Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Who Owns You?

After our our recent foray into the bizarro world of Libertarianism, I thought this might be of interest to others. (I couldn't decide whether or not to capitalize "birazzo world". After all, I did give "libertarianism" that weight.)

"Several years ago, while attending a street festival in the small town of Tucker, Georgia, I came across a booth sponsored by the local libertarian society. At the time, I did not realize that my encounter would generate my next book. I only remember being struck by the question asked of everyone who visited the booth that day: “So who owns you?”

Like any good carnival barker, the young libertarian who asked this knew from experience that it was an effective opener. It catches you off-guard. It forces you to stop and think. The correct answer, as I soon discovered, was that we own ourselves. We are not owned by the state, the church, or even by God. We are our own property, to dispose of as we wish, in any way we want. We can throw ourselves off a cliff. We can move to Nepal. We can stand at street corners and beg. It is all up to us, because we all own ourselves."

1 comment:

Justine Valinotti said...

I ask my students that question all the time. Many of them believe that getting a degree is a way to take charge of their destiny. But they don't think about what they'll have to do in order to pay off their student loans and other debts.