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Mar 10

I Ain’t Got No Body

not your incubator
I Ain’t Got No Body

David Roth

Who owns your body? It sounds like a simple enough question, and most people believe they own their own body and can do what they would like with it, but they are mistaken. In most countries, the government controls what a person can and cannot do with their body.

Almost every government believes they can mandate what goes into the bodies of its citizens. In the United States, conservative politicians believe people should not be allowed to consume marijuana, heroin, cocaine, and an assortment of other drugs. Progressive liberals disagree with the conservatives’ list of banned drugs. From their perspective, the list of items banned from the body should include tobacco, sugary drinks, and unpasteurized milk. At least with alcohol, after years of foolishness, both political groups agree that purchasing and consuming alcohol should be legal; unless, it is a dry county, Sunday, after midnight, the person is under 21, or the individual intends to operate a car.

In the related field of healthcare, progressives are also adamant about everyone receiving immunization shots, because this affects the health of others. Progressives firmly believe, when it comes to healthcare, an individual should never have the right to choose; unless, it is to have an abortion.

If a person tries to kill someone, including themselves, the government will put them in jail. In the minds of government officials, people are not allowed to harm other people; unless, the government orders them to kill. The government is allowed to draft any man they want and command them to kill another man. If a drafted person has the audacity to run away and disobey the government’s order to kill, the government can then kill the person for deserting.

The United States government and many other governments believe they own every one of their citizens’ physical bodies and can do whatever they want with those bodies. From the government’s perspective, citizens are simply leasing their bodies from the government, like a person would lease a car from a dealership. The car dealership retains ownership of the car, but if the leaser obeys the strict terms of the lease, they can use the car for a limited time. For example, a person who leases a car must make payments at regular intervals (i.e. taxes to the government) and follow terms of the lease (i.e. obey the law) if they want to continue driving the car. Drivers who do not comply with these requirements will have their car repossessed and impounded (i.e. go to jail).

Amazingly, many people do not have a problem with the government telling other people what to do with their bodies. Supporters of government coercion believe others should be corrected, because these ruffians are not acting in the “proper” manner, which just happens to be the way they are acting. These etiquette enforcers conclude everyone should behave like them, because they are wise and others are idiots.

Unfortunately, there are two major problems with people using the government to force people to live their lives in a specific way. First, there is no one perfect way for everyone to live their life. What is beneficial for one person may be harmful to another. Also, the government that can compel people to act in a conservative way today has the power to coerce people to use their bodies in a progressive way tomorrow. There would be significantly less strife, violations of the law, and displeasure with government if people were simply allowed to do what they want with their bodies as long as their actions did not bring harm to others.

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