Ideas Which Will Seem Preposterous In The Year 3000

July 14, 2013 § Leave a comment

There were certain instances in human history when society condoned practices and beliefs which seem incredibly crass, backwards, or just plain moronic by modern standards. Things like slavery, witch trials, and the concept of a “flat” earth, represent sections of history which most humans look back upon with disgust and confusion.

Despite the fact that human progress has given most of society the ability to look back upon these instances of folly as monumental mistakes to learn from, there remains a number misconceptions which linger amongst the human populace. These ideas disguise themselves as “common sense” but the only “sense” they appeal to is the emotion and fear of the most dull and uninitiated among us. These ideas are blatantly false, and are accepted as such by almost all professional academics. For whatever reason, large swaths of society cling to them relentlessly. On the whole these ideas are an affront to human progress, innovation, and understanding. Today we will start with three pieces of “common sense” which, with any luck whatsoever, will be thrown into the dustbin of history in the next millennium.

Immigration Laws

Laws which impede the free movement of individuals are a net negative to society. There is a large amount of research which shows that allowing unrestricted immigration to and from a country is beneficial to everyone involved. This could just as easily fit under the more broad title “nationalism”. Once individuals detach themselves from vague notions of “patriotism” (which typically confuses support for the state with supporting their actual homeland) this issue quickly fades away. Because practical arguments against unrestricted immigration fall flat on their face (see the above link), immigration laws necessarily depend upon xenophobic fears and support for ethnic purity. For the latter argument, the answer is to once again detach ethnic pride from state support.

Victimless Crimes

This is perhaps the most obviously backwards aspect of modern society. And thankfully, it already appears to be dying. The prosecution of individuals for drugs, prostitution, and other harmless voluntary exchanges is being second guessed and scrutinized by a large portion of western society. Recent state laws legalizing marijuana in Colorado and Washington mark a turning point in how society views drug use. My hunch is that most victimless “crimes” will be a thing of the past much sooner than the year 3000.

Price Controls

Essentially every professional economist on earth agrees that price controls are an absolute failure. Although this has long been an established fact, it hasn’t stopped governments from repeatedly disrupting the market with hair-brained attempts at “controlling” the price of goods or services. Price controls hurt those whom they were designed to help. It’s particularly ironic that the supposedly “fact based” left generally embrace price controls – mainly because rejecting them would require admitting the impotency of government power.

At some point governments will no longer be able to ignore the advice of economists and the members of the intelligentsia which don’t function as a self-serving arm of the state. Thanks to the internet, knowledge can spread at a much faster rate than ever before.  Ideas can quickly be debated and the general population can educate themselves with a level of ease that was once impossible. As technology continues to innovate, the speed at which ideas and facts can move through society will increase. The result can only favor the truth, and thus liberty.

Until then:

Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito
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