The next class to receive emancipation is the only one in America that remains indentured: children.
When the coercive activity of restricting action brings up the question of where to draw the line, do not draw it at all! If the question can be somewhat rationally debated, there must therefore be sound arguments on both sides. Just as courts in a civilized society operate on the principle of innocent until proven guilty beyond any reasonable doubt, the rest of a civilized society’s laws must operate on the same principle. To restrict a person’s non-aggressive actions is to find them guilty of being incapable of performing those actions. Might it be reasonable to doubt the guilt of every single person of a certain age?
We have all heard about many grandiose class-action lawsuits against corporations. But have we ever heard of class-action lawsuits against a class’ actions? This is civil war, with judges and legislators on the front line fighting against the youth. The lawmen cannot win the battle against America’s youth without the support of America’s elders, who have been bribed by the lawmen though the generous “granting” of superior rights. Remember when kings would grant noblemen land, title, and treasure in exchange for their support and cooperation? Times have not changed. Democracy has simply expanded the number of noblemen into a majority.
Every person cannot drive a car competently at the age of fifteen, cannot vote, have sex, purchase guns, or enter contracts competently at seventeen, cannot consume alcohol responsibly at twenty (or heroine at the age of one thousand years), and cannot drive a rental car competently at twenty-four. The government asserts this lunacy, and much more.
Bastiat’s thoughts apply here: “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it!”
A fairly reasonable individual will accept that there has existed, on this very planet, Homo sapiens under the age of eighteen that have the rational capacity to responsibly enter into voluntary contracts. In fact, a reasonable individual could extend this possibility to other activities, and other ages. Flash! Reasonable doubt has been proven for this class of young individuals, and any judge worth his position would never be able to convict anyone for crimes of “underagedness”!
All seventeen-year-olds have been found guilty of being too stupid to enter contracts. But why set the limit at eighteen years? Why not use months? Wouldn’t that be more accurate? How can legislators look their citizens in the eye when they are carelessly toying with our lives? A more accurate measurement of when a child becomes an adult by government standards could very well be 211 months, which is 17.58 years. For convenience, let’s just round up to eighteen years. Actually, the number eighteen is quite ugly. Maybe we should round up to a nice even twenty.
The unit of years is arbitrary. What is a year? One lap around the sun. How does completing an exact number of laps around the sun grant someone more rights? On planet Earth we experience these laps as cycling through the seasons, so perhaps living through these cycles many times is what grants us rights.
This thought is easily proven invalid, because not everyone experiences these cycles. What of Floridians who never see snow? What of obsessive-compulsive nomads who coordinate their travel north and south in order to never experience any seasonal fluctuations? What of the Mysophobe family who never leaves their home and is oblivious to the weather outside? Do the lifestyles of these people disqualify them from earning rights?
Are the commonly used ceiling numbers of sixteen, eighteen, twenty-one, and twenty-five arbitrary? The PhD snobs will cite large-scale studies with fancy statistics related to probabilities and standard deviations, but unless they cite a 100% probability of failure, the restrictions are incompatible with civilized society, and are therefore arbitrary. Is it legitimate for the state to grant us rights so gradually? It is not within the state’s authority to grant any rights at all. Rights cannot be granted, traded, or sold. We are born with the same rights we die with, whether we want them or not.
Americans gathered in colonies and created their own states. Then the states created the federal government, framed within the Constitution they authored. How could something of our own creation turn around and convincingly pretend to grant us something we already have? Besides, nothing new or additional has been created. A portion of society has simply been siphoned off and tossed into the category of government to provide the people with organized collective force with the purpose of maximizing liberty by punishing injustice.
But now the wolves of democracy have a stranglehold in the civil war against America’s youth. What is the solution?
All government-sanctioned age qualifications need to be erased from big brother’s books. All of these heinous laws must be declared null and void. They are incompatible with civilized society.
When does adulthood really begin? It doesn’t matter. There is no sudden instant when you become an adult, just as there was no specific instant when man evolved from its preceding species. One logical definition of adulthood that has been given is when a person moves out of their parents’ home and into their own, beginning to live independently. It is a nice definition, but government intrusion through laws and propaganda distorts the natural timing of this event. Therefore, this definition cannot be used for legal purposes. The only solution is to abolish government-declared childhood*!
*Not to be confused with the natural period of human development, for only a socialist would attempt to abolish nature!
November 8, 2010