This week: Fan mail
Rather than looking at the papers this week, I share below an e-mail recently received from a New Zealander who, like many others, is wondering just how long John Key can carry on the Smile and Wave charade before the whole pack of cards comes crashing down around his ears—a correspondent who cares that innocent people are being hounded by the same government that is meant to protect them:
I have been following your party for some time now and only voted National in the last election so we could get Labour out, as I’m sure many did. However I think its time to start promoting your party more and I have already started telling people about [Libertarianz].
The reason for my email is that I want to propose the idea of a new bill, called the Victimless Crimes Bill. Basically the idea is that if a person is charged with a crime, and they can prove there is not (or would not) be a victim, then they should not be charged. I am sick of victimless crimes in this country, it’s a disgrace.
As I said in response to him, the new boss is the same as the old boss. As Peter Cresswell has pointed out on numerous occasions on this blog, this National government continues to drive this country further into indebtedness by $300 per week per family. In every essential—and all too many of the details—they are no different to Labour before them. And their attitude to victimless crimes is just the same.
Wikipedia, defines a victimless crime as
Surely the test of whether something is a crime should be whether someone was actually harmed by the actions of someone else. No harm – no crime.
The Libertarianz Party believes in the principle enunciated by John Stuart Mill in his essay On Liberty:
"[The] only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others."
Or to put it another way, government is force; and the only time that force may be exercised is to protect you from me—or me from you. (Specifically, to prevent the initiation of force by one person against another.) The only times a person or persons can be forced to do something against his/their will is, by extension, by right of self-defense or restorative justice (where people are compensated after sustaining proven objective harm, by the entity that harmed them).
At all other times, the government—to whom the power of retaliatory force is delegated by the individuals it serves—should turn the other way, even if some people find what other people are doing distasteful.
Lack of taste is not an initiation of force. Which means:
- Homosexuality itself harms no-one, in the same way that heterosexuality is not inherently evil. There should be no laws that interfere in the peaceful interaction of adults.
- Cultivating, consuming and trading in cannabis (a natural plant) is another victimless “crime”, between adults and with the consent of all parties who take full responsibility for the consequences of their freely chosen actions.
- The same principle applies to the producers of erotica, to prostitution, to gambling and to other activities in which people are not forced to participate or actively support. As long as no coercion is involved, the State should let people do what they want. Once force is used by one party to violate the individual rights of another, however, that is where the State should step in to enforce compensation for damage or other loss.
This country needs fewer laws, not more of them. Yet while the National Party is in no hurry to remove the laws that prosecute victimless crimes, and persecute innocent New Zealanders, it is spending virtually every waking moment preparing and writing new laws to be passed under urgency.
On the other hand, the Libertarianz Party has always maintained that such laws—laws without victims—should be repealed. Immediately. That would be the beginning of paring the threat from government down to size.
In the meantime, and as healthy start on this road, my correspondent suggested a Victimless Crimes Bill be drafted. Damn good idea! The Libertarianz Party will get on to it. And who knows, there may be a libertarian-leaning party with MPs in the next parliament via whom such a bill might see the light of day, by Private Members ballot or otherwise.
Incidentally, who would have thought that blackmail is a victimless crime?
See you next week!