Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Which political stereotype is she?

Suzanne Wright
Pragmatist - You believe that individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent freedoms and responsibilities. You maintain that the proper purpose of government is to protect such freedoms and not to assume such responsibilities. However, if you think that you will lose votes by saying so, you will let your principles be sidelined in favour of populism. Your role model is Suzanne Wright.

Over at The Whig, new contributor Suzanne Wright has a bone to pick with libertarians.

First she implies that libertarian ideas are wrong because they're delusional.
Being a libertarian is not a political position, it's a psychological condition.
Then she implies that libertarian ideas are wrong because they're not popular.
Taxes, regulations, pretty much the whole real world is categorically wrong and we should all just see the light and agree with them. Problem is nobody agrees with them...
And here's the crux.
If the libertarians really do have the truth and the light then a democratic process will tend towards their utopia because coercion is not necessary to achieve the ideal human condition.

All around the world lower taxes, lower trade barriers, and the collapse of central planning among other examples are suggesting that we are tending towards a libertarian utopia one way or another.
ACT members would do well to pay more heed to their founding principles. They were penned by Libertarianz founder Ian Fraser shortly before he left ACT in disgust.

Which political sterotype are you?

Libertarian - You believe that the main use for government is for some people to lord it over others at their expense. You maintain that the government should be as small as possible, and that civil liberties, "victimless crimes", and gun ownership should be basic rights. You probably are OK with capitalism. Your historical role model is Thomas Jefferson.

Which political sterotype are you?
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Hat tip: Philosophy, et cetera.

Friday, December 02, 2005

RIP Nguyen Tuong Van

The killing of Nguyen Tuong Van today by the government of Singapore has brought out all the usual suspects - including the odious Marc Alexander, former United Future MP and self-styled "victim's advocate". In a New Zealand Herald opinion piece, Alexander writes,
There is a universal view that drug dealing is a vile business, one that takes advantage of, and condemns many to, the antithesis of a life worth living.
Well, no, actually this view isn't universal, or even a majority opinion. Take, for example, the case of wealthy drug dealer Douglas Myers who, earlier this week, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Auckland University. Or, consider the case of drug dealer, and New Zealand's ninth richest man, Michael Erceg who died last month in a helicopter crash. Allegedly, Erceg made his fortune by exploiting the youth market, yet we footed the bill for the biggest, most expensive aviation search in New Zealand history.

I have no quarrel with Erceg, Myers or Nguyen. The job of drug dealers is to make people happy. Those who succeed deserve to be richly rewarded. Those who fail do not deserve to be hung for their troubles. "Willing victim" is an oxymoron.

Alexander endorses the view he attributes to the Singaporean government, that "drug dealing is an act of terrorism indistinguishable from crimes of mass murder". For the sake of consistency, if Alexander is going to liken Nguyen Tuong Van to the likes of Osama bin Laden, he should likewise liken his party's leader and tobacco industry bulldog Peter Dunne to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his ilk. Says Marc Alexander,
It is understandable that Australians have been lobbying to reduce the sentence. Had the tactics worked, a selective choice of alternative punishment would have undermined the Singaporean criminal justice system and the principle of one law for all relegated to the dustbin.
Marc, you are complicit in relegating the principle of one law for all to the dustbin. You see, the War on Drugs™ is, in actual fact, a war on some drugs and not others. To treat heroin wholesalers any differently from booze barons is just prejudice. Prejudice, fear, ignorance and puritanism - without them, the War on Drugs™ would end, and those who follow Nguyen's path would walk free. And be eligible for honorary doctorates.