Friday, September 22, 2006

Quis custodiet ispos custodis?

Who will watch over the guards?

Big brother. He's everywhere. Or at least wants to be. In your personal phone calls, in your private emails, heck, in your living rooms if he can. Violating every inch of personal liberty that a libertarian like you and me might have. And yet strangely, for someone who swears by libertarian principles, I find myself not too perturbed, in fact welcoming Big Brother. How do I resolve the paradox?

It is extremely simple when you realize one important thing: Pure libertarianism is a utopian concept. For me and for thousands of students from India, who grew up on a steady diet of bullshit history and opinions from the likes of left-wing historians like Romila Thapar, it had been ingrained into our thought that communism, whatever its practical implications, was a utopian concept. Over time, I have been increasingly convinced of the fallacy of this thought. Logically speaking, what would you have in an ideal world? Enforced property and wealth distribution by an extrinsic force "the Government"? Or a working and organized society where everyone has their own personal and economic liberties, to the same extent that they do not violate anyone else's? I would definitely go for the latter. And which do you think is more difficult in practical realization? An all powerful Government imposing its will? Or the realization of a peaceful and organized society that sustains itself inspite of everyone's right to their personal and economic freedom? The latter,IMHO, seems far more difficult to realize.

So, once accepted that pure libertarianism is a utopian concept, it becomes fairly easy to look beyond the Big Brother ethical dilemma. In a world replete with imperfections, utopian concepts need to be tweaked to serve practical utility. If the world were ideal, you wouldn't need Big Brother. But with security concerns rising everyday, I fear one might not have a choice. One would have to give security agencies worldwide the carte blanche to ensure the safety and security of human life as well as property. It does not mean that one has ceased to support personal liberty. It is just that as has been often touted in the case of the global softening of practical communism, we need to define practical libertarianism. To my mind, this concept would fall somewhere between conservatism and libertarianism.


Blogger Anshul said...

No arguments on this one. Agree with u a 110%.

1:00 AM  

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