Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Locke the libertarian? [updated]

Did anyone else see Green MP Keith Locke describing himself self-contradictorily as a “libertarian eco-socialist” in  this self-serving article over the weekend?

Anybody care to comment?

UPDATE: The article was written to allow Keith to complain about being surveilled by the SIS “since he was eleven.”  Trevor Loudon opens up his Keith Locke files and says, given Keith’s loopy history, “I would be protesting if the SIS wasn't monitoring Keith Locke and would be most disappointed if they didn't continue to do so.”


StephenR said...

A Left-Libertarian?

Bart said...

A fruitcake short of a wedding

Anonymous said...

'He had never advocated violence and nor had the groups he belonged to' ... 'Locke explicitly argues against violence, criticising left-wing kidnappings in Quebec and Urugay as "counterproductive".'

Firstly, he proudly belongs to the most violent party in NZ and one of the world's most violent movements.

Secondly, describing kidnappings as "counterproductive" is *not* 'criticising violence' per se. It's critical of the the *outcome* of the violence. Big difference, and no surprise that the SS-T missed it.

And renouncing Marxism (?!) in favour of Environmentalism is just swapping your red cardy for a green one. Same team, different jerseys. Yawn.

A libertarian eco-socialist? Is that a cross between Lindsay Perigo, Jeanette Fitzsimons & Margaret Wilson??

Urghh. Wouldn't want to be the Linz-bit! :)

Anonymous said...

(cough cough) Sorry - about the best comment I could come up with :-S

Jeffrey Perren said...

I don't know how things stand in NZ, but to people as confused as most (U.S.) libertarians, it's no surprise. Even more broadly, to the majority of the populace - at least in political matters - words mean anything they want them to at any given moment they want... and then something else the next day.

We now have a guy in the Oval office who is the very prototype of that. In his case, it's even worse because he resolutely refuses to describe himself as anything at all, other than a pragmatist. (Which shows you, in large part, where that error comes from.)

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of some of the brain afflictions described in "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat".


Anonymous said...

Theory 1

Locke sees himself as socially liberal ("people can smoke whatever they want") and an economic socialist ("taxes for all"), which includes using state coercion to improve environmental outcomes?

Except that his party wants to regulate and ban the hell out of everything, social or economic.

Theory 2

He is trying to do to the word 'libertarian' what US democrats did to the word liberal in the 20th century.

Theory 3

I'm confused.

Right now I'm leaning towards 3.

Richard McGrath said...

A libertarian socialist?

A = non-A

Anonymous said...

I'd say Matt B's first theory is closest.

Just like most "liberal" socialists - liberal on anything to do with sex or drugs, to give you some token "freedom" to distract you from the fact that they're controlling every other aspect of your life.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading something similar back around 2002. Except then he called himself a "libertarian eco-Marxist", so it looks like he is toning down the Marxism to socialism.

Libertyscott said...

Oh look

Anonymous said...

StephenR - I wouldn't think he was left libertarian, I know the wikipedia article has two definitions of left libertarianism, but that's the first time I've ever heard of the first. Those theorists mentioned are libertarian socialists or anarcho-insert some adjective here. It's really confusing matters giving it two definitions. The best definition I've ever read of left libertarians is this one. As left libertarian, rightly defined, is laissez-faire I certainly wouldn't see Keith Locke as a left libertarian. Neither does Keith Locke strike me as a libertarian socialist. Most libertarian socialists as anarchists, of any creed do, see representative democracy as a sham and so wouldn't involve themselves in party politics. Libertarian socialism is another one of those terms, like socialism itself, that suffers from some definitional madness. There were self professed libertarian socialists, or market socialists (yes, market socialists) well before anyone would even consider conflaitng libertarianism with the "right" (see here: Libertarianism: Left or Right? - if you're interested in that particular historical corruption) who were positvely free market in outlook. Confused? I can see how Locke has got himself confused. Maybe the only part he knows anything about is the eco part.

Anonymous said...

In the end the question is whether or not the man supports the initiation of force, fraud or coercion to ensure other people do as he demands. Does he respect people as individuals capable of independent thought and best left alone to act accordingly, or does he collectivise them, demanding they do as his ideology (however it may be defined, described or disguised) orders?