be well within his rights to use deadly force to stop you, regardless of the legal opinion of the state.

Rather than forcing someone to be free, the best you can do for someone else is to remove obstacles to their liberty if it is your legitimate business to do so without violating anyone else’s rights in any way.

The most commonly ignored way to do this is to simply stop doing things yourself that violate their liberty.

This means you should stop using laws that force others to do things, or forbid them from doing things, “for their own good.”

This means withdrawing support for those who violate the liberty of those “under” them.

This means you should accept that other people will have opinions that you may find reprehensible, just as your opinions may be extremely offensive to someone else.

As long as as there is no coercion or fraud, it is no one else’s business. No matter how much you may be offended or frightened by their non-coercive actions. This also means that while no one has the authority to forbid you from living in liberty, you have no authority to try to force them to be free.

Not here and not in Afghanistan.