Rebirth of Reason

The Free Radical
War for Men's Minds

The New Zealand Election - Statism or Selfhood?
by Lindsay Perigo

Nanny State—all the other parties … or personal freedom—Libertarianz.

That’s the way I’ve cast the political choice confronting New Zealanders since Libertarianz was formed. That’s because it’s true. This election as much as any other.

As is made clear in the pages that follow, Libertarianz is the only party that derives all its policies from one bedrock principle: that you own your life.

The ACT party sometimes pays lip-service to this principle. It has done so more often since Rodney Hide became leader. Rodney is a libertarian. But he is stymied by the authoritarian conservatives within his own ranks, inside and outside Parliament. On litmus issues like voluntary euthanasia, prostitution and drugs, half of ACT is like a secular wing of Christian Heritage. Even on the economy, where its policies most closely resemble Libertarianz’, ACT betrays the self-ownership principle at root. ACT says its flatter tax system will lure productive people out of the "cash" (or "black," or "underground") economy, into the taxpaying mainstream. Libertarianz says the cash economy is what the whole economy should be like! The cash economy is the self-ownership principle in action—self-owning individuals voluntarily interacting with each other, with no coercive interference from governments or other mobsters. To have the whole economy working this way with its participants voluntarily maintaining the institutions—government and its legitimate agencies—that protect their freedom … this is what ACT would be advocating, as its ultimate goal, if it were serious about your ownership of your life.

National under Don Brash has been a huge, but entirely predictable, disappointment. The runaway success of his Orewa 1 speech should have taught Dr Brash that this was the way to go. The same ringing advocacy of one law for all should have been brought to bear on all policy areas: the economy, defence, health, education … Instead, what has he done? He has capitulated to marshmallow middle-grounders in all of them.

In the economic arena he has repudiated asset sales—he won’t get the government out of businesses such as Television New Zealand, Radio New Zealand and Air New Zealand that are not its business. He has all but caved in on Maori Television. He has endorsed the discrete (but scarcely discreet) form of theft known as the Cullen Fund. He has rolled over on paid maternity leave. He is promising a new Minister of Infrastructure so that there can be more "central planning" (!!!!) in an area crying out for deregulation and privatisation. The three per cent reduction he is offering in the company tax rate in three years’ time, while better than a packet of chewing gum, is risible given the case for a dramatic reduction now. The rest of his tax cuts, while better than none, are way too timid. The reason? He has disavowed his commitment to make government smaller by having it spend less.

Education is one area where Don Brash has gone out of his way to promise to spend more. Of all state-sponsored atrocities from which government should urgently disengage, education is at the top of the list. State education has been the playground of state-worshipping child-molesters-of-the-mind for decades. It has given us precisely the kind of dumbing-down guaranteed to churn out hordes of brainless, hip-hopping, gum-chewing Labour voters indefinitely.

Horrifyingly, and without a murmur from National, the child-molesters at the Ministry of Education are now proposing that "Participating for the common good" (read: "Servitude to the state"), "Fairness, social justice and equal opportunities for all" (read: "Socialism") and "Respect and care for the earth and its related eco-systems" (read: "Eco-fascism") be taught as part of a values programme in primary and secondary schools! Here is politically correct, anti-freedom, collectivist brainwashing of the most pernicious kind.

Education should be privatised as a matter of urgency and its worst travesties, such as the NCEA, dumped immediately. Instead, Don Brash has vowed merely to "overhaul" the NCEA. Well, you can’t do a makeover on a dog like that. You can’t make a rotten egg fresh; you must get rid of it before its stench impregnates everything around it. (National, of course, introduced the NCEA, and the very ministers who did so await their return to cabinet. Don Brash is their captive.) Don Brash will not do that. He will not take on the socialist, PC teacher unions or the socialist, PC bureaucracy, much less get the whole kit and caboodle ready to be turned over to parental shareholders.

Health is another portfolio at which Don Brash is promising to throw more money … this, in the full knowledge that all the while Dr Cullen has been doing the same, waiting lists have lengthened, personnel have fled and skill shortages have worsened. Only the bureaucracy has flourished. Again, Don Brash, the leader of a party committed to free enterprise, is not prepared to turn health over to free enterprise! He’d rather preserve the current Soviet-style, die-while-you-wait monolith.

Don Brash’s sell-outs have been most shocking in the realm of defence. The contemptibly stupid anti-nuke legislation should be "gone by lunchtime," but Don is too terrified even to confirm or deny that he said such a thing. National, he says, will preserve the legislation because it’s "iconic." All that means is that dumbed-down zombies spewed out of the state education system are too moronic to see the folly and the futility of such legislation. Dr Brash should seek to rouse them from their state-induced stupor, not acquiesce to it. Instead, he won’t even commit to restoring the air force’s combat capacity, so treacherously disabled by Labour! In fact, all we’re promised in this entire portfolio—the repository of a government’s first duty, defence of the realm—is a "review"!! Few, if any, of National’s betrayals and delinquencies are more reprehensible than this.

As for expecting National to overturn Labour’s various bossyboots laws such as the anti-smoking statutes, forget it!

All other parties, of course, are avowedly, unashamedly statist, so there is no point in my even mentioning them.

How you vote, dear reader, is over to you. Me, I’m going to cast my vote for freedom and against Nanny State. I’ll be giving my party vote to Libertarianz and my constituency vote to Libertarianz leader Bernard Darnton in Wellington Central.

To the predictable clamour that these will be "wasted votes" I respond:

If enough of us do this, Nanny State will be gone by lunchtime.


PS: Lindsay Perigo was a founding member and first leader of Libertarianz.

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