Saturday, September 20, 2008

The "Big Brother" syndrome

Another perspective about the controversial LTO regulation (AHS-2008-015) is the state's attempt to play "big brother" over the soveriegn people.
Commentator "noypito" advances a strong argument.
Wearing helmets protects motorcyclists.
But should the state force the wearing of helmets, under pain of punishment?
Would it not infringe on personal liberties?
How can imposiing helmets protect the "public"?
Imposing wearing of helmets on motorcyclists protects motorcycle driver or back-riders. But are the motorcyclists the "public"? Or are they merely a sector?
Isn't the "public" mainly bigger, non-motorcyling sector?
A converse analogy, I think, would be smoking cigarettes.
Smoking is harmful to one’s health. The surgeon general says so.
But why doesn’t the state totally ban smoking altogether?
Its because of respect for freedom of choice.
If you want to kill yourself go ahead, smoke.
But don't include the public with your killer instincts.
Yet, all the sate can do is ban smoking in public places, or places where the public can be affected, or ban cigarette advertising.
But the state can’t prohibit you from smoking in your own private bathroom.
If you survey the helmet laws in the US, most have helmet laws (Only four states don’t have helmet laws)
But the state helmet laws are not unreasonably sweeping.
In many US states, helmet is mandatory only on teenager-drivers.
(Age is made a factor)
Its a balancing act between the state's playing "big brother" on one hand, and respecting freedom on the other.
I can't help but remember Manoling Morato during his days as MTCRB chairman, telling people what movies to watch, and what not to watch.

No comments: