Re: On Poverty and Crime: Oscar Wilde's views [by John Hilty]

Liberty (
Sun, 05 Apr 1998 13:16:59 -0400

Hi, Charles:

At 03:46 PM 04/04/1998 -0700, Charles Wilson wrote:

>Dear Liberty, there IS something in the U.S. system which prevents me from
>realizing freedom to pursue my happiness.  The fact that I can not build a
>small hovel (which should be my choice) and simply live in it is a direct
>impingement on my freedom to pursue my happiness.

Yes, true ... but that doesn't mean I should be happy this way.  Most of
the radical left wants to set these kinds of rules and standards that would
make THEM happy, but would certainly interfere with MY right to be happy,
living in the condominium complex that I do, a four-story townhouse in the
burns, where I feel comfortable and safe.  They want to make it so that
EVERYBODY has to get by living in some hovel or dive somewhere, not just
find an island with like-minded people and do it themselves, and leave me
and my hard-earned money alone.

>I can't walk around without clothes, which should be natural; I think it is 

Imagine if everybody did this!  Imagine what the House of Representatives
would look like if this were to be the case ... you're a card <g>!

>I can't imbibe weeds which might naturally grow around on the ground.

I agree with you there.  I see no reason why marijuana cannot be legalized.

>With all the unshared use of motor vehicles, I can't breathe the fresh air 
>which might otherwise be in many cities.

Public transportation might have been a viable alternative at one time,
but when it becomes inconvenient and cannot pay for itself - most people
have no choice but to use the car to get around, unfortunately.

>The extent of the military required to continue to consume two-thirds of 
>the daily production of earth resources appalls me.

And, what CAN you as an individual do about this?  Obviously, there are
not enough people in the world that feel the same way you do about these
things, or else this issue would have been passe.

>The satisfactions which would be enjoyed in a true human community are not
>there.  Instead giant houses which take half a lifetime to pay for and
>midday silence in materially immaculate "housing" areas are the reality.

It depends on what you view as a true human community. What you may view as
the ideal would certainly differ from what other people view as the ideal.
I personally like my home in the burbs, and certainly would not accept all
the money in the world to move to a hovel and be forced to give up my
privacy and personal green space, for someone else's idea of what is good
for me.

>And I have been always inspired by the United Nations Declaration of Human
>Rights.  It gives me a measure of what the accord is among the citizens of
>earth to realize ideals, such as are expressed in the U.S. founding
>documents, which I was taught as a youth, and where I detect some of the
>true essence of the American experience and journey.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights is certainly an ideal, and
they were created because everybody knew it would never actually have to
realized or enforced.  Once an enforcement mechanism would be in place,
and where real dollars would be needed to provide for all the items in 
such a declaration, we would only too quickly see decision-makers begin to 
set priorities and decide what is financially realizable within what frame 
of time.  With respect to the US constitution, there is nothing in it that
obliges me to house, feed and care for others and their children.

>How can you know my arguments are "the usual leftist, lets-have-a-
>demonstration rhetoric," when I have not previously expressed them to you.  
>You think you know me from a few e-mail sentences.

The vast majority of the people on this list hold these views, although
not *everybody* here holds to them, I agree. I still think *some* of your
views, mostly among those expressed in this post I am replying to, tend to 
lean on the ideal, and lack the necessary reality it would take to actually 
DO. As a business person, I consider myself a nuts-and-bolts type of person,
that believes in solving problems using practical solutions, and would gain
community support, instead of marginalizing the issues by making radical
choices and using marginal tactics.

>I'm glad my head was in the sixties; I realize it is the nineties.  I know
>that radical, marginal tactics do not work.

I am glad somebody agrees with me.  I just hope others on the list hear
this as well, and begin to think about more realistic ways we can use to
approach the issue of resolving poverty and homelessness.

>I am hoping that some radical, marginal thinking might lead us ahead in this 
>country; it often has in the past.

Radical, marginal thinking only leads to radical, marginal action that only
leads to marginal results ... if that.

>Your thought that I would advocate any violation of the laws shows you have 
>confused me with others you have communicated with.  I do not advocate that 

Good to hear.  I am glad you don't advocate breaking the law to deal with
issues of poverty, like some others on the list do ... What is legal for
one person should not be illegal for another - regardless of wealth and