“Being responsible is a great adventure in life,” said Tom Palmer at the 2015 World Conference on Market Liberalization in Bali, hosted by the International Society for Individual Liberty. Tom Palmer is Vice President for International Programs at the Atlas Network, and a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, and author of Peace, Love, and Liberty.
Tom Palmer said that freedom and responsibility are intimately connected, “When we deny freedom, we deny responsibility.”
Mr. Palmer mentioned John Locke’s view that your actions are your property, “Locke said, ‘The most important thing you own is what you do.'” Tom went through a number of historic perspectives on the theme of responsibility and liberty, including Francisco de Vitoria, Richard Overton, Joaquin Nabuco and more.
Next, Tom looked at an example of the interplay between freedom and responsibility with drug use. “Even if you believe some people are irrational — or even, many people are irrational — the worst response is to make it illegal. Why? Irrational people are more likely to take high risks.” Tom explained that irrational people are the ones who go into the black market, which is more dangerous.
Afterwards, Tom brought up the loss of responsibility when it comes to welfare, and unfunded liabilities. “More people are willing to live at the expense of someone else,” said Tom of the welfare state in America. “It’s unfair to make young people pay for those benefits.”
Finally, Tom took the audience through some perspectives on willpower and self-control. “There’s good news. We can develop personal habits that can help us to lead better lives.” Tom shared everyday examples of ways to develop more willpower.
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