Yes, you absolutely are right. That is a terrible title for the blog of a Freedom lover. which is why I felt the need to do it. Because it’s one part of the whole “toleration/authoritarianism” paradigm I did not talk about sufficiently. I kind of glanced off it, in pointing out that allowing people to do whatever they want is bad for other people and you need to draw the line there.
This is absolutely true. I don’t care if you want to live on the street, but I draw the line at your attacking passerbyes, pooping on the sidewalk, being allowed to camp anywhere that’s “public” because that makes cities unusable for other people. And eventually other people get tired of it, and the totalitarian boot comes down. (Not that it’s not there, before, since other people are being forced to indulge you and give you everything you want to live in this way, and never say boo to it. The difference is only in who is being oppressed.)
However, and this is important, and a fine distinction, the people who are being indulged are not actually receiving any benefit from it, and might be destroyed by the indulgence, because they never learn to correct their behavior to what is functional.
So, all the compassionate cities who allow the homeless to just shit on the sidewalk? They’re telling them they don’t even consider them human. Because animals also poop on the sidewalk. (The irony being a dog owner will be fined if his dog poops on the sidewalk, but if he, himself does it? That’s fine.) Allow them to “camp” anywhere, which often seems to mean just slump on the sidewalk with a sleeping bag? Any number of them will die when the winter cold comes.
It’s not just the awful effect on other people it’s the awful effect on themselves.
Now, these “effects” are of a different order, and they require different ways of dealing with.
Take the homeless, because they’re such a found of floridly bad behavior and of being indulged.
Pooping on the sidewalk should definitely be regulated, because it’s not only awful for the person (it is) but it also makes the city unhygienic (real public health issue) and impassible. It makes often expensive downtown properties worthless. It makes tourists stay away. All of this affects other people. Heck, the germ theory of disease caused a whole lot of public cleanliness laws including “don’t spit on the sidewalk.” This might seem oppressive, but it really resulted in a lot less disease and early death. You can be as filthy as you want in your own, private property, but don’t poop/pee/spit on the sidewalk. (Emergencies, such as someone throwing up are obviously different.)
And no, you shouldn’t be allowed to camp in parks/sidewalks/public venues, because by doing so you’re limiting how others can use it.
And of course you shouldn’t be allowed to attack other people. It’s not their fault or responsibility that you’re feral. Attacking people, particularly random passerbyes, used to be known to be a bad thing, because of course it affects other people.
BUT you want to be homeless? Permanently stoned? Beg for a living? Well, buddy, that’s your bailywick, so long as you’re not interfering with anyone else.
You know what society — and by society I mean lefty (and weirdly some right) custard heads — shouldn’t do: Tell stories about how we’re all guilty of your homelessness; talk as if only people who are forced to this choose to do it; pick the three families that are legitimately and temporarily homeless and pretend every other homeless is like that; start charities to “feed the homeless” and therefore make it easy for people to live like that; start charities that enable that type of life to continue; give help without a sermon.
Look, yeah, people are allowed to self-destroy. We’re not REQUIRED to enable it. Yes, sometimes you’re going to help someone in that situation, but yes, you absolutely should do it with a “Sermon” because your explanation of how they got to this point might be the one that finally sinks in.
Self-destructive behavior should come with its own consequences. For the person. Because sometimes it’s the only way they’ll give it up.
And that ultimately is the highest help you can give them.