Once upon a time I was talking to my Marxist friend “Lego.” He asked me if, before violating a law that he considered immoral, he would have to justify that violation–even if it would hurt no one. I was fairly certain that he was about to do something illegal, and that the morality of said action would be questionable at best. I was also fairly certain that the question was a thinly veiled attempt to distract me from talking him out of it (he mistakenly assumed that I cared… he’ll learn).
I told him I wasn’t going to answer his question directly–which he was probably perfectly-happy-with because it would further the “distraction.” I told him, in essence, the following:
If you (i.e., the government) are going to keep me from doing something that is not immoral, if you’re going to threaten to throw me in jail or shoot me for doing something that harms nobody else, then you need to explain yourself to me. My rights precede any power you have over me.
Lego was content with my answer, though at this point in the conversation I think he would’ve been content with anything. Maybe he got it, though I wonder whether he’d apply the principle to areas of law and governance other than those of his immediate concern.
I went shopping for two new suits this weekend, then stopped by my dad’s house. He told me that I’d left a suit there years ago. Turns out it was the first suit I bought with my own money, back in ’97. Navy blue with very faint pinstripes. It could use a cleaning, some brushing and some tailoring (it’s a teensy bit loose in the gut), but it fits. That means I weigh roughly what I did when I was 20. I need a pizza.