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Moving Principles

TICAP on the State, its duties, its limitations
 
The State is the guardian of its citizens’ culture, traditions, choices and habits as they come from the people. Its duty is to protect such treasure without interference, as the state and its officers are the servants of the people, rather than the other way around, which would define a tyrannical state.

It is the duty of the State to respect the individual as a sovereign entity.

It is not the duty of the State to change, impose, prohibit, steer, influence, normalize, denormalize,  or engineer values, habits, culture, beliefs and traditions through propaganda, institutions, taxation, regulations, laws or coercion of any kind.

It follows that it is not the duty or obligation of the State to regulate or mould values and lifestyles, except for actions like violent attacks and theft that are demonstrably harmful to the rights of others according to rigid, clear and inflexible parameters.

Consequently, the State has no duty to forbid or mandate what substance goes into the body of a person by his own will, regardless of consequences for the user. The involvement of the State ends with the obligation to make the information available to the citizen without pressures, paternalism and pedagogy, as the State does not qualify to be a father or a teacher. When multiple views on particular information are present, all must be made available with equal importance and respect, as the State is not a generator of knowledge but merely its custodian.
 
TICAP on social designing
 
The International Coalition against Prohibition vehemently opposes social engineering and social designing, where “experts” intend to manipulate the choices, tastes, values and the sense of normality of the people through laws, bans and propaganda, renamed today as “education”. That is an extremely dangerous social experiment of the scale of the Fascist or Communist experiments and with the same devastating consequences, thus it has to be condemned always and without hesitation.

A State that believes in the “top-down” approach is inevitably an authoritarian state regardless of its proclaimed social and political credo. On the other hand, a people that invokes such approach is a servant people, regressed in its maturity and self-esteem and no longer able, at the individual or collective level, to manage its affairs. Historically, that has always been the prelude of dictatorships – what political color, person or moral excuse being irrelevant.
 
TICAP on Prohibition
 
Prohibition is not merely the branding of a substance as illegal, thus forbidding its production, sales and traffic. Prohibition has always been a piecemeal process. An old poster said: “Small laws are pieced together into huge tyrannies”.

In contemporary terms, prohibition means ever-growing restriction and control, implemented through propaganda, advertisement, cultural engineering, regulation, taxation, ordinances and laws that have as their final goal the prevention of display, promotion, dissemination and consumption of a substance as it was originally intended to be used - but while maintaining that substance legal in the course of this escalating process. Banning public consumption and display of the substances and taxing the products out of the reach of most have the identical goal of outright legal prohibition: make the use as intended of the target substances impossible.

There is therefore no practical difference between outright direct prohibition and regulation to extinction – except in honesty.
 
In general all prohibition causes the following effects:

  • It opens criminal markets and makes criminals of people.
  • It creates violence, impoverishes and divides society
  • It causes misery through fraud.
  • It replaces freedom by a police state and a surveillance society.

The International Coalition against Prohibition considers the frequent description of prohibitionist measures as “milestones of progress and civilization” as a contradiction in terms. A truly progressive and civilized society is, in fact, one where the number of laws and regulations decreases as freedom becomes the medium of mature people to interact and determine their own future as they see fit.

© 2014, The International Coalition Against Prohibition