The British Labour Government has introduced a raft of bills into Parliament which ban particular activities and make others compulsory – minor activies including eating habits, smoking and recreation.
These restrictions on personal freedoms, while well meaning and with noble goals, are wrong and unjust if they impose an outcome on individuals who might not choose to or have the means to comply. In a piece by The Economist, they argue that “The question of just how much should be done reaches right down into the principles underpinning liberal democracy. According to those principles, the government is entitled to interfere with people’s behaviour only in so far as it affects other people. Otherwise, well-informed individuals should be allowed to make their own choices. If they want to harm themselves, that’s up to them.”
I believe strongly in the principles of classical liberalism; that no Government should force people into or away from any activity unless that activity harms others. The key to freedom isn’t that a Government legislates it but that people are unrestricted in the participation, creation and expression of freedoms. People know what they want better than anyone else, including Government, therefore they should have the unadulterated ability to pursue their wants (again, unless it harms others). When a Government bans, restricts or promotes an activity, no matter what the cause, it takes away the ability for a “sovereign individual” to make their own choices and fulfil their own wishes.