A society that can't risk can't flourish

published Jan 02, 2024, last modified Jan 30, 2024

How the State is destroying our ability to live more prosperous lives through nannyism.

A society that can't risk can't flourish
A single-occupant biplane.

The flying car had been invented by the 1930's.  A flying craft that could be piloted by teenagers, stored in a double wide garage, and take off from a residential street.

They should sell for $1-5K each new today. The State strangled their makers out of existence.  (The excellent book Dude, where's my flying car? chronicles this.)

Every time I bring this up I'll hear someone say "They're dangerous! It's good we don't let kids from the hood fly these for $5K in their teens. Imagine what injuries and crashes would cost"

Here's the thing, though... basically every plane crash is nearly fatal. They're like motorcycles: either you respect them, or you very quickly pay the ultimate price.  Because of that, the actual external costs of single-occupant plane crashes (much like motorcycle crashes) are very low — a one-time instantly fatal crash that 75% of the time hits nothing (the vast majority of the Earth, even near major cities, is unoccupied parking lot or field).  Contrast this with bad automobile drivers, eternally causing crashes and involving others in their rolling liability.

So the real cost of letting people choose their own risk and make their own decision... is them choosing their own risk and making their own decision you may not like!

This faulty reasoning replicates across so much of modern life.

Smoking has already been banned in the vast majority of public settings and indeed the U.K. is gearing up to ban it entirely, even as most places have legalized equally carcinogenic cannabis.  Nicotine itself doesn't cause cancer (the patches, vapes and gums don't); the cancer comes from breathing burnt smoke itself, which is the same with marijuana smoke.

This prohibition is justified on health grounds, and if you object "But my body my choice" the longhouse matriarchy we live in will screech that you cost the public healthcare system money, so it's not your choice, it's the healthcare system's...

...Except this is complete bullshit. Someone who dies of 99% fatal lung cancer at 70 saves the healthcare system and public coffers in general potentially millions. Right as they'd stopped working and contributing, they die. Instead, if they didn't smoke they might have lived to 98, have taken 28 more years of social security and retirement benefits, required treatment for maybe a half dozen lesser cancers, and new hips and knees along the way. By selflessly choosing to smoke and look cool and be more skinny/productive, this smoker has not only increased their productivity and positive externalities to the community, they've also saved the welfare state millions of dollars in lifetime benefit costs.

Why is "my body, my choice" not acceptable for smoking in private, but totally real for these much sicker people that cost the healthcare system way more than smokers?

So why are they actually banning smoking if the stated reasons are bullshit?

Because the modern longhouse State gets all of its legitimacy from the decrepit cry for "safety".

Same reason there is now a push to bloat motorcycle insurance costs — in many jurisdictions you cannot simply buy liability insurance on a motorcycle, but all insurance companies are mandated to tack on Injury insurance, loss of wages insurance, lifetime disability insurance... such that the total cost of these extras vastly exceeds the actual liability insurance you are required to have for the road.

Again, motorcycles are disproportionately driven by 50-70 year old men; people whose untimely death or loss of lifespan would actually save the system money. Some screeching bureaucrat might claim you're imposing costs on the system with your motorcycle injury... but statistically no, you're generating net savings... numbers the bureaucrat certainly hasn't crunched.

The real reason we can't smoke, fly privately, and increasingly are discouraged from biking —the real reason progress is stalled — is because in the absence of any meaningful external enemy, the only way the State can justify itself and its expansion is via nannyism and protecting the people "from themselves".  The stated reason for the State existing is to protect you, and if there isn't a scary other threatening to invade and kill you, its legitimacy is dependent on artificially creating a society terrified of their own agency.

It is a perfect self-licking ice-cream cone. The State must exist and expand to protect your life and liberty... from your own life and liberty.

For this absurdity, flying cars have been uninvented; for this, the romantic waft of smoke in a dimly lit room is fast becoming extinct; for this, the wind in the hair, the joy of life is being extinguished.  For this invention itself has been destroyed.

So, remember: every time you are seen to take risk, to strike out, to spread your wings, or to light your match — you are implicitly denouncing the State.