Politicization and personal choice

An excerpt from this article.

I like the Lexus LS 460. I also like Dell computers. Many other people have a different set of preferences. Some might prefer a Cadillac and an HP computer while others prefer a Chrysler and IBM computer. With these strong preferences for particular cars and computers, we never see people arguing or fighting in an effort to impose their preferences for cars and computers on other people. There’s car and computer peace. Why? You buy the car and computer that you want; I do likewise and we remain friends.

There’s absolutely no reason for car and computer choices to remain peaceful. Suppose our car and computer choices were made in the political arena through representative democracy or through a plebiscite where majority ruled. We would decide collectively whether our cars would be Lexuses or Cadillacs or Chryslers. We also would decide collectively whether our computer would be a Dell or HP or IBM computer.

I guarantee you there would be nasty, bitter conflict between otherwise peaceful car and computer buyers… How would you broker a peace with these parties in conflict? If you’re not a tyrant, I’m betting you’d say, “Take the decision out of the political arena and let people buy whatever car and computer they wish.”

The principle applies to most choices that don’t involve the government in its TRADITIONAL roles (justice and defense). The way to minimize conflicts is to allow for PERSONAL choice instead of group choices.

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