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Protagonism

The Enforcement Fallacy

There's a common notion in politics that if a practice is foolish or considered harmful then it should be illegal: this drug is dangerous so it should be illegal, not wearing your seat belt is dangerous so it should be illegal, houses that don't meet certain safety standards are dangerous so they should be illegal, etc. But even beyond how those arguments wrongly assume the right to control someone else's life, there's another thing going on here: forgetting what it means to make something illegal.

The loss of the concept of consent

People who believe in politics tend to assume that making something illegal it just magically and peacefully stops anyone from doing it. That person's weed will disappear out of their hands and the worst I'll have to deal with is their complaints that they should've been free to choose. But reality doesn't work that way. Laws aren't enforced by physics but by punishment. For something to be *illegal* means that if you do it, police will attack you, drag you away and put you in a cage. Or if the punishment is a fine, it means the government will demand money from you... and if you don't send it, police will attack you, drag you away and put you in a cage.

None of these issues are about whether you think someone *should* do drugs or live in an unsafe house. They're not even about whether you think someone should be *able* to do those things. They're about whether you think someone should be assaulted, traumatized and quite possibly have their entire life destroyed for doing them, because that's what it means to make something illegal. If you think any of these descriptions are exaggerated, just read a few of these:

https://reason.com/2012/08/06/how-a-single-oxycontin-pill-nearly-ruine/

https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/psychological-impact-incarceration-implications-post-prison-adjustment

https://norml.org/laws/item/federal-penalties-2

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/life-without-parole_n_4256789

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