Wednesday, 16 October 2013

A message from Ayn Rand [updated]


  1. These campaigns only work for films that there is actually a demand for. Did the critical and commercial failure of the previous two parts honestly not register with you?

  2. That's a false statement (BP, Union Carbide, Exxon, Pike River Coal, the entire NZ construction industry....). Atlas Shrugged really is fiction, isn't it?

  3. You really think it's fiction in the way that you mean (really?, really?, really?, really?, really?, really?)

    Then maybe you should actually read Atlas, read about Starnesville and Project X and the Taggart Tunnel ... You know, actually read it, instead of just getting your news mailed in.

  4. "What happens when the looting runs dry.." - I think that sums it all up.

    I can only speculate as to why 'anonymous' chooses not to give his name, but I am sure if he viewed the documentary, and various others floating around the internet, he will - if he is honest, (and not everybody is) - conclude Ayn Rand got it devastatingly correct.

  5. Atlas Shrugged was a prophecy alright: Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett and thousands of other billionaires and multi-millionaires haven't been seen for months. And everyone in is preying they will come back so the world can function again.

    As far as businesses being incapable of causing collateral damage, it seems you believe that if a serious incident occurs despite regulations in place, then regulations are the problem and should be scrapped.

    Logically this is like losing a rugby game due to the ref missing a forward pass then demanding that future games have no referee. No wonder the Libz poll lower than the margin of error.

  6. "Logically this is like losing a rugby game due to the ref missing a forward pass then demanding that future games have no referee"

    No Larry. An accurate analogy would be a game with a complex set of rules that no-one understands fully, where the ref is regularly blowing his whistle and not allowing the game to flow, bewildering the players at every turn. On top of that the ref is trying to achieve "equality on the field", letting the forward passes on the losing side go, and then penalising legitimate passes on the winning side, to try and even it up. When the inevitable poor game results, and the players focus becomes not on achieving sporting excellence but on currying favour with the ref, we then have people like you who stick their head up - and claim that we need more rules and a bigger role for the ref!

    As for your objection to Rand's quote, I suppose your point is that in an extremely literal sense, there's other people affected by a businessman's poor decision - his staff, shareholders, suppliers, customers, etc. The fundamental difference however is they *chose* to enter into a relationship with him - and if they have any connection to reality, they would have done so with the knowledge that businessman can make bad decisions, and therefore there's some risk in that relationship. What make's the risk less transparent however is gov't meddling, whereby the gov't is seen to be propping something up or managing the risk (eg: the GFC), encouraging people to let their guard down and then blaming the gov't (with some legitimacy) when bad things happen.

  7. "The fundamental difference however is they *chose* to enter into a relationship with him"

    Yes, all those impoverished Indians blinded and killed by Union Carbide chose not to move when the factory arrived. They knew the risks.

  8. @Anonymous: May I invite you to read any one of the linked articles above on the Union Carbide tragedy? Thank you.

    And, since you've accurately identified risk as the key factor in business decisions, to reflect on what level of risk they will be prepared to take when legislation, bailouts and political favour is promised to absolve them of all, or most, risk?

    I mean, you have heard of moral hazard, right?

  9. "Yes, all those impoverished Indians blinded and killed by Union Carbide chose not to move when the factory arrived. They knew the risks."

    I don't know all the facts around the Union Carbide incident (and it's unlikely you do either), but if it was a case of malicious or intentional negligence on the part of the individuals in the company to put people at harm, then it's not a businessman making a mistake, but someone committing a crime. In this case gov't should take action against them and this is the proper role of gov't.

    If on the other hand it was an innocent mistake that exposed the staff to a danger no-one could have reasonably foreseen, then what makes you think that the magic hand of gov't intervention would have made it any better? And as Peter had alluded to, to what extent was the risk made less transparent by gov't involvement, and the risk made greater by insecure property & legal rights of those affected?

  10. I think the reason 'Anonymous' - and other socialists - refuse to read any of the links about Union Carbide is because of things like this -

    "... the Indian government was also pursuing an affirmative action programme, replacing Union Carbide’s foreign experts in engineering and agricultural chemistry with locals.."

    It doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "Multinational corporations kill people to make profits" does it?

  11. Larry,

    Your "accurate" analogy is a strawman argument. True for certain pieces of legislation, but hardly for legislation per se. The essence of your argument is still "accidents happen despite regulation, therefore there shouldn't be any regulation in the first place" that is nuts.

    Regarding Union Carbide, if you don't know the facts you can read objective third party reports (not links on this site which are simply articles written by people with a biased anti-government agenda) which put the blame on UC. The main criticism of the government seems to be that they allowed slums to be built up around the plant. In other words, they were inactive.

    Factors contributing to the incident included a dangerous (but cheaper) pesticide manufacturing method, improper staff training, and safety systems being shut down or poorly maintained to save money. In a nutshell the disaster was due to cost cutting by the plant.

    Regulation that imposes minimum standards regarding use and storage of chemicals drastically reduces the risk of "innocent mistakes" that kill or maim people. I bet you would rather work in a NZ chemical plant than a poorly regulated 3rd world one, despite your ridiculous ideology.

  12. Larry what are the chances of 'official' reports into Union Carbide saying "oh it was the fault of the government"; can you name any official report which has ever said that in the history of the World?

    They always blame the company because "Evil capitalists murder people for profits" makes a better story - the World being full of brain damaged, stupid people like all your friends who love that sort of thing.

    When you say "..Factors contributing to the incident included... improper staff training.." do you mean like the reference I included above? about the GOVERNMENT demanding they get rid of their own expert people and hire locals?

    Doesn't sound like cost cutting by the company being responsible to me - sounds like government interference.

    Do not worry Larry, you are not the first person to be taken for a fool by socialism and government; the sad thing is you simply don't realise how ignorant you actually are.

  13. There you go Larry. It's impossible that the government wasn't to blame for Bhopal and every other apparent example of capitalist malfeasance. Any evidence to the contrary is faked and only brain-dead moochers can't see it. Libbos win again!

  14. Really Mr Lineberry? Affirmative Action is to blame for the Bhopal disaster? Surely you can come up with something better than that. Even UC doesn't blame the Indian govt; they blame employee sabotage, which of course can't be proven.

  15. @Larrry - If you read anything on this blog you should not that few here (and certainly not myself) are against regulation per se, but against regulation that infringes individual rights. To simplify this as much as I can: legislation that protects individual rights is good, legislation that infringes individual rights is bad. I would have thought that was obvious from my rugby analogy. I didn't say we should get rid of the ref and stop enforcing laws against forward passes, did I? If anyone is guilty of building a strawman it's yourself.

    Yes, I would rather work in a NZ factory then an Indian one. But unlike yourself I don't believe that the greater safety of NZ plants is due to the magic and benevolent hand of bureaucrats in the Department of Labour. It's due to the greater productivity allowed by capitalism which allows workers to demand (and employers to provide) progressively better working standards. Any genuine study of health and safety stats will reveal that safety is generally proportional to a nations wealth, not it's degree of regulation. If your theory were correct then North Korea would be the safety place in the world for workers. You then have the hide to call my ideology ridiculous.

    Whatever the root cause of the Bhopal plant disaster - and even assuming for the sake of argument you're right that the company deserves 100% blame and the gov't none, you do not prove a general principle by pointing to an exception. Such an approach suggests a mentality that has already decided on the conclusion, and then goes searching for evidence to try and back it up. It's akin to trying to derive moral principles from emergencies. Emergencies are the exception of human existence, not the norm - just like disasters such as Bhopal are the exception to capitalism, if (and that's a big if) regulation or insecure property rights wasn't responsible to a large degree as others have claimed.

    As an example of what I mean by this: If a man is lost in the wilderness, about to die of cold and starvation, and stumbles across a cabin - the proper thing to do is break into the cabin, get warm, eat whatever food is there, and then make amends with the owners when he has survived and the emergency has passed. Your approach on the other hand is to point to this example, declare that recognising property rights (not breaking into the cabin) leads to death by starvation and cold, and therefore we need to get rid of property rights.

  16. Perhaps, Mark, you could lay out for us exactly which regulations you approve of, just so we know. It should be a short list. Off you go! I'll tell you what to make it easy for you, let's limit it to road safety.

    Motorcycle helmet laws? Drink-driving laws? Driver licensing laws? All these dastardly regulations infringe individual rights don't they? North Korea has them too!

  17. I didn't say we should get rid of the ref and stop enforcing laws against forward passes, did I?

    In principle I think you did - is it not an infringement of personal liberty to forbid throwing the ball where you please? The analogy flounders because it begs the question of how you delineate personal liberty given you accept regulation that does not infringe it.

    Where is the line? I think we can assume everyone recognises a line protecting other peoples safety - I doubt anyone disputes that fundamental minimum, but how far beyond it do you go in accepting regulation?

  18. Judge Holden

    Which rules should be applied? Depends who owns the road. If the owner of the road decides that drivers do not require to be sober or wear helmets or whatever to drive upon his road, then they do not require such. If he decides they do, then they do, else they be tresspassing!

    Frankly I do not care if you wear a helmet or seatbelts or any of that. If you are injured, that's your problem, not minel!


  19. Why does it depend on who owns the road? Is it all right if people get unnecessarily killed on a privately owned road? How odd.

  20. JH

    The owner of property controls that property. It is, after all, his property. He decides whether or not you or others may have access to his property, whether you may venture upon it. He may decide you can't have access instead. In that case you don't go there. On the other hand, should you or others be allowed access, then it is up to the owner to determine the conditions of access. If you want access to his property, then you meet the conditions required by the owner or you simply avoid going on his property. Your free choice. Same as everyone else. Remember, the property is not yours. It is the owner's.

    Quoting you, "Is it all right if people get unnecessarily killed on a privately owned road?"

    "All right" according to whom exactly? By whose standard is "unnecessarily" determined?


  21. "The owner of property controls that property."

    Wow! Mass murderers and serial killers would really like that idea.

    I guess it's all right by libbos if people get unnecessarily killed as long as they're not forced to wear a seatbelt that they would wear anyway, but normal people find that weird.

  22. Fentex - The line is the when you initiate force against another. It is certainly not "safety". Any atrocity by gov't can be justified on the pretext of safety.

    Holden - Seeing as this thread was about the power of bureaucrats and their effects on individuals when they make mistakes, here's a brief list of some things that have affected me recently:

    1. Regulations that stopped me getting to my office in the Chch CBD for weeks following the 2011 earthquake ,so I should get my stuff out and continue my business - even though my building was perfectly safe and risk to my own life extremely small for the hour I needed to be in the red zone. Why? Because my safety was regarded as the bureaucrats concern rather than my own, and to protect their arse erred on the side of extreme caution without any regard to the consequences for my business.

    2. Regulations that required me to pay $5,000 to get a geotechnical report done so I could develop my property following 2011, to prove there was no risk of liquefaction - even though common sense knowledge of ground conditions in the locality made that fact obvious, not to mention the testing iy had already received from previous earthquake events Why? Similar reason to above

    3. Regulations that require me to sit through long and costly meetings with Council planners, negotiating on behalf of my client developer as to what is "good urban form" - even though my client has already engaged an architect who had developed plans based on what they think is good, and is willing to risk his own money and get on with the project. Why? Because regulations empower these planners to indulge their own views without any risk on their part - and make it harder for the ones that are taking the risk.

    4. Regulations that empowered Forest & Bird to put a stop on my client farmer irrigating his dry & barren property in the Mackenzie basin. Why? Because there's apparently some obscure plant species on the property that they value that likes dry conditions, and regulations empower them to effectively nationalise this supposed value.

    5. My son attends a Montessori school that is badly affected by the earthquakes and needs to move. This has proven to be a very difficult task for a variety of reasons (not all of them the fault of regulation) - but the main problem is zoning restrictions that put limits on where you can locate a school - and the high land values, development and building costs wrought by a myriad of other regulations that are too numerous to list here.

    And there's this biggie:

    6. Regulations that require me to make a deposit into the IRD bank account of about 1/3rd of what I've earnt every 4 months Why? So middle class families who choose not to work as hard as I do can get their Working for Families payment, and the bureaucrats have time to think up new regulations that put barriers of what I want to do in life as per above.

    Now the issue is not whether wearing a seatbelt, or putting your life at risk by entering the red zone, or assisting those who are less fortunate than yourself is the right thing in a given context. The issues is whose decision should that be? Yours, or a bureaucrats? There's also the problem of what is "right" depends on the particular circumstances and an individuals values, and regulation can never capture the complexity required to make the right decision in every context.

    So it all comes back that if you make a wrong decision, you suffer the consequences. If the bureaucrat makes the wrong decision (or apples a blanket rule that is sensible in some contexts but not in others), you suffer the consequences.

    The answer is not more complicated or nuanced law, but taking this power back from the bureaucrats and putting it in the hands of individuals - limiting the bureaucrats power to protecting us from the initiation of force and nothing else.

  23. @Amit

    Imagine if Queen St in Auckland was privately owned. The owner might decide to charge an exorbitant fee that many people couldn't afford, or ban certain vehicles, or neglect maintenance causing frustration for road users. And this is just one street. Any city stupid enough to privatise all roads would grind to a halt very quickly.

    Roads are a good example where privatisation cannot work in practice.

  24. If Queen st was privately owned, and the owner then over charged users & didn't maintain the road in good order, then, his revenue stream will dry up real quick, partially because people like me would have invested in a rival road, right next to it...., that's how a free market works...

    B. Whitehead

  25. The line is the when you initiate force against another

    This doesn't answer my question. Presumably any accepted regulation is backed by the ability of regulators to enforce it.

    The question remains where is the line delineating the concept of acceptable regulation that doesn't intrude on personal liberty and unacceptable regulation that does.

    The problem I see with the concept is how can there be any regulation that does not infringe on personal liberty (excepting what I assume is widely accepted protection of our safety from others intrusions) so as to be distinguishable from regulation unacceptable because it infringes on personal liberty?

    It seems to me accepting that there is such a thing as acceptable regulation is to accept some minimal amount of infringement of personal liberty and the argument is not about an absolute concept of liberty but relative and likely subjective degrees of infringement on liberties.

    So how does one draw the lines?


  26. Holden

    You behaving as an irrational hysteric would. Calm down.

    Try answering the questions put to you. If you can't then readers can draw the obvious conclusion about you.


  27. You can't answer my questions Amit, so you're resorting to abuse. Odd for someone so enamoured with reason.

    "people like me would have invested in a rival road, right next to it...., that's how a free market works..."

    That's hilarious! Even funnier if you're actually serious.

  28. Larry

    If Queen St were privately owned and the owner did as you stated, then, exactly as B. Whitehead indicates, the owner would experience a significantly reduced revenue stream. People would find alternatives to using his road. They may travel instead by Albert St, High St, or Hobson St and so on. An entrepreneur might erect a Sydney monorail type of affair, a subway, a flyover, a Malewicki Skytran, a Skycab, a Chicago over-ground metro, bridges or above grade roading or some other arrangement (of which there are plenty). Eventually the owner of Queen St would need to alter his practice or he would run out of money, go out of business and his resources would be reallocated.

    Private ownership of roads works fine. Roading is a good example where consistent recognition of private property has not been permitted in practice.


  29. Holden

    You are far too excited about yourself. Take a deep breath, count to ten and try to calm down.

    I've already explained to you why it is proper the owner sets the rules. You responded with a wee rave about mass murderers and killers, as if that had anything to do with anything. All I've asked you to do is calm down and stop with the hysteria.

    Now there are two questions I directed to you for consideration and response. These do require you to address them so that your second question can be dealt with. How about you have an honest try.


  30. "Private ownership of roads works fine. Roading is a good example where consistent recognition of private property has not been permitted in practice."

    If it's not permitted how do you know it works "fine" whatever that means?

    Now, you're evading. Why does ownership of the road mean that the owner is allowed to set rules for that road if doing that results in people being needlessly killed? I don't understand why you think that's a good outcome.

  31. @Amit & Whitehead

    "People like me would have invested in a rival road right next to it"

    Assuming you can buy an existing road or land on which to build one. You don't seem to realise that in a free market / full privatisation Queen St and all the surrounding roads will be owned by the very richest people, who would likely own them for convenience sake rather than as a business. At the substantial inconvenience of the rest of us.

    Then there is the matter of arterial roads, where no alternatives exist. A nice monopoly to screw over everyone. And how would access to roads be monitored and restricted? a checkpoint at the end of every street?

    If you think govt regulations are complex and inefficient wait till you finally comprehend what a mess privatised roads would be.

  32. Holden

    Again, calm your over-fertile imagination down. Try not to let your emotions get so out of control.

    You still are required to explain two things. I have been patiently waiting for some days for you to explain yourself. I repeat the enquiry once again.

    "All right" according to whom exactly? By whose standard is "unnecessarily" determined?


  33. Larry

    In a private property situation alternatives are available. For your Queen St scenario there are indeed alternative roads people can use, there are also other modes of transport, other architectural and infrastructural options and many, many other arrangements possible and practical (if they are allowed to emerge). In an explanation to you I previously disclosed some options I am familiar with. There are others. Still, you could consider looking some of them up and having a think about them. Presently it is very difficult for alternatives to the existing regime to be erected and employed since the government claims and enforces full control.

    In the absence of government interference in the economy people who are rich can only become rich and stay that way by providing goods and services that others will voluntarily trade value for. The customer is king. When the rich person fails to supply what his customer wants, then he experiences a deterioration in his financial situation and, should he persist in his direction, ultimately his financial ruination. At that point the resources are re-allocated. Absent government interference in the economy it is no longer possible for the politically connected to have the government set in place regulation, legislation and coercive systems to protect them from the preferences of their customers. They can't rely on government to provide a priviledged position and guarantee them protected markets. Then the ONLY way to get rich, let alone continue to hold that status, is to provide what other people want. Certainly that is an inconvenience for rich mercantilists but anything but an inconvenience for the rest of us. Bring it on, I say!


  34. Amit, you aren't listening. As I said before, a substantial proportion of privatised roads would be bought by ultra rich people for their convenience, not as a moneymaking venture.

    Take the Russian billionaire building a massive mansion up north. He could buy all the roads around his house for extra privacy and impose his own rules on all the locals who need to use them. After all, it's his property and he can use it however he wants. This is why roads are public.

  35. Fentex - It shouldn't surprise me that someone so enamoured with splitting airs over minor details has difficult in seeing real and substantial differences between things that do matter - such as laws that protect versus those that violate liberty. After all, the person who never takes his eyes of individual trees will never see the forest.

    If your enquiry is genuine, I sense nothing I can say in this comments section is going to answer the question in your eyes - so all I can suggest is go read some Ayn Rand.

    If you agree that the examples I gave do take regulation too far - ask yourself how one stops these sort of intrusions if your standard is "personal safety" (or whatever it was you posited). Are these regulations not the logical consequence of your standard? And if you can see that, doesn't this at least tell you on some level you're on the wrong track? Can you see that to "draw the line" at an acceptable point is going to require a fundamental difference in principle, rather than one of degrees?

  36. So where do you stand on drink-driving, motorcycle helmet and seatbelt laws, Mark? What about vehicle safety standards? What you're espousing leads to unnecessary (although Amit thinks it's important) and preventable death. That's a proven fact, regardless of the sophistry of a toxic cougar.

  37. Larry

    Why are you so frightened of some rich Russian? Is it xenophobia? Or racism? Or is it just plain envy? Just because a guy is a rich person that does not make him necessarily evil. Just because he isn't a Kiwi man does not necessarily mean he is a malevolent person.

    Let's say the Russian man, he did buy the roads around his property. So what? The property owners on the other side of the road and all the locals have the option to seek an arrangement with him or, if that fails to eventuate, developing alternative accessways to their properties, alternative routes or alternative modes. Then there is also the issue of what a clever entrepreneur might provide in the circumstances. Of course, should our Russian man prove to be unreasonable in his dealings with his neighbours and the locals, then he could not expect them to prove reasonable or co-operative with him. He'd find access to his piece of road difficult as others refused to co-operate or even deal with him. He'd not be able to drive in or out himself.

    I remember a situation in the Far North of New Zealand where the local town superette refused to do business with several people due to their unreasonable behaviour and rude treatment of other people in the town. For months these rude people had to drive some 40kms (one way) in order to get their household supplies. Eventually they came to their senses and stopped trying to anger the rest of the residents of the community. They ended up apologising and altering their mode of behaviour. The lesson applies to a rich road owner. Remember, he can only get rich by supplying what people will voluntarily trade value for. If they do not want to trade with him, for whatever reason, then he won't be in a good position for very long.


  38. if your standard is "personal safety" (or whatever it was you posited). Are these regulations not the logical consequence of your standard?

    Protection from other people is merely a base I think every one would agree with - I think we all agree others freedom to swing their arms stops at our noses. It is however not a standard from which I think all regulation is, or ought be, derived.

    Being able to list any number of examples of over-broad or what I may agree are silly regulations does not answer questions about where the line lies between acceptable regulation that does not infringe on personal liberty (which I suspect is a impossible concept if one thinks individual liberty includes all non-violent acts) and unacceptable regulations that infringes on personal liberty.

    It can't be that one simply doesn't accept regulation that restricts one self while being happy when others are constrained.

    And I presume few reading here think it's acceptable that anything imagined by authority is appropriate by dint of their election.

    I suspect an admirer of Ayn Rand on reflection would reconsider supporting the idea that there is any acceptable regulation beyond restricting violence towards others.But if they did, I continue to wonder what standard they would draw the line by.

  39. Amit, you are an idiot. You still haven't got my point even though I made it clear enough for a child to understand. Though I suspect it will be futile, I'm going to try one last time.

    My example with the Russian billionaire was to show what can potentially happen with privatised roads. If all you saw was xenophobia, envy etc then you are a moron.

    "alternative accessways" in other words someone has to sacrifice their land so that people can get to their houses. When there is a perfectly good but privately owned road available. A costly nightmare. This is why we have public roads.

    "alternative modes" like a helicopter? yeah I can't see any problems with that solution.

    "he can only get rich by supplying people what they will voluntarily trade for" He is already rich you idiot! Made his fortune in the oil industry. He doesn't have to 'trade' with his neighbours. They could make access for him difficult but then he would take them to court and inevitably a billionaire will win any lawsuit.

    This kind of mess doesn't happen today because we have public roads. Thank fuck for that!

  40. So some Russian Billionaire could buy a piece of land or Queen st for that matter & buy up all the neighbouring roads etc, & ramp up the prices etc.
    In the case of the Russian neighbours, one of them can simply make a deal with the others to provide land access, ie contribute towards maintenance etc. Incidentally a relative of mine had a house on maori land with a private road & that is what they did collectively.
    All that means in the case of queen st is that the cost of buying anything there is expensive because of the road tolls, parking etc. Why would you want to go there?, just go shopping somewhere else...

    B Whitehead

  41. And all these expensive complex legal arrangements, the hassle and inefficiency is better than publicly owned roads and guaranteed access how exactly, my swivel-eyed ideologues?

  42. Larry

    Your fear and bigotry are more than a little obvious in your writing. You are fearful. Those sentiments don't defend or justify your prejudice though.

    Quoting you,' other words someone has to sacrifice their land so that people can get to their houses. When there is a perfectly good but privately owned road available. A costly nightmare. This is why we have public roads.'

    You emote that someone may have to sacrifice their land. Consider, the wealthy Russian own his road so why should he have to sacrifice his private property to your demand? According to your sentiments he must do this since he has a "perfectly good" road and the reality is you want to use it for yourself (face it in your scenario you use the neighbours and locals as proxy for yourself). Here you have revealed the mentality of a thief and rapist. It is, ultimately, the mentality of the violent murderer. You disgrace yourself.

    Applying your unprincipled reasoning with consistency- what else does the Russian possess that is "perfectly good" that you can demand. He has a perfectly good daughter and your loins are itchy. Why should you have to seek an alternative when you could go rape her? After all, she is "perfectly good" and you ought not to have to sacrifice time going to the effort of courting an alternative.

    What you are trying to justify is the idea that if someone else posesses something, and it would be more convenient to you to take to your own use, then you ought to be allowed to. Why should the wealthy Russian be forced to make sacrifice to your convenience?

    ' "alternative modes" like a helicopter?'

    I did give you a short list of possibilities in a previous post. I recommended that you look them up. Clearly you prefer to roiling in self-indulgent ignorance. There are alternatives (including other roads). That you are unaware or refuse to consider any of them is a demonstration of your shortcomings, no-one else's. That you are ignorant is not a justification of infringements against other people's property.

    'Made his fortune in the oil industry' trading with other people. He'd be well aware that you can't make money for oil without trading it. To retain his business interests and wealth he must trade (even if he cashes it all up and invests the money he must enter trade). He'd be well aware of how he needs to behave in order to preserve his financial position and how he needs to deal with others (no govenment intervention in the economy remember).

    Quoting you again, 'He doesn't have to 'trade' with his neighbours. They could make access for him difficult but then he would take them to court and inevitably a billionaire will win any lawsuit.'

    You are making disparaging comment about the state of the public owned court system and laws in New Zealand. The inefficiencies and injustices of that public system system do not expunge individual property rights. They are not a valid justification of your denial of private property rights (including for wealthy Russian immigrants).


  43. Holden

    Please answer the questions I put to you previously. They are important to your case.


  44. I've come across offensive libertarians in the past, but none so vile as you, Amit. Saying people who point out the massive flaws in your "arguments" are akin to rapists and murderers is a hideous smear. This is about how your desire to privatise public spaces is nuts, FFS. You've lost the case, so you hit the abuse.

  45. Holden

    Your overwrought puffery has never been a substitute for anything of substance. Why are you unable to exert an honest attempt to address what was asked of you?

    Repeating the enquiry yet again.

    "All right" according to whom exactly? By whose standard is "unnecessarily" determined?


  46. Fentex

    There is something troubling about the debate about where to "draw the line". In order to draw it one must assume sovereignty over other people's lives.

    What is the derivation of sovereignty over other people? How can that be justified?


  47. It can be justified frequently in order to protect people from death and injury, for example in the imposition of drink-driving laws. If you don't like it you're free to move somewhere else to preserve your precious "sovereignty". Somalia has nice weather. As for your silly questions, all right according to you, unnecessary according to almost everybody else (ie sane people).

  48. Holden

    Here is some homework for you. Try and concentrate read hard now. You may be able to make some progress (perhaps).

    First, learn to mind your own business. The question regarding the problem of sovereignty is addressed to Fentex and not to Holden. Fentex mentioned an issue related to sovereignty and he is a thoughful contributor (possibly a legal practitioner even) so I am interested in what he has to say about the problem. On the evidence you have provided in this thread thus far, the topic is above your sparse intellectual abilties (as demonstrated by your total failure to respond to a rather basic enquiry previously submitted to you), hence the sovereignty question is not addressed to you. It is for someone else. That post is written to Fentex. You can tell this is the case as I address him at the start of it.

    Second, posts for you to respond to are addressed to you, to "Holden". You can see there are posts which I have addressed to you. They have questions for you to try to answer. So far there has been no honest attempt by you.

    Third, it seems you have a habit of responding to posts addressed to other contributors (such as those to Larry and Fentex) while you fail to provide an honest attempt to answer that which is addressed to you. That is quite revealing about your nature. It is a habit you ought to avoid.

    Cease your empty bluster and answer the questions I first put to you on 23 Oct and repeaetd several times since. What's the matter- can't you do it? Don't be scared. If you can't answer, just say so. That'd be honest. We could all do with some honesty from you.

    Here is the enquiry for you to answer yet one more time:

    All right" according to whom exactly? By whose standard is "unnecessarily" determined?


  49. I've answered your silly questions repeatedly, Amit. Not my fault you have serious issues with comprehension in addition to being a hideous smear merchant.

  50. Holden, you have not answered the questions. Instead you demonstrate that you are a liar. Oh well.


  51. Yep I have, smear merchant. Again, not my fault your seriously mediocre intellect won't allow you to process the response. This has gotten boring. You should get a life. Why don't you have a few beers and go out driving as fast as you can without your seatbelt on to prove how free you are?

  52. Readers

    The answer to the questions put to Holden are clear. He ought to have been honest enough to have addmitted he wants his standards imposed, that when he measures "all right" and "unnecessary" it is according to his personal feelings. He didn't admit this because he is not an honest person. Fundamentally Holden is a creature of completely arbitrary whim and emotion. There is nothing of substance whatsoever. There is absolutely nothing of substance to the boy. Nevertheless Holden seeks compliance with his aesthetic and his values by all other people. The trouble with this is encountered as soon as other people do not agree with him and do not prefer to do as he demands. For example, many many people prefer not to use seatbelts when driving,while many many more prefer to drive quicker than the speed limit sign says. At that point he likes to see force imposed and see those people coerced, hurt even, but since he is far too weak and inferior to do that himself (he'd soon learn the benefits of not interfering in other people's business were he to personally make attempt to force them to do things) he prefers a third party, an institution, do the wet work. Then he kids himself that he shares in its authority. He is in the right, those other people were wrong and the institution acts in support of his ideal, so he pretends. The boy sure is in for a surprise!

    All over the world, everywhere I have travelled in the west and elsewhere the nation state and its governments and financial systems are in full collapse. There are some terrible risks during these times of instability. All sorts of previously suppressed issues are coming to prominence to tear collectivist institutions asunder. There is real risk of dangerous widespread violence and war. This is where the worthlessness of Holden's loyalty to conventional political mythology is going to come unstuck. As stated, he is in for a big surprise. When he demands (and really needs) support from the institutions in which he places his belief and when it really counts that he receive it, he'll get nawt! Watch and see.

    Meanwhile the best means of avoiding violence in your life (or at least minimising it) is to recognise individual rights consistently. That means the negative obligations of not initiating violence on others (even ones you do not agree with) and that means not trying to control or take over their property or person even if their standards, aesthetics and politics differ from yours. In the case of Larry's wealthy Russian road owner, it means that if he does not want to let you use his road you must not. It means that if his daughter does not want to have sex with you, you cannot force her to. It means that if you wish to ride a motorcycle drunk without a helmet no-one other than the owner of the road you want to ride on has a right to stop you. It means minding your business, not trying to control other people's lives, not collectivising them. Leave other people alone. Perfect your own life.


  53. God you're boring, Amit. You're so mentally deficient you've had to adopt this ridiculous boilerplate philosophy which gives you rote answers to complex issues in the vain hope of understanding the world. You then insist on ramming this down everyone's throats. It's so warped your view you're like the nutty Christian who sees the End of Dayz just around the corner.

    When it's pointed out the consequences of your ideology is needless and preventable death and maiming you fall back on abuse, calling people rapists, for instance.

    "if you wish to ride a motorcycle drunk without a helmet no-one other than the owner of the road you want to ride on has a right to stop you."

    The road is collectively owned, sucker.

  54. @ B Whitehead: It can be argued that any given road could be privatised in theory, but every road in the country? It would be an absolute nightmare. And ironically, bureaucrats would get the blame for allowing it to happen.

    @ Amit: Each response from you just makes you look more fucked in the head. A public road is like someone's daughter that everybody gets to rape!? The best thing you could do for the libertarian cause would be to STFU.

    @ Fentex: Don't hold your breath waiting for a libertarian to 'draw the line'. They are worried that doing this will contradict their principles such as 'regulation bad, private enterprise good'. Notice how a libertarian will never admit to regulations preventing incidents such as industrial disasters.

  55. Larry

    You and Holden wouldn't happen to be one and the same person?


  56. No. Two separate people who think you're fucked in the head. And I can tell you there will be plenty more.

  57. Larry

    There were certain similarities, hence I asked (examples included exaggerated emotionalism, faux outrage, blind belief in childish mythologies, lack of substance and so on).

    Something you ought to think about. You write, "...I can tell you there will be plenty more." Even expressing something as simple as that of dislike you need to conjure up imaginary supporters- not just one or two but plenty. Now there's an obvious tell. Seems you are too weak to back yourself, too frightened to stand for yourself- even behind a keyboard. You demonstrate a need to make yourself seem bigger and more important to yourself than you actually are. Remember this, little one, even if you happen to stumble across like minded febriles from time to time, you won't be able to rely on them for the sustenance or security you seek. In the end you represent no-one else. You speak only for yourself. Think on it.


  58. Amit, I've thought on it and I'm truly contrite. You and you're views are obviously universally endorsed and respected, and there are in fact only two people (who knows, perhaps only one) who would not agree with your contention that proponents of publicly owned roads are akin to rapists and murderers. I realise the error of my ways. Sorry to have upset and confused you so. You are a mighty, mighty individual representing only yourself.

  59. Holden

    Quoting, "I've thought on it and I'm truely contrite."

    Two lies in one sentence! You've provided more proof that you are a liar.



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