TLDR up Front: No State has a right to Tyranny.
A Radical Moderate is radical in their support of individual liberty wherever it can be found and seeks to moderate extremism no matter where it originates. Make no mistake – the recent laws passed are a form of extremist Tyranny which seeks to infringe individual liberty.
We need to oppose these laws not only on first-principle grounds. Though there are sound first principle reasons to oppose these laws.
We need to oppose these laws not only on scientific grounds. Though there are sound scientific reasons to oppose these laws.
We need to oppose these laws not only on virtue grounds. Though there are sound virtue reasons to oppose these laws.
We need to oppose these laws not only on consequentialist grounds. Though there are sound consequentialist reasons to oppose these laws.
We need to oppose these laws because, in addition to all the above sound reasons, these laws violate the very principle of limited government of, by, and for the People. That the People are Sovereign, and in their Sovereignty limited government from the very first act of ratification, withholding from it both powers and authorities retained by the People.
There are many philosophical ways to describe limited government – but a practical approach to understanding limited government is through the concept of “strict scrutiny.”
This is the standard Judicial Review(1) imposes on any government attempt to infringe upon fundamental liberties, which these laws do. That test consists of three parts:
- The law must be justified by a compelling government interest.
- The law must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal or interest.
- The law must use the least restrictive means to achieve that goal, there must not be a less-restrictive option available.
The many forms of arguments listed above all address the first test and argue that, indeed, there is no compelling government interest being advanced by these laws. But even putting aside all those arguments – the vital essence of limited government lies in the final two tests.
Because a compelling interest, even were it to exist, by itself is not enough.
Good arguments alone on compelling causes in isolation are not just-cause to infringe on fundamental liberties. The “limits” in limited government arise from those last two tests. That any infringement on the People’s fundamental liberty must be “narrowly tailored” and employ the “least restrictive means.”
These limits protect the People in their fundamental liberties against temporary factions enjoying only enough current popularity to constitute a majority-plus-one in whatever State passes such laws. These limits prevent that faction from causing enormous harm in pursuit of some “good.”
We narrowly tailor the laws so the fewest people possible fall within it. And we find the least-restrictive approach in case of unintended or unanticipated consequences.
These are the limits that codify limited government.
But these laws are not limited. These laws are not narrowly tailored; they are broadly expansive. These laws are not the least-restrictive option; instead calling upon the most coercive power of the State, criminal enforcement, to achieve their ends.
When any State refuses to recognize limits upon itself the only possible progression, whether by increment or leaps, is an approaching Tyranny. And the most seductive Tyranny of all occurs when a righteous faction, having failed to persuade a free-thinking People by first principle, scientific, virtue, or consequentialist arguments of the merits of their beliefs, instead calls upon the powers of the State to force compliance to those beliefs by violating the very limits the People put upon the State in the first place.
It is the seduction of false-virtue which accompanies each turn of the wheel on the rack. That one more ratchet will stretch the victim to the point of confession and validation for the inquisitor. This torture-by-legislation may produce the appearance of compliance, just like torture in fact may produce the appearance of confession. But it leaves a wrecked body-politic, a coarsened political-elite, and further alienation between the People and the State.
A State strong enough to ignore these limits and enforce these laws is a State strong enough to ignore all limits and enforce any law it chooses. And that is no longer a limited government, but a form of Tyranny.
And therefore we must oppose these laws.
Because no State has a right to Tyranny.