Tuesday, 7 July 2009

LIBERTARIAN SUS: Staying on Libz message

Susan Ryder explains how she became Libertarianz Sus, and what now for Libz.

susanryder There was no specific time as to when I became involved with the Libertarianz. I just sort of drifted into it.

It started after I returned to New Zealand permanently in 1995 after a long absence. Music radio left me cold, (the announcers, really, having been one in a past lifetime), so I started listening to Radio Pacific out of respect for friends who worked there.

The then morning host had a degree in Political Correctness and a Masters in Wetness, which saw me quickly seeking refuge in Leighton Smith’s pro-capitalist programme on Newstalk ZB. It was either that or succumb to the temptation to commit grievous bodily harm with my bare hands.

Listening at work allowed me to initially fax my opinions prior to email coming into existence. There was plenty to discuss. The cloth-cap lefties of old had alarmingly morphed into professional, well-organised, publicly-funded feminazis with a clear and chilling agenda. And the so-called right-wingers were also socialist at heart, parting company with the left only where they deemed it necessary to additionally mind others’ personal business. However the left has since ventured into that sphere, too, with the passing of legislation such as the Anti-Smoking/Smacking Acts. That’s the thing with authoritarians: there’s just no end to their interference.

They all seemed to be big-government advocates and I just wanted them to go away and mind their business. But nobody else seemed to think the way I did – or so I thought.

Ranting to a friend from Radio Pacific one day over a drink, he grinned and said “Why the hell aren’t you listening to Lindsay Perigo?” My eyebrows couldn’t have shot up faster had I been to the Botox clinic. “But he’s a communist!” I said. “Not anymore,” said John, “he’s had something of an awakening. I think you’ll approve!”

I suspiciously returned to Pacific at the appointed hour and thought I’d died and gone to heaven. “He thinks like me!” I thought. “I must be whatever he is!”

Back to ZB where I was quick to broadcast my allegiance to this party of small government devotees even though I hadn’t joined anything and didn’t know a soul. I didn’t care. They were opposed to state interference in all its manifestations and that was good enough for me. That they also rubbished political correctness and its proponents was a delicious bonus; a bit like winning Lotto and scoring the Powerball as well!

I joined the stable of regular correspondents, including my particular favourite, Barry the Garbo, a Warriors fan, rubbish collector and poet of some repute. As a result, a Libertarianz stalwart made herself known to me a few years later at a private function which marked my introduction to the party proper. I remain committed to its philosophy of free minds and free markets to this day.

Lately, there’s been discussion as to the ‘effectiveness’ of the Libertarianz. In so doing, it is necessary to look at the party and libertarianism separately.

Commentary on this and other blogs has unearthed numerous suggestions, many of them worthy of consideration. What has emerged is a call for a simplification of “the message.” I say “simplification” because the message – or philosophy – itself has never changed. By definition, it cannot. But that doesn’t mean to say that it cannot be streamlined or presented differently.

There is no denial that our voting numbers have decreased since the early days. And this is a good place to elaborate on the difference between the party and its principles.

Without rehashing past commentary, I believe that the voting numbers do not reflect dissatisfaction with libertarianism per se in that having embraced the principles of freedom and limited government, it is impossible to desert them. But there are two factors at play here that must be taken into consideration:

  1. the acceleration of socialism and the Nanny State under Helen Clark, and
  2. the vagaries of our convoluted MMP parliamentary system

They alone frightened many into voting for larger parties whose policies they may not have fully supported, just to be rid of the previous government. The “wasted vote” theory, if you like. And we can harp on all we like about what really constitutes a wasted vote, but for these voters, the fear of another Labour-lead victory was greater than any perceived failings of John Key and National.

But the chickens are already well on their way to roost. The Key government is nine months old and, abolition of the reviled Electoral Finance Act notwithstanding, little has really changed. The size of the state has barely altered while private sector jobs disappear every day. Essential services remain firmly in state clutches and Key has thumbed his nose at the upcoming Citizens Initiated Referendum in a style worthy of Helen Clark.

What better time, then, to capitalise on the current situation. “Nanny State” is a well-known term these days. It certainly wasn’t ten years ago, but – as the left knows all too well; Lord knows they’ve been at it long enough – constant repetition has done the trick.

This is where simplification of what we’re about comes in. I disagree with the notion that this is diluting or selling out our principles. On the contrary, it’s a clarification for newcomers and potential newcomers, who are sympathetic to the idea of less state control and/or dissatisfied with the status quo. Any salesman worth his salt knows that you never sell something; you find out what the customer wants and then you provide it. You talk your customer’s language.

The suggestion has been made to talk “reduce” rather than “abolish” and “free market” instead of “capitalism”, etc. After all, language revision has been a powerful tool for the statists, so there is some satisfaction in using their own proven method to attack them.

I therefore suggest we concentrate on a handful of issues and take it from there. And we could do worse than focus on the RMA and its connection with the assault on property rights and increased compliance costs, Climate Change and Social Engineering to start with. Others will have their own ideas.

We are unique in that we would prefer our ideas be adopted by other parties rather than be in power ourselves; a difficult fact for voters to grasp. We cannot expect people to “get it” straight away; it can take time. But I’ve long been of the opinion that I’d rather concentrate on the areas in which we share agreement as opposed to the reverse. Those already sympathetic to the concepts of personal freedom, personal responsibility, limited government and tolerance – thank you, Richard McGrath! – will eventually come around.

They have nowhere else to go.

* * Read Susan Ryder’s column every week here at NOT PC * *


  1. Sus

    There are several things occuring:

    1/. It was recently reported that a substantial percentage of New Zealanders (I understand it approaches 20%) voted with their feet and presently live and work overseas.

    Guess which types of people, by and large, departed.

    2/. Pretty much every New Zealander of voting age resident within New Zealand today has spent all his or her childhood and youth incarcerated within schools run by the state or, at the very least, in schools indoctrinating pupils with the socialist syllabus. Once socialised thus, they end up acting accordingly. Independent thinking, logical analysis, freedom, personal indepedence, innovation, self-discipline, personal responsibility are conspicuous by their absence. A culture of dependence, dishonest leisure, low cunning and a lack of quality (including getting tasks completed) are what one usually experiences instead.

    Socialist dependents are not favourably disposed to Libertarian ideas (like, say, freedom).

    3/. New Zealanders prefer to "belong" to the mob. Vanishingly few would ever consider "going it alone" and taking a stand on consistent principle, let alone living according to principle.

    Range of the moment decisions are about the best you can experience from the bulk of people here (assuming they make any serious decisions at all). Whatever seems easiest in the moment is usually what gets selected. A long term, difficult to execute plan of action, one which requires constant applied effort, is not an option for most. Attaining freedom and living it requires just that type of effort. That is becoming less and less popular, especially as people begin to feel the pinch of the economic times and New Zealand's deepening slide into mediocre poverty.

    Uncertainty, helplessness and dependence tend to reinforce the culture of seeking solace with the mob. The mob has been taught, "the gummints got ta do summint." You can add the words, "for me."

    Libertarian ideas, like personal independence will never be popular with the crowd.

    4/. In the final analysis the present culture is set for deepening frustration and continued failure. It consistently gets worse. There is an overwhelming dishonesty and reliance upon indirect plunder of the productive. That, as is actually well understood or sensed, is unsustainable over the long run. How it will end I'm not certain. After all things have slipped along the present course for many decades now. The culture is extremely well entrenched. What is certain is that in the end it will lead to its logical conclusion and things will get very tough.

    None of this makes the LibertarianZ message easy to jazz up for popular approbation or acceptance.

    My suspicion is that NZ will become so non-productive and in-debted that its ceditors will determine the future direction of the country. That may well mean a substantial influx of new immigrants- possibly a few tens of millions. The present occupants of the country will lose nearly everything as a result. They will own little, not even self-respect.

    In the short term therefore, I would expect the LibertarianZ to command only a small minority of the vote. It may oscillate up and down some, but a strict minority it will remain. Unfortunate but that's about the gist of it.


  2. Everything LGM said.
    That's probably the best analysis of what ails us I've ever read.

    And this is interesting:
    "That may well mean a substantial influx of new immigrants- possibly a few tens of millions. The present occupants of the country will lose nearly everything as a result."
    How does that fit with the Libz 'open doors' immigration policy?

  3. LGM

    An excellent, if depressing summation.

    Here's an optimistic rebuttal/commentary. Yes, I need to look at it optimistically. :)

    1. I've checked for stats. The gummint provides motivations for internal migrations but not for international ones. IF they mirror internal motivations (and yes, I know it's a huge if) then the dominant reasons are social and environmental, with economic in third place. Admittedly that doesn't really take anything away from what you've said, but I'd love to see some actual stats. As well as our best and brightest, we also seem to export a hell of a lot of no-hopers. Ask Sydney. If nothing else, you, Sus, PC, Lindsay, et al. are all opting to stay here. That says something to me.

    2. This one is the biggest reason for hope I can think of. Sally has recently been running a class with year 9 students at Western Sprigs college, teaching the principles of libertarianism. If it can happen there, it can happen elsewhere. I think that freedom is terrifying to the state-indoctrinated (because it comes with responsibility) but exciting and intoxicating to the young. There's the place to make the change. Perhaps we can? Royal we of course, I've not done a damn thing, more's the pity.

    3. I can't dispute that one, though I like to think it will change hand in hand with education, as discussed above.

    4. That's a dire prediction. One thing the kiwi culture has going for it is a fierce sense of self. This patriotism could be channelled away from its disturbing tendency to collectivism and into a celebration of individual freedom. If we did this properly, the ideas may promote themselves. NZers would be proud to identify with a system of (tiny) government which exists nowhere else in the world.

    Reading over this in preview, I realise I don't have any strong rebuttal to your arguments at all. However, I stand by the fact that it is still worth trying. I will be.

  4. Analysis schmalysis.

    I think everyone has a pretty fair idea of whats going on. Sus's post is a suggestion for new strategies that will help the Libz connect.

    The discussion should be about these strategies, not boring defeatist crap that is already well enough known.

    There is no point in going over problems again and again. They are well enough known. Its solutions that are thin on the ground.

  5. Sus: I agree that the message needs to be packaged better and focussed. I'm not so sure the RMA issue will strike a chord with voters as most of them have no knowledge or firsthand experience of it.

    LGM: 2: Yes, most people have been indoctrinated by the socialists, but luckily as they get older many of them lose their idealist youthful foolishness, and after a few years in the real world come to realise that Marx wasn't right after all. It has always happened this way.

    There is also a groundswell of popular opinion that people are getting sick of being told what to do. The Clark government essentially lost power because of this, and because so many people eventually felt the evil hand of control on their lives. The Libz' challenge is to take advantage of this popular feeling and use it to make people think about the basic principles of freedom. Because many of them are simple folk, the "marketing" needs to use clear examples that they can relate to their own lives. It needs to show for example what the effect of overtaxation is on a young family. It needs to explain how once you give a government too much power it will come back to bite you, even if initially it's targetting other people. It needs to make people realise that their freedom is in their own hands, and they are giving it away for short term gains.

  6. Greig: thanks for the news about Western Springs College; that's great. I didn't know about that. How long has it been going on?

    LG - & KG: All that, of course. Thank you.

    But you forget one important thing: in spite of the block-socialist thinking that permeates NZ, you don't need a *majority* onside to change things; you never have done. It wasn't a majority who founded the US Republic: it was Sam Adams' "tireless, irate minority".

    The NZ Greens are another example of that. Their voting base hasn't altered since the days of its forebears, the Values Party, 35 yrs ago, averaging 5-6%. And yet they have certainly flexed their muscles disproportionately.

    But if what you say is true, then let's just all pack up and go home. Just give up now and wait for everything to fall over.

    Or you could take heart that the Berlin Wall came down almost overnight, so quickly was its demise -- and then the rest of Eastern Europe followed suit.

    I don't mean to "jazz up" the message; just start with several ideas that appeal to people -- dismantling social engineering springs to mind, as opposed to say, drug legalisation -- to get people thinking. Less of a shock for them, if you like, to start with.

    Trying to attack all aspects of statism as they arise is just too hard. We all have jobs, businesses and lives, remember? We don't have the luxury of a state-paid job in order to spread our ideas and influence all day, every day. It's a spare time activity.

    We need more people who share -- even to a degree -- our principles. Because doing the hard yards is hard going, I tell you. It's damn wearying.

    The alternative is to continue to handwring and moan about the status quo for another ten years, achieving precisely nothing in the process.

    Over to you, both.

  7. Well, Sus I share a whole lot of Libz principles (with the exception of immigration policy) and I'd be very happy to promote one policy at a time over at CR.
    Not that we have a very large readership, but every little helps, I guess.

  8. In fact, if you'd care to put up a post over there, be my guest.

  9. Fair comment, TW.

    Re the RMA, I was thinking of its association with business compliance costs, for one.

    It's a bugbear for a lot of people in business .. the construction and farming industries spring to mind straight away. Also its association with the ordinary punter who wishes to put a garage on his property or add another bedroom.

    In other words, it's an example of simplification: there's no need to tell people about the philosophical travesty of the RMA; what we do is point out its major nuisance/cost value to them.

    Does that make sense?

  10. Cheers, KG. Every bit helps, (and I appreciate that we part company on immigration!).

    Stay in touch.

  11. RB is right here. It is fuckers like LGM who alienated the potential Libz converters. Those who might have wanted to join the Libz, looked at his Einsteinian view of the world (yep this fucker LGM, thinks he knows everything in which he is dismissive about others opinions and he also thinks that he deserved a Nobel Prize) have left unimpressed of what Libz stand for. The sooner this idiot is banned from this blog, then the NZ Libertarianz membership will grow exponentially. I wondered if LGM is the same Libz idiot called Elijah Lineberry, but he/she is posting as LGM.

  12. Settle, Kurt. LG and Elijah are not one and the same and they both make, and have made, valid points.

    You don't have to agree with what someone says, but don't let your dissatisfaction with a particular individual stand in the way of supporting an outfit that shares your principles.

    It's called not throwing the baby out with the bathwater! ;)

    You're a free marketeer, I gather?

  13. Sus, RMA: I completely agree that it's an outrage, and anyone who is a farmer, industrialist (if there are any left), or small businessman will have felt the effects, as would those people who wanted to do anything on their own land. However, when you count all of those people up, it still doesn't make a particularly large percentage of the population. If opposition to the RMA was a vote winner, Act would have done a lot better than they did. Since Libz has pretty meagre resources spread very thinly, they will have to carefully choose what they focus on, and I wouldn't have thought that RMA issues would resonate enough compared to some of the other possibilities like tax, smacking, smoking, big government, etc, etc. I would absolutely promote the policy on the website where you have the forum to present all the ideas, but for something like a billboard or a print or radio advert, I'd say it was wasted money. You could also promote it via flyers delivered to businesses or in areas where people are obviously building or doing renovations.

  14. The sooner this idiot is banned from this blog, then the NZ Libertarianz membership will grow exponentially.

    That's not a very libertarian approach - more a Green Party one. Don't like something? Just ban it! ;)

    Anyway, Sus - I've sent you the link to Sally's thingy via private message.

  15. Sus and all, one thing we all need to realise that the battle in which we are engaged is a battle of ideas.

    There ain't no way around that. And for any number of reasons that is both the blessing and the curse of it.

    The 'curse,' if you want to call it that, is something I've been saying for years already: that there are no shortcuts.

    If we've learned anything over the last several years, where the message has been tailored and re-tailored, then it's this: The problem is not with HOW we're saying things -- since the message has been said many different ways over the years -- the problem is with what we are saying.

    With the culture the way it is, it doesn't matter how you tailor your message, the culture by and large just doesn't like the message.

    Which is why the most important job ahead is still to expand the market for that message, which means -- as we've always known -- our most fundamental job in every respect, is to change the culture so it can grasp them.

    In every important sense, political activism is the last form of activism; it's where you reap the dividends of the work done in effecting cultural change.

    What we have to do is take that "long march through the culture" that the Marxists and Maoists, the Gramsci-ans and Alinsky-ites have done -- that is, "do a Gramsci in reverse."

    I've written about that before, and I'll do so again shortly, but for my money that's the most important thing we can be doing in the next several years. And it's already begun.

    The job we need to to is generate a growing cadre of intelligent, knowledgable people consciously and explicitly committed to producing a capitalist society -- a growing group of people whose "fixed star," so to speak, is laissez-faire capitalism and all the values that underpin it.

    George Reisman describes the process perfectly, "The first thing that those in favor of capitalism must do is to make the conscious, explicit decision that they seriously want to achieve a fully capitalist society and are prepared to work for its achievement. We need to view ourselves as active agents of change, working toward a definite goal: laissez-faire capitalism. . . [continued in next post]

  16. [Continued from previous post]

    "The success of the liberals/socialists in enacting their program shows that what we need is a group of educated and articulate individuals who adopt the achievement of capitalism as their goal. . . By virtue of constantly offering their own definite program for political change, they would seize the political initiative. Instead of merely attacking the socialistic proposals of the "liberals" and then yielding to them and abandoning the fight once the proposals happened to be enacted, as is the almost invariable practice of the conservatives, they would always strive to move in the direction of capitalism. . .

    "Laissez-faire capitalism would represent their fixed star so to speak. To the extent that present conditions departed from it, they would be radical in seeking to change present conditions. To the extent that conditions in the past had approximated laissez-faire capitalism, they would be reactionary in seeking to reestablish such conditions. To the extent that present conditions were consistent with laissez-faire capitalism, they would be conservative in seeking to preserve those conditions. . .

    "It is definitely not impractical to explain to people that if they want to live and prosper, they must adopt capitalism. It would not be impractical to do so even if for a very long time most people simply refused to listen and went on supporting policies that are against their interests. In such a case, it would not be the advocates of capitalism who were impractical, for they would be pursuing the only course that is capable of working, namely, explaining to people what they must do if they are in fact to succeed. . .

    "It is the grossest compounding of confusions to suggest that those who know truths that masses of impractical people refuse to hear, accept error as an unalterable given for the sake of which they must abandon or "bend" their knowledge of the truth. Nothing could be more impractical, elevating as it does, error above truth and making knowledge subordinate to ignorance. The essence of true political practicality consists of clearly naming and explaining the long-range political program that promotes human life and well being--i.e., capitalism--and then step by step moving toward the fullest and most consistent achievement of that goal. That the initial effect of naming the right goal and course may be to shock masses of unenlightened people and invoke their displeasure should be welcomed. That will be the first step in awakening them from their ignorance. . .

    "We should certainly not expect that we would quickly win any of the campaigns . . . even the least among them. On the contrary, for a very long time we would almost certainly lose them all, over and over again. Indeed, we should expect for some time to be written off as cranks and even ridiculed for our views. Nevertheless, if we fight every concrete issue on the basis of correct abstract, general principles, our efforts will never be wasted. We will be successful even though we fail to win our particular objective of the moment. We will be successful because we will have propounded and helped to spread our principles. As a result, we will have gained new adherents, who will have been attracted to our principles. In addition, those who waged the campaign will have become more skilled in the defense of their principles. Thus, we will have gained the basis for conducting campaigns over the same issue, and over a wide variety of other issues, on a stronger foundation in the future. We will be embarked upon a policy of progress in intellectual influence analogous to the process of capital accumulation and economic progress.

    [continued in next post]

  17. [Continued from previous post]

    "If we are successful in making continual progress in our intellectual influence, we cannot fail ultimately to possess major intellectual influence and therefore correspondingly major political influence. To achieve the most rapid possible success, our objective should be to accomplish in terms of intellectual influence the kind of rate of progress achieved economically by Japan and other contemporary East Asian countries that began in the most humble material conditions. If we could succeed in that, then even though we may begin today in the most humble conditions in terms of size and influence, within a matter of decades we would become a major intellectual force [all emphasis added]"

    All I can say to this at the moment is "Hear, Hear!" -- and to point out that the process has already begun. :-)

  18. *sings with a hearty but tuneless:*

    "I'm in heaven, I'm in heaven, and my heart beats so, that I can hardly breathe..."

    Will post properly when time and respiration permits.

  19. KG

    I'm not familiar with the LibZ immigration policy (so I'll have to go read it up- will do that shortly).

    What I have found is Hans Herman Hoppe's arguments about what should constitute an immigration policy or rather non-policy. He is logical and persuasive. His approach has the advantage of being moral.

    In essence the government should have no interest in immigration whatsoever. Immigration is a version of freedom of association. If a person moves into a country and there are people there who are voluntarily prepared to employ him, rent him a place to live (or even sell it to him), transact business with him, voluntarily associate with him on a social or professional basis, so long as he never initiates force fraud or coercion against anyone else, he's legitimately in. It's a non-problem which requires no overseer or permission from third party authority.

    Relating that to an increasingly likely future scenario, where NZ's creditors determine future political policy for the entire country and hence arrange a large immigration inflow, is difficult as the context is different.

    In NZ there is the situation where the government is the largest entity in the economy. It also has the authority and power to force all people within the country to obey its dictates or requirements. This includes the ability to incur debts and enter agreements which each person is liable to pay for (either directly or indirectly) whether they agree or not. What that means is that some are expected to pay for the activities of others regardless of whether they take part, or concur with the arrangements or not. Even if they do not concur the government still has bound them to whatever course it arbitrarily determines. Thus its debts (whether economic, social or cultural) are coercively socialised. All are mortgaged- some more than others, as is the socialist norm.

    Given that the majority of New Zealanders do not produce anywhere like enough to support the present standard of living (let alone what is being aspired to and promised by various political organisations) the debts incurred bind them physically as well as politically. One can make the case that aside from debt incurred through political collectivisation and forcible expropriation, most New Zealanders incur debt voluntarily, even necessarily. Hence they can be seen to bear a burden of individual as well as collective debt, the majority of which they can never seriously hope to repay.

    None of this behaviour is moral. In the long term it is impractical and completely unsustainable.

    The angle to examine is who owns the capital and assets that are so generously lent for such thoughtlessly easy consumption. In the end, when the defaults loom, it is those owners who remain in possession of the authority to foreclose and make demands on their debtors. They can and will claim whatever loan collateral of whatever form they can locate. In so far as they end up owning the collateral against which the borrowings were made, that is a moral and proper result. In so far as the government had bound individuals, who did not want to take part and were not party to the dissipation of productivity and wealth, it is immoral. It is especially immoral when in order to satisfy its obligations the government expropriates or causes expropriation of the wealth and freedom of those innocent victims. As for the rest, social ballast. They will receive an especially rough time of it as there will not be sufficient remaining productivity, wealth or (real) savings to support them in the manner to which they are accustomed.

    On a personal level I think that things will continue as they are for some time yet, but when the end game occurs (as in end of the present set up) it will be relatively swift with significant social dislocation. The transfer of political authority away from local NZ will mean the end of the present culture. Large scale immigration will submerge it.


  20. Greig

    Yes, it's a bit depressing. But, as you point out, there is the up side.


    An aside, I lived in Sydney for some years and recommend it highly. It has a lot going for it. There are a lot of ex-pat NZers over there who are doing very well. There is plenty to see and enjoy. There are compelling opportunities and many, many interesting people. When I'm ready to head off overseas again Sydney will be on the short list.


    I didn't know about Sally's class. That's excellent news. I do know about some of the hard work being done with Montessori (recently featured on this blog) and elsewhere to see to it that children are well educated so they can grow to be confident, independent, logical, free adults.


    The present culture of dependence is going to end. That's certain and it is extremely good that it will. How that occurs and when it occurs is an open issue. To some extent it is up to what (freedom oriented) individuals are doing right now. Each has effect. At the very least, one does not want to join those who will end up losing everything or even losing a lot of things. The arrangement of one's personal affairs is most important. Live life according to consistent principle.

    A good thing to realise is that much of the opposition to freedom and Capitalism will likely recede with the end of the present culture.


    The failure of the great egalitarian and socialist experiments will be a stern warning to people about what experience they can expect should they continue to adopt such poisonous ideas. Hopefully there will be sufficient people about who will learn that lesson and pass that knowledge on. "Lest we forget."


    Immigrants have tended to be those seeking new opportunities, looing for improvement in their situation. They tend to want to "get on with it" to build better lives for themselves (generalising here, but you get the point). In my experience doing business with these people can be a pleasure and very rewarding for both parties. It is to be expected that such newcomers will be, at the very least, sympathetic to Libertarian ideology at the outset.


    BTW, never, ever underestimate the advantage you possess over a socialist or collectivist. They are not intelligent. They lack integrity. They are never trustworthy or honest. Treat them as what they are.


  21. If I may put that last comment in a slightly different way:

    Never, ever underestimate the advantage you possess over a socialist or collectivist.

    You don't have to be intelligent. You just have to be honest. Because unlike them, you have reality on your side.


  22. Sus

    You're right about the tireless minority.

    On the other hand you are not correct about packing it up and heading home (wherever that might happen to be). The deal is that the on-going decisions and behaviours being made by many, many people today will lead to certain consequences. Those consequences are unavoidable. That those making those piss-poor decisions will get to enjoy those consequences is entirely correct and proper. That those who do not, but may be forced to, is not.

    The best thing to do is to arrange one's affairs to avoid the problems that loom or are already present. It is even better to take advantage of the situation where possible. It remains true to do as you suggest and remain a participant as a tireless, selfishly active minority. I guess that's leading by example.

    BTW we really should get together for a large helping of alcoholic stuff. What say you?


  23. I say yes, LG. Very good idea. :)

    PC, thanks for the Reisman excerpts. He published that in '96 I think. And far be from me to disagree with the good professor.

    However, we've had a decade of serious statism in that time, which many people are unhappy with. Some aren't sure how and why it happened; they just know it doesn't sit at all well with them.

    My point is to try to create a situation so those people will think "Hey! Those guys are onto it! That's not a bad idea!", etc. Having them come to libertarianism, & at their own pace, rather than vice versa.

    Reisman says (and I'm paraphrasing here) that in order to eventually succeed we need to shock; to be written off as crazy, etc. I'm tired of that, PC. Freedom deserves better. We all deserve better. I'm proud to be associated with these good people. Besides, "Shock & Awe" didn't do a lot for George W, either, by the way! ;)

    Reisman is not living in a very small community like NZ, either, which brings its advantages and disadvantages.

    The downside is that we can all too easily be written off by a predominantly left-wing media as (wrongly) far-right nutters, and mud sticks.

    The upside is that smallness brings a greater chance of being listened to.

    Capitalism is under siege. It long has been, but the Dark Side is having a field day right now, the swine, in casting capitalism as the cause of the global recession.

    My point is not -- and never -- to hide our principles, nor do I.

    But in order to be listened to, it's about choosing your battles wisely to start with. TO START WITH.

    I can only stand by the last few sentences of the post. They'll soon realise - gradually, perhaps - that they have nowhere else to go.


  24. Red

    The consequences of the decisions and actions of many, many people over an extended period of time must result in certain consequences. That is a certainty- a necessary rule of existence if you like.

    It is highly unlikely that an unsustainable culture, such as that which is presently dominant within NZ, can continue indefinitely. It will end. That things have progressed to the extent that they have leads to the expectation of a particular result. That remains as previously described. Talking about it won't make a difference and neither will clever political strategy sessions, nor polishing the party "message" or trying to alter LibertariaNZ political philosophy. The consequences of what has been going on for so long are not avoided. Perhaps this might be an example of what is referred to as the "arrow of history." Anyway, the reality of the situation is that things will continue to decline for a while yet. Then it is likely that there will be a rapid change in conditions. It's inevitable. That's the reality of what to expect for NZ. It is within that context LibertarianZ will need to promote the correct political ideology and philosophy.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "solutions." Perhaps you might like to expand on that topic.

    Moving on. The best thing to do is to live one's life according to particular principles and promote those regardless of popularity. Arrange your affairs to best advantage where you can. Life is not a popularity contest. Promoting freedom, complete with all the hardships, challenges and sustained application of effort that demands, will not be popular in the present context. There is no point in diluting sound principles because they are not as popular as one might prefer. What you want to be doing is setting things up so the consequences you get to experience are as the result of your sound decision making, not the decisions of some fool collective dragging you into an abyss. Success does not demand dilution or abandonment of principle.

    I've just read PC's contribution complete with quote from Prof Reismann. As you probably already knew, I rate the Professor's views highly. What do you think about PC's latest posts?


  25. LGM, I don't have much time, but on the subject of immigration I will say this:
    The policy you speak of is naive in the extreme.
    "In essence the government should have no interest in immigration whatsoever. Immigration is a version of freedom of association. If a person moves into a country and there are people there who are voluntarily prepared to employ him, rent him a place to live (or even sell it to him), transact business with him, voluntarily associate with him on a social or professional basis, so long as he never initiates force fraud or coercion against anyone else, he's legitimately in. It's a non-problem which requires no overseer or permission from third party authority."
    Which utterly ignore the cultural dimension to immigration. Western countries, by and large have prospered because of a culture of (relative) freedom and the embrace of capitalism. To remove checks on immigration is to invite millions of people from failed third-world shitholes to take over a country and a culture.
    The situation in Britain illustrates just how useless the "let business decide" model is, where Pakistani islamists are setting up colleges, printing fake documentation and promptly importing many thousands of muslim fundamentalists into the country.
    If a culture has produced relative freedom and prosperity, then that culture is worth defending against primitives who are impoverished by their own ideologies.
    Japan seems to understand this. (yes, I know Japan is being hammered by an economic downturn and has an ageing workforce, but the solution is not to import a few million from places such as Somalia and Pakistan.)
    Who could seriously believe that allowing mass immigration from countries which have demonstrated their failure to embrace property rights and capitalism is good policy?

  26. Further, I like the fact that homosexuals are able to live relatively free of persecution in this country. I like the fact that women are treated as equals and not stoned to death. I like the freedom of religion and association and speech in this country.
    How long would those things last if muslims became the majority, as they surely would under an open immigration policy?

  27. KG

    Hoppe's approach has the crucial qualifier. It is that as with any other citizen, the recent arrival must not initiate force, fraud or coercion. He can only stay when he deals with others on mutually voluntary basis. Undertaking actions such as stoning women, cutting them up and all the rest of that third-world shit-hole stuff is a breach, a crime. Anyone doing that type of thing is properly fit for exclusion from society, one way or another. Non-emergency retribution against such people is the proper function of government. They would receive no free pass for vile behaviour as they do now. That's very different from how they are treated now.

    The policy in the UK is one where the government makes the decisions about who enters that country and how they are allowed to behave once they get in. Further, it takes money from existing residents of the UK in order to fund the lifestyle choices of many of the very shit-heads you described. In other words, the government is the third party authority that grants permissions for people to immigrate and then it funds many of them to live according to a depraved and unsustainable lifestyle (unsustainable in that they cannot exist as independent productive individuals unless they abandon the culture they presently practice). That this system has already utterly failed is beyond contention. As a demonstrated failure there is no reason to support for its continuance. Hoppe's approach is far more selective and is not an "open" policy in the sense that the present arrangement, in essence, actually is.



  28. PC

    Yes. Fair enough.


  29. "What do you think about PC's latest posts?"

    Bottom line?

    Completely unsaleable.

  30. LG .. that was a really good last comment on immigration.

    That last sentence summed up the British madness that KG rightly fears, beautifully.

  31. "Having them come to libertarianism, & at their own pace, rather than vice versa."


    "But in order to be listened to, it's about choosing your battles wisely to start with. TO START WITH."

  32. Red

    You may be missing the point. It's not about "selling". It's about sticking to fact. Knowing the truth and acting on it.


  33. I appreciate the distinctions, LGM but in practice, all that would happen is that the jihad against the West would be funded by Saudi Wahabbists under cover of 'profitable' immigrant-run businesses.
    The radicals would simply b absorbed into and covered by the existing immigrant community (as per Mao's dictum) making it an almost impossible policing job.
    A sufficiently intimidated immigrant population isn't going to provide the information necessary to weed out the radicals and in fact ghettoization would allow crime to flourish untouched.
    What's more, mass immigration would be hugely unbalanced and as soon as muslims were able to overturn the laws against force, fraud and coercion by democratic means they most certainly would--or at least modify them to favour their own agenda.
    These are not admirers of Samuel Adams and Thomas Jefferson we're talking about here.

    What, exactly is the Libz ideological objection to exercising control of a country's borders? It seems to me (if carried out properly) the most economical, effective way of preventing future problems.

  34. (I should say that I regard the importation of skilled, law-abiding workers in the numbers required as nothing but a good thing, regardless of their origins)

  35. KG, LG will speak for himself, but I'd like to respond to one of your points:

    "What's more, mass immigration would be hugely unbalanced and as soon as muslims were able to overturn the laws against force, fraud and coercion by *democratic* means they most certainly would--or at least modify them to favour their own agenda."

    But that's just it, in a libertarian society they specifically could not do those things, precisely because of the enshrining of *individual rights*, as opposed to the morality-by-numbers that is "democracy".

    This is a shining example of the fallacy of 'democracy' being synonymous with 'freedom'.

    No matter how many barking mad Muslim males would want to make me (as a female) subservient to them, they could not.

    Protecting the rights of the individual means protecting the smallest group of people: one.

    As opposed to the current sham of democracy that would, as you point out, allow them to do exactly that.

    Adams and Jefferson would understand that difference.


  36. This comment has been removed by the author.

  37. Point taken, Sus. Thanks.
    (and no, I never confuse the tyranny of the majority with freedom.)

  38. A well written & very important post Susan, well done.

    LGM's orginal reply - rather depressing to read, particarly point 4, but I'm not about to allow that scenario to happen if I can help it. To do anything less than that is acceptance of that future.

  39. "Red- You may be missing the point. It's not about "selling". It's about sticking to fact. Knowing the truth and acting on it."

    No I got the point. Its more important to be seen to be a Libertarian than to actually effect any real change.

  40. "No I got the point. Its more important to be seen to be a Libertarian than to actually effect any real change."

    ha! Has ACT effected any real change recently? They are doing everything wrong. Libz needs to keep being ideological to help ACT remember which direction they need to be traveling to find freedom.

  41. Red

    Is that it? How superficial of you. You've definately missed the point.

    Come on. Try again.


  42. LGM, (at the risk of offending our host, which I don't want to do)I'm not into over long two or three sectional pedantic monologues. There's very few who are.

    Here's a question. In terms of "beating the bastards back" who has had the most effect on the political landscape in NZ over the last five years?

    A) The Libertarianz

    B) Ian Wishart

  43. Sus,

    Sus, I have some questions. In a Libertarianz government, I assume that the following policies will be in place:

    #1) Open border immigration.
    #2) Immigrants must be self-supported once they set foot on this country and therefore, they're not allowed to apply for Welfare support.
    #3) Only people who work or paying taxes can vote and the unemployed including the retirees can't.

    In relation to what KG's point above, what scenarios can you anticipate as a result of a huge and continual influx of immigrants to one of our cities say Auckland. As an immigrant myself, I can probably imagine some scenarios that may not be obvious to you. You know that us islanders can live in an overcrowded house (as you witness in South Auckland) with perhaps one or two work to support the whole lot. So, the non-workers can't vote in a Libz government and that's fine. They're also not allowed to get Welfare and that's good. Can you think of anything that might arise as a result of overpopulation ?

    I think that Libz policies are not consistent in that it preaches C, D, E, F or G, without realizing that to get to C, D, and so forth you must dismantle A or B. It is useless to promote C or D without having to tear down the barriers in front of those steps such as A & B prior to proceeding towards C.

    I have raised this with PC sometime ago.

  44. Hi Luke: I was waiting for someone to raise ACT, thank you. And you're right. They've been sadly ineffective, because they HAVE *compromised*.

    As mentioned in the post, and repeated in this thread, I am not suggesting that at all. I never would.

    But we expect people to get to Z straight from A. They don't. It's akin to a non-swimmer wading in gingerly when we expect them to dive off the high-jump.

    I'm trying to introduce the sense and morality of freedom to people who are dissatisfied with the status quo, that's all.

    Or we can continue to bang tamborines for another decade, while the majority of folk continue to swap National for Labour and vice versa.

    Simplification (for want of a better term) doesn't mean we ignore issues such as drug legalisation. If it comes up, we present our beliefs.

    It just means we focus on less controversial issues to engender support rather than blanketly frighten good folk away ...

    Maybe I'm just not explaining myself properly.


  45. FF: I'll get back to you on that -- unless one of the others wants to jump in.

    Tied up for a bit today.


  46. Red

    "I'm not into over long two or three sectional pedantic monologues."

    In other words you didn't read what PC posted (and yet you posted an "opinion" about it).


    In terms of dealing with political fundamentals, the answer to your question certainly is the LibertarianZ.


  47. Why don't you stop telling me what I believe and what I have done and what I want you pompous pretentious patronising ass, and just answer the question I asked.

  48. KG

    Sus and you have already discussed the distinction between democracy and freedom, so we can let that alone for the moment. Suffice to say there is a substantial difference between the two concepts.

    It is tragic and dangerous that things have progressed to the point they have in the UK today. It isn't going to get any better any time soon unfortunately. Note that the context for the UK is that they are experiencing the consequences of a third party authority selecting immigrants and funding them, regardless of their nature and behaviours. The situation that has developed is exactly as the result of government immigration and welfare policy. That system has failed in totality. Government is clearly not a suitable means for controlling where people live or even how they live. It just doesn't work.

    Hoppe's approach is different in that the immigrant, as with any other individual, can survive ONLY if he does not initiate force, fraud or coercion. He must recognise Individual Rights- a negative obligation. He must embrace the principle of voluntary exchange and voluntary association. He must abandon his culture if it clashes with these requirements in any way. Failing this, he is quickly going to be removed from the society one way or another. Either he'll end up incarcerated or he'll end up having to leave or he'll end up dead. It's adapt or exit.

    Coercive conspiracies, long firm frauds, stand over tactics, gangsterism, threats and violence are definately behaviours that are not tolerable. They are best dealt with expeditiously and with justice to protect the society. Unfortunately that is exactly what the UK government and its policies is failing at doing.


  49. Red

    You caught yourself out by being dishonest. No use getting angry at me about it. You are the one who exposed himself.

    Try this. Read the material you are asked to comment on BEFORE you comment on it. That's the best policy!

    By the way, your question was answered. Guess you didn't read before commenting again. That's a real bad habit you got there, Red.


  50. "You caught yourself out by being dishonest."

    Oh fucking crap. You make this same old worthless allegation in 75% of your posts and its merely a diversion (commonly used by no argument leftists) to get you off the hook of justifying your insipid attempts at analysis.

    You're a self important blustering fuckwit, and as so many other people have already said on here, another reason the Libs are not working. You should take your doctrine and your pedantry and found a new organisation.


    Fuckwits Who Love Talking But Do Nothing.

    "By the way, your question was answered."

    No it wasn't. You answered a question you made up yourself. But forget it anyway. You're a complete waste of time and I don't want to hear your answer. Idiot.

  51. Red Bedwetter, I've watched you bounch around so many websites and discussion groups over the years - like a political pinball - that one can't help feeling that you can't find a political home, and, like a sulking teenager revert to screaming (I can see you yelling at your screen now) and whine to yourself that "people just don't understand me".
    Q. have you chnaged your mind on any political principle in the last 20 years, if so which (being optimistic here) ones?

  52. Hooligan, I doubt anyone is interested in your opinions of Redbaiter. Sorry, but they're just not that important..

    If you haven't got a suggestion that lines up with the objectives of Sus's original post I suggest you STFU and stop boring everyone with off topic crap.

    (another dumbfuck that shouldn't be anywhere near the Libz. That's a big part of the problem. Too many low IQ narcissists posturing as intellectual supremacists.)

  53. I'll give you something Redwetter, you're funny. It does seem odd though - don't you think - that you persist with the Libz, surely you think it's a waste of time?
    And, please stop yelling at your screen, the neighbours are calling the police about a domestic dispute at your house.

  54. FF: In reply to your three questions and I'll try to keep it brief ..


    I share LG's opinion of Hoppe's argument as per his posts on this thread for KG. LG's quoted Hoppe before. PC has stated that (in a lib environment) he sees Immigration as a wing of the Police Force for security clearance reasons which seems both reasonable & workable to me, too. (Have I got that right, PC?).


    Immigrants (having received clearance) will either support themselves or be supported through private means, eg religious/humanitarian groups, private sponsors, etc. They are entitled to no claim upon the NZ taxpayer.

    Overcrowding? I am familiar with the problem having seen it for myself amongst the migrant population from the Third World in East London (UK, not SA) in the early 80s. It occurred as a result of easy welfare and state-controlled immigration. Same old, same old.

    It is natural for peoples migrating from less affluent countries to initially live together in a new country, etc. As their circumstances improve over time, so the matter would sort itself. No special treatment requires that migrants adapt to their new environment or leave.

    Other problems? Don't have a crystal ball! :)

    But I'm a great believer in the power of the free market for economic problem-solving. I also have great faith in the human capacity for private charity, NZ'ers being incredibly generous in particular.

    There are always solutions.


    Can't answer that as I don't know. This is the first time (for me) that question's come up. Guys?

    Now I want to pre-empt a question from those suspicious of open immigration -- (can't imagine why I'm thinking of you, KG!) -- pertaining to point 2:

    Having said that above, the claim might arise that Muslims, for example, would be free to import lots of people and support them accordingly, in order to deliberately destabilise the west as per Islamist ideology.

    But if individual rights -- it ALWAYS comes back to that -- were legally enshrined, they wouldn't bother because they *couldn't* achieve their aims.

    And as they already have easy access into every other western country as it is, that would make it doubly not worth their while to start up here. Easier pickings elsewhere, etc.

  55. Red:

    I'm not interested in "who's been more effective" etc, re Libz & Ian Wishart, because it can't be measured.

    Wishart does some great work in the name of freedom and has been very successful. All power to him. He does his thing and we do ours. That's all that matters.

    As for me, I've both praised and criticised him in the past on an issue-by-issue basis, in true lib style. As it should be.

    But you'll never hear me criticise him for his personal beliefs. I leave that to the Objectivists! :)

    As is their right.

  56. Sus, I agree with the summary of your reply, but here is something that I had a conversation with a former Manukau city councilor some months ago, where he pointed out that the city's infrastructure will be overwhelmed if population growth is skyrocketing (something like exponential growth). I believe in the free-market too, but the reason I pointed out in my first message is that something like privatisation must be a high priority issue for the Libz, even before discussing an issue such as open-border immigration policy.

    The influx of immigrations if it's open-borders will overwhelmed the city's infrastructures as pointed out by this former councilor (he wasn't talking about immigration population growth though).

    Building new infrastructures can then be done with less hassle by private companies who like to develop those themselves in expectation of population explosion if they see business opportunities in doing so and I guess that only happens when barriers to privatization is already being torn down. You can't open up the border without tearing down barriers to privatization. Step A must precede step B and it is pointless to advocate for B while A is still in place. The chance that 2 events can take place at once is less compared to the chance that one of the 2 events takes place on its own individually.

  57. FF, yes. We're talking about everything happening in conjunction. State removal from all areas.

    Schools, eg, are in short supply precisely because the state hasn't kept pace with private residential development.

    But that's what happens with state control, eh.

  58. Sus, it's still all about the voter. Have you guys really no clue how your flyers and billboards resonate with the typical family in Mt. Albert? I mean really really no clue?

    Libz always think it's the principles, the policies, the party. But people vote for people. It's your candidates Sus.

  59. PC: the problem is not with HOW we're saying things -- since the message has been said many different ways over the years -- the problem is with what we are saying.

    No, the problem is with who is saying it. Next comes the how as well of course, but first the who.

  60. "Red: I'm not interested in "who's been more effective" etc, re Libz & Ian Wishart, because it can't be measured."

    I would say you can measure it. By means of leftist hate. Those who represent ideas the left truly fear are subject to the most intense hate.

    Ian is subject to a far greater degree of leftist hate than the Libertarians because they know the ideas he advocates are much more threatening to their power structures and their social ascendancy than Libz ideas, which they see as a bit of a joke. ( a view that is encouraged by the idiotic mantra that there is no difference between left and right.)

    The left do not fear the Libertarians. They know that with the Progressive ideas you promote, you are really their friends.

  61. Richard McGrath8 Jul 2009, 23:56:00

    RB - you keep insisting there is no diffference between right and left (I assume this could be taken to mean national and Labour). Superficially they appear different. But fundamentally both believe that government has a role to play in people's lives above and beyond protecting individual rights.

    Both seem to believe in the "mixed economy", state-run schools, state-run health, state-run welfare.

    Is National dismantling the Ministry of Womens Affairs, and has the Minister responsible for the Rugby World Cup abolished his office? Or should the state keep a watchful eye on sports events aside from maintaining law and order?

    National campaigned against Helen Clark's Nanny State, joining Libz in ridiculing the control freaks telling us what light bulbs to buy. Why, then, is the taxpayer being forced to pay for TV ads for rightlight.govt.nz?

    Run it past me again, RB - how exactly does National differ from Labour?

  62. "RB - you keep insisting there is no difference between right and left"


    This is your mantra not mine.

    I say there is a vast difference between right and left, but no difference between National and Labour because they are both left, as are the media, the education system (most destructive of all) and the bureaucracy, and they have all collaborated for some time in a massive assault on our culture. An assault that has as its objective the gradual destruction of every choice that matters.

    Shame is that as I suggested above, the Libz, while professing to desire Liberty, subscribe to the Progressive ideas that have helped make the assault on our culture so succesful.

    Jeez, I thought we went over this on the No Minister thread.

  63. How the damn hell could anyone with any grasp on political reality perceive the Nationals as right wing???

    Its just nonsense to claim that. They are as much a part of the cultural tyranny as the rest of the conglomerate.

  64. Richard

    Red (a.k.a. Bed Wetter) is intellectually deficient. He lacks comprehension and he is dishonest. You are wasting you time trying to explain anything to him.

    The typical example of his base nature is right here, on this page. PC contributed an essay. Red was asked to comment on it. Red immediatly posted an "opinion", pretending that he had read and evaluated what PC contributed. When further challenged on his reponse, Red revealed that he hadn't read PC's contribution in the first place. Red wasn't "into" reading it. So much for his "opinion" then. It was based on nothing more than a simple con, a casual lie that he assumed would remain undetected. That's his mode of operation. The hilarious part is that Red publically exposed himself as a dishonest person with a lack of integrity. Yes, he outed himself.

    Once Red realised he was caught out (hoist by his own petard), he reverted to throwing a temper tantrum. His refuge is his emotion! What a brat!

    Anyway, what is demonstrated for all to see from this episode is that Red operates solely on a superfical level. It is likely that ANY commentary he passes is baseless and unsupported by fact. hence it should be discounted as unreliable- probably fraud. In essence his "opinion" is arbitrary triviality and nothing more than that.

    If you challenge Red on his position, he'll fold, reverting downw to a mixture of lies, emotion, name calling and more fibs. Be prepared for the Red bed-wetting hissy-fit.

    The amusing part of all this is that Red gives himself away pretty much every single time. He's so foolish that he doesn't realise what he's doing. Well, at least it's entertaining.

    In conclusion, Red does not have even a basic understanding of political philosophy, rather a weird arbitrary mish-mash of unrelated, half-formed notions roiling around in an unstable edifice of an intellectually deficient mind. You are wasting your time taking anything he presents seriously. He has absolutley nothing substantve to contribute on this blog, for you, or for the LibertariaNZ.


  65. Why Oh why you call RB intellectually deficient LGM?

    Fuck man, your comments here are as daft as someone who has been incarcerated in a mental institution.

    RB brought up some good points here and all you (self-important fuckwit) are doing is to attack him by nasty name-calling. It is time for you to establish your own organization as RB recommended, since I have noted that you have hit out at everyone on this blog including Libertarian members (Lukes, Sean Fitz, Rebel Radius, etc,...) where you also called them names.

    When you disagree with PC, you replied in a civil manner but when someone else's does, you revert to your usual name calling, simply because your wee brain can't comprehend.

    Did you even reach high-school? Go and get a fucking education man because it is retarded people like you that have handed this country to the supporters of the left.

    Cactus Kate was correct when she labeled you on this thread as a Pseudo-intellectual.

    Can I apply your Pseudo-intellectual bullshit about the killing of Sophie to you by beating you up and see if I can defend myself in court on reason of provocation?

  66. I disagree strongly LGM--what Redbaiter has to offer is an adamant, undying hatred of the left, and right now more people who feel that way are desperately needed. And I do mean desperately.
    Never mind the details, never mind the personality clashes or the criticisms of style, we in the West are in a battle for the survival of our civilisation and without warriors such as Redbaiter--we'll lose.
    We've damn near lost already. The public isn't interested in the finer points of economics, utterly bored by or uninterested in or uninformed about political philosophy.
    What the public understands and cares about is a future for their kids and paying the bloody mortgage and the grocery bill.
    Redbaiter knows who the enemy is and he attacks them fearlessly at every opportunity. I'd sooner have him alongside me in a trench than any number of self-congratulatory wankers (and no, that's not aimed at you!) pontificating about the finer shades of political meanings.

  67. I'll leave the name-calling to others.

    Hi Berend, haven't heard from you for a while. You said the problem was with our people, as in candidates; that "people vote for people".

    Gee, if only. Once in a blue moon, perhaps, but generally not so.

    Just look at some of the clowns who win electoral seats; (the 'list' [candidates] is, and always was, a leftist ploy).

    My own waste of space is Nat Paul Hutchison -- wet as they make them.

    And as for the morons who routinely vote in Peter Dunne & Jim Anderton, words fail.

    People vote for people? No they don't. They vote govts *out*.

  68. "The left do not fear the Libertarians".

    On the contrary, Red. Lindsay Perigo is on record as saying that Sue Kedgely once told him that the Greens were always mindful of what the Libz would say about their press releases when they put them together; that the party's tiny size did not reflect its influence.

    Secondly, in separating issues on a pro-freedom basis -- and therefore supporting and opposing different 'sides' depending upon the issue -- it means you wrongfoot the other side.

    It's easy to rubbish everything 'the other side' always says as a matter of course.

    But it's disconcerting for your enemy to vehemently oppose you on, say economic matters, and then have to nod in agreement over say, civil unions.

    An opponent's level of "hatred" is NOT the only measure of your effectiveness. Keeping your opponent wrong-footed is most effective. As is open ridicule.

    There's more than one way to skin a cat.

    Each to his own, I say.

  69. "When further challenged on his reponse, Red revealed that he hadn't read PC's contribution in the first place."

    You see readers, this is how the left excuse themselves from defending their ideas. They raise false allegations based on false scenarios so that their opponents get sidetracked from dealing with the issues and have to take time to defend their integrity.

    Nowehere did I say or imply I had not read Mr. Cresswell's submissions.

    As usual, those posturing as "Honest Joes" are the ones who need watching.

    And as usual, those who so posture as "Honest Joes" are notably infested with the disease of preaching sermonising pontificating and lying. Jim Bakker in Libertarian drag.

    If the Libs management thinks having a self important leftist thinking dumbarse like LGM in the party is going to help it there's little wonder they can't come up with any stratey to advance.

  70. KG

    I read your post the other day and had a think about it. In the end I have to disagree with you on this matter. Here is why.

    Red hates. He certainly has a pathological hatred. He experiences and expresses the emotion of hatred. In his case it isn't particularly controlled or directed, nor is it well focussed, There isn't a purpose to it other than to save the defense of his spoiled ego.

    While Red presently states he hates the "left", what does that mean? To whom is he refering exactly? It is difficult to find that out for certain, as his concept "left" is so broad and undefined. It is doubtful he could define it logically and with precision- even for himself. For Red, "left" is a bogeyman term employed to cover that which he doesn't like, those he disagrees with, people who point out the flaws at the core of his position or the glaring deficiencies of his approach. Those identities are labled with his catch-all, "left".

    For example, even the LibertariaNZ have been smeared "left". "Left", they be. How so? 'Cause when Red don't like he cries, "left". That's all it requires.

    Again, the lable "left" is a catch-all for anything he dislikes. It's meaningless. Darn hard to take a person who operates like that seriously; certainly not in a battle of ideologies, a battle of ideas.

    Recapping: PC contributed an important essay here (see above). Red dismissed it in a superfical manner without serious consideration. He then caught himself out and completely invalidated his own position (it is amazing that after all this time he continues to make the same silly mistake over and over again- you can see right through him, so utterly predictable). What he did was provide the confirmation that beyond the superficial there is little of substance. Hate, sure. Anger and loathing and resentment, sure. Oh yes. There is that temper. Can't firget about that. He sure can go off the deep end and throw a tantrum.

    Refer back to PC's contribution again. PC's explained that it is the case that what is being played out presently is fundamentally a batle of ideas. That makes sense when you conside that it is the hierarchy of ideas (the philosophy) that you hold that determines how you act in a given situation. Same for anyone else.

    PC's piece also describes a process where a minority ideology can eventually become dominant. This is key.

    In this context it can be seen that in a battle of ideas what you need to locate are people who understand the ideas, who hold to them consistently, whose values are aligned with yours, who have integrity and who can be reliably trusted. There is no room for a superficial, emotive crank.

    In the end you can't trust a person who isn't able to explain or defend his positon without descending into the sort of thoughtless carry on you've seen with Red- cheap fraud, incoherent ramblings, primitive fibs, cheap cons and when all else fails, expressions of emotion (as if they be relevant).

    Borrowing your terms for a moment, what is required here is a motivated warrior who understands that for which he enters the fray, not some tantrum throwing ideological infant.


  71. I think the biggest problem with freedom for the hoi polloi is that there's less in it for them than the status quo. If you look at a Libz budget you can get an idea of the number of people who will be personally worse off financially in the short term, and it's huge. As we all know, many people will take short term comfort over long term gains every time, but the problem is bigger than that. Many people just don't value the concept of freedom enough. They actually like being told what to do and what to think, and they have just enough wriggle room in the current system to persuade themselves that they are free when they aren't. So what's in it for them with a Libz vote in their minds? If you could come up with an answer to that question, and articulate it properly to a large section of the population, then you're well on the way to the change of mindset that is required.

  72. TW, that was helpful. I'm going to have a think about that.


  73. "I'm going to have a think about that."

    Don't blow a fuse.

  74. Sean Fitzpatrick10 Jul 2009, 10:38:00


    well put - that neatly sums up a key thing Libz needs to establish for the near future; what point or points can we consistently make that will gain maximum traction with the electorate.

    No one in Libz denies we have some work ahead of us. I for one am rolling up my sleeves, spitting on my palms and eager to get stuck in.

    Kurt - to the best of my knowledge LGM has never insulted me on this blog.

  75. "Don't blow a fuse."

    As constructive as ever...

  76. TWR: "I think the biggest problem with freedom for the hoi polloi is that there's less in it for them than the status quo."

    True, we need to explain the benefits of freedom over and over -- particularly the benefits to the hoi polloi of leaving the rich free to produce -- and the benefit to you and I of leaving others free to live their lives as they see fit.

    But until we can do that, it will remain as it was when Bob Jones' New Zealand Party ran with the slogan "Freedom & Prosperity": Jones reckons there was no trouble selling the 'Prosperity' message, but they had a hell of a time selling 'Freedom.'

    Since then it's only got worse. Now you have a hard time selling prosperity as well.

    Which means, to me that it's not enough simply to "refine" your message, to "target" your issues, to "articulate" it well. What's truly necessary is TO EXPAND THE MARKET FOR THOSE IDEAS.

    What's needed is as many vehicles as possible need to get off the grid and start actively creating our target market. Actively producing new advocates for freedom and liberty.

    You can't just sit back and hope that SOMEHOW you can find enough people who will listen to you. You need to plan a long-term campaign to produce them.

    And that's the most important part of the cultural change battle I was talking about earlier. Politics is the last link in that chain -- where it begins is in getting to people before they're twenty-five, before their minds are already set, and persuading them of the merits of reason, individualism and capitalism.

    That's what I was talking about here, and that's what is already under way here.

    Read those links then ask yourself: Are you up for it?

  77. Blow a fuse?

    That's ironic, coming from you.

  78. PC: I'm not sure you're saying anything different to the rest of us there.

    Yes, we need to win the hearts and minds of people, it's just the "how" that's the hard part. Whether it's doing it as part of an election campaign where people's minds may possibly be slightly more open to hearing the various views, or just chipping away every day at the barriers to freedom, the message and the delivery still needs to be crafted to pique people's attention, and especially not to put them off when your window of opportunity is usually going to be miniscule.

  79. "That's ironic, coming from you."


    Well, if I accept that allegation, NZers are far too wimpy. Its a major part of the problem. The scum who perceive themselves as running this country could do with a lot more anger directed their way.

    "If God hadn't wanted them fleeced, he wouldn't have made them sheep." (Seven Samurai)

    or another perspective-

    Democracy: Three wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for supper.

  80. I don't buy into this "lighting bushfires in people's minds" stuff.

    For two reasons. 1) There is little evidence that it is working (why does the Libz vote continue to decrease) and 2) Where are the minds?

    It appears to me that after so many decades of socialism, even the small degree of perception intelligence and wit needed to understand where the Libertarians are (presently) coming from has been replaced by a passive mindless submission to the mantra that government knows best.

    The Libz just lack the horsepower. There's no dynamism. They remind me of an overloaded plane lumbering down an airstrip and too underpowered to ever reach the speed where it will fly.

    The reason they lack the horsepower is that the leadership is stodgy. A group of wafflers and pedants who seem determined to avoid any accountability for the Lib's lack of progress.

    Possibly there's widespread disagreement in the Libs with my point of view. Fair enough. My suggestions for the upcoming review are-

    Make the debate about whether current policy (starting bushfires in people's minds) should be continued.


    Agree to changing the party into a more dynamic political unit. For a start, there should be a management committee appointed that undertakes to achieve whatever milestones are agreed to, with the condition that if these objectives are not achieved within a specified time, the committee should resign.

    My suggestions for milestones are-

    1. a (suggested) 20% increase in party membership within an annual period.

    2. to attract levels of corporate sponsorship that allow the Libertarians to become a real political force.

    3. to attract increased levels of public financial support.

    4. to reach out to a more socially diverse demographic

    5. in line with item 4, adopt a less pedantic and academic posture and try to promote the party in terms that have more appeal to a middle class who, under socialism, are weighed down by the struggle to maintain a reasonable living standard. These people have no time for deeply intellectual ideological positions. They just want the burden lifted.

    6. To replace the idiotic "no difference between right and left" mantra with an acknowledgment that the poison so obviously apparent in our society today is down to the increased influence of the left and or the socialists, mainly in the education sphere but in other places too. Admit the left is the enemy of freedom, identify them as such and fight them at every turn.

    I could enlarge on these points if I had the time and the space. For now, I want to leave it at that. I earnestly wish the Libertarians success. However I feel that there is some deliberate lack of definition in the party as to just what the measure of success should be, and that non achievers and pedants are hiding behind this lack of clarity and purpose as a means of smoke screening the party's inwardly collapsing state.

  81. Sean Fitzpatrick11 Jul 2009, 09:52:00


    Excellent points well worth looking at. Cheers.

    Your next pint is on me :o)


  82. RB has got some good points here. It is time that the Libz start trying to see issues from the outside viewing them inwards rather than from the inside viewing them outwards.

    It is pointless to teach a student (in any subject) who doesn't want (or at least willing) to listen to the teacher regardless if the teacher is an excellent one or not. The student will always ignore the teacher and this is exactly what Berend de Boer had highlighted above.

    Try to connect with the voters first by using a language that they would want to listen to. That's the first hurdle.

    Bill and Ben Party did better than the Libz. Why? What they did was very simple and that is to open up the ears of the voters. They didn't care if they have a political message or not (they don't have one really). I bet that if Bill and Ben Party starts to preach some political philosophies to their followers now, they would embrace those.

    It is obvious that the Libz's campaigns over recent years didn't work and it is time that you run it like a business if you wish, alter the course or go into receivership. Last, don't ever campaign again in the future by using that catch-phrase :tax is theft, because this is exactly the type of message that makes potential Libz converts run away very fast.

  83. Red: It hardly seems practical to "punish" lack of Libz success by forcing the leadership to resign if various targets aren't met. It's not a business. From what I can see, most of the Libz leadership have much better things to do with their time than bang their heads against a wall, but they do it because they want to make this country a better place to live in. Forcing them to resign just diminishes the pool of resource that the party has to do what it needs to do.

    Addressing the specific points:
    1: It's easy to say membership should be increased, but it would be much more useful to proffer a practical suggestion as to how.

    2: Corporate sponsorship would be pretty hard to come by for a party with Libz' philosophy, and, quite unfairly, would almost certainly be used by the left to accuse the Libz of being in "big business'" pocket, like they do to Act.

    3: In order to get people to put their hands in their pocket, Libz needs to get the message out. Vicious circle.

    4: How exactly? Which policy would need to change?

    5: The middle class has quite successfully been captured by Labour by attaching them to the government teat. To transfer these people's allegience, you'd need to convince them that you can replace the handouts with something that they regard as being of greater value, which would be a hard sell.

    6: I think the problem here is being mis-stated. It's not so much that there is no difference between left and right, it's just that the parties who have historically been associated with the "right" currently espouse very left-wing policies, so they are essentially all left wing. However, as has been explained to you over and over again in this blog, forcing right wing ideas on people is no more moral than forcing left-wing ones on them. Freedom has no left or right hand - it's a very simple and colourblind concept.

    You say the leadership is stodgy, but what can you cite as evidence and what do you suggest as an alternative? You must be politically pretty naive to think that having some sort of nutcase as the face of the party would improve performance. Our current PM who is enjoying record levels of support is the most boring bastard you could think of, completely bereft of ideas, and happy to say or do anything as long as it lets him keep his position.

    Any party needs to be run by grownups, and have strategies based on what will achieve their targets, not what feels nice. National's target is power. Libz' target is freedom. They need to market themselves in such a way as to persuade people that they want freedom more than they want the spoils of raiding other people's assets. So, yes, while "tax is theft" may be true, it turns people off, so should be replaced with something that resonates more.


1. Commenters are welcome and invited.
2. All comments are moderated. Off-topic grandstanding, spam, and gibberish will be ignored. Tu quoque will be moderated.
3. Read the post before you comment. Challenge facts, but don't simply ignore them.
4. Use a name. If it's important enough to say, it's important enough to put a name to.
5. Above all: Act with honour. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.