Libertarianism

October 06, 2010

Only two noteworthy things happened this week:

Via @alahmnat comes a story of privatization of community services gone — if not ‘wrong’, then at least weird: Tennessee County’s Subscription-Based Firefighters Watch As Family Home Burns Down

For what it’s worth, I don’t agree with the “Radical Right-Wing Agenda” heading. It’s not so much that conservatives are becoming increasingly libertarian; it’s that, alas, pretty much all mainstream politicians are. There’s nothing inherently conservative about you’re-on-your-own ideas, though they are, of course, further away from socialism than from paleoconservatism.

But, what’s wrong with this picture anyway? If you ask the mayor, nothing!

[City Mayor Crocker] told them that, after all, “if an auto owner allowed their vehicle insurance to lapse, they would not expect an insurance company to pay for an unprotected vehicle after it was wrecked.”

He has a point, though he probably doesn’t know what it is. There’s no logic behind emotion; no ratio behind compassion.

We may not think of insurance agents as among the more humane jobs, but Crocker’s analogy is off — this would be akin to an agent driving to the wreck as it’s happening, and still deciding not to help in any way, which has much more to do with their profession than with whom they’re getting paid by.

But as a self-professed Christian (original page apparently deleted by now), one would assume the mayor does know a thing or two about such values. Perhaps it was the fact that homeowner Cranick was suddenly willing (and thus able) to pay “whatever it would take” that made him undeserving of compassion? Would the story have been different had Cranick in fact been too poor to pay the annual fee?

Or what if someone had been trapped in the house?

It shouldn’t take stories like this one for people to stop treating human beings as components of a business transaction.