The key feature of the State that supports its suppression of freedoms is its monopoly of law-making. It leverages this monopoly by exerting control over one industry after another. The coronavirus provides an example.
The U.S. government claims monopoly control over food and drugs, an application of its general monopoly position. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) controls approval of drugs and their uses. Doctors and their patients have not been free (of risk and liability) by trying drugs out on this virus on their own.
This situation of monopoly control is why we read that “The FDA cleared the way for New York to experiment with the malaria and lupus drug hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic Zithromax (generic name azithromycin) as a treatment for COVID-19” or why we read that FDA approval is necessary for this trial to occur or for any drug for that matter to be used for many other diseases and health conditions.
If we were free, we wouldn’t depend on FDA clearing the way or approving a drug use that’s currently disapproved or in limbo.
A feasible libertarian solution to this freedom-limiting agency is available under current political conditions, and it should be given the broadest consideration because it can also serve to ameliorate many other agency rules and laws that suppress freedom. The remedy is simple. The government should allow us to opt-out of the regulations at our own risk, that is, with the legal understanding that we cannot sue a doctor if it doesn’t work or the outcome is adverse. If people, patients and medical practitioners, contract one with another, specifying for themselves the risk-sharing arrangements they prefer, that solution frees them both up and it encourages exchanges that enhance the welfare of both sides to the exchange. Meanwhile, if other people do not do this but wish to stay under the regimen of law and control provided by the laws of the U.S. as implemented by the rules of the FDA, they may. They will have their freedom to turn the matter over to the FDA if they desire. Others will have their freedom to make their own arrangements.
As matters stand, the U.S. currently herds everyone into one corral. Consequently on one matter after another, a minority is forced to acquiesce to a law or regulation fashioned through a majority voting and government process. This process, repeated endlessly, is anti-freedom. It can never result in greater freedom. It results in less and less freedom all the time as more and more goods and services come under the state’s monopoly control. The political process of opting out, under one’s own risk and legal arrangements, ends that monopoly. In our current situation, which is purported to be the best we can do, namely democracy or really democratic socialism, we find freedom being suppressed over and over again with little or no hope of stopping the process. We find new generations who know of nothing better and accept it implicitly as the framework within which we must operate.
The socialists, and this includes Democrats and Republicans, want more of the same. They want to gain monopoly control over the state’s monopoly, if they can. They compete for such control. We the people are left out in the cold. A huge number of us correctly choose not to vote at all, knowing that voting simply endorses the monopoly and a process that surely robs us of freedoms.
The libertarians and the party with that name mostly want to control the monopoly themselves too, if only to abolish various branches of it. Others want to work within the system shaving off what government measures they can and steering debates toward the lesser of evils. These approaches have won nothing in terms of enhancing our freedoms.
The way to enhance freedoms is not to control the State or plot its demise, it’s to gain options to opt out of government rules and regulations. Instead of demanding FDA “protection” in return for its penalties and strictures, why not demand the right to get out from under, secede if you will, from its coerced embrace. We do not need and cannot get 100% freedom all at once. We do not even know whether we want it or what sorts of alternatives it actually comprehends. So why not go for such steps as are feasible and that “sell”. Who cannot understand being able to opt out of Medicare or Social Security? Who cannot understand opting out of Medicare taxes in return for foregoing being forced into Medicare? What employers and employees cannot understand giving up the coercive embrace of a minimum wage in return for making one’s own wage and employment bargains with one another? How difficult is it to comprehend greater freedom in specific areas in which we currently face the state’s monopoly powers?
This blog benefited from re-reading an article by Adam Knott.
9:28 pm on March 24, 2020
Email Michael S. Rozeff