Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Authority and Moral Justification

Between the EU and North Korea, it occurs to me that governments often lose sight of their purpose.

Take North Korea.  The new "supreme leader", Kim Jong-un is rattling his sabre, an oft-used technique to distract a populace who may become restless because of other activities going on in the government.  While it is hard to take a man who looks like the Pillsbury Doughboy with a tuna can haircut seriously, Kim, like his daddy before him, is a murderous son-of-a-bitch.  With another famine looming, North Koreans are struggling to get out (with no asylum in Red China), but the regime does not want them to leave and is active in petitioning other countries to return its expatriots.

Hey, Kim, here's a tip: If you have to put up fences to keep your people in, you are doing something wrong.  Something bad wrong.

The same is true in the EU with respect banks and money.  I completely understand the risk that bank runs poses for certain sectors in the economy.  However, if you have to put up currency controls to keep money from leaving the country, you are doing something bad wrong.  It would be better to let the banks fail (which is essentially unpreventable anyway), pick up the pieces, and implement policies which would encourage money to come in and remain in a sustainable environment.  The best and easiest way would be to implement some form of currency which has intrinsic value.

If a government does not allow its citizens the freedom to manage their lives, property, and well being as they see fit, there is no moral justification for that government's existence.  It's authority is illegitimate.

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