Speech to Freedom Conference: Band of Brothers vs Whore of Epsom

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sat, 2012-10-06 22:39

[Speech delivered to Libertarianz and others looking to launch a new, pro-freedom political party, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Auckland, Saturday Oct 6, 2012]

Martin Luther King said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Liberty matters.

The liberty of the human individual is the most sacred thing in the universe.

Shame on anyone who knows that and becomes silent about it.

When he becomes silent about liberty, knowing that it matters, his life will begin to end.

It's all too easy to become silent about liberty.

Being heard above a deafening chorus wittering and dribbling about things that don't matter is a daunting enterprise.

And there is a deafening chorus wittering and dribbling about things that don't matter.

I give you the aptly-named Twit-Witter, and that avalanche of asinine inanity which it pleases me to call Faecesbook!

Oceans and oceans of dribble, lacking the consistency or stature, strictly speaking, even to be called faeces, about things that don't matter, driven by an infantile conceit that somehow they do. Mega-repositories of empty heads and empty lives.

Yes, it's easy to succumb to the tidal waves of tosh and become silent, or even swim with the current. Someone to whom I was close many years ago and was at the time a fervent devotee of liberty and supremely eloquent promoter thereof, now airily witters away on Twit-Witter in his self-styled capacity as … “a connoisseur of human silliness.” If our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter, he is an example of someone committing slow suicide.

And yet, you see, those repositories of refuse are in their own way and at the same time shining beacons of liberty and the ultimate empirical vindication of the libertarian case.

The people immersed in things that don't matter, don't matter.

What the repositories represent and make possible, matters crucially. It embodies the crux of our case and an unassailable practical demonstration of it.

These repositories, and the Internet that subsumes them, are stunning testament to the efficacy of the uncoerced human mind, and the fact that it is our fundamental tool of survival and flourishing.

Think of the exruciating mental effort, the feats of sustained “non-contradictory identification,” performed by the cream of humanity, the Bill Gateses and Steve Jobses of this world, in order to create technologies that have enabled us to flourish as never before.

As it happens, I am not technology-minded—have even been called a dizzy bitch technophobe — but when all of this was coming into its own I had the good fortune to be shacked up with a geek, who dragged me kicking and screaming into modernity. Soon I was sending The Free Radical to its designer, Graham Clark, not on a funny disk thing but via e-mail, for him to wreak his miracles with. The gratifying thing was that in all the to-ing and fro-ing that then went on, Graham — a bit of a socialist at the time — ended up absorbing the articles and finding them increasingly and dangerously persuasive. The rest as they say they say, is history. He's here this morning.

One more anecdote I can't resist interpolating: in those days of the fledging Libz, at our regular meetings there was one person who put up fierce resistance to all new-fangled electronic inclinations, who spoke disparagingly, dismissively, vitriolically, not just of the Internet but of computers generally. He heaped scorn upon the geek language of those who'd moved beyond his own Ludditism. But soon he too was dragged kicking and screaming into modernity … and ultimately went on to start a rather splendid libertarian, anti-Luddite blog site called ... Not PC!

But I digress. Back to my point about the Internet and how it is our ultimate vindication:

What you have there is voluntary interaction writ large. Voluntary interaction writ global. It is a cosmic cauldron of capitalist acts among consenting adults. You can shop without leaving your house … and most of the time you don't have to pay the Government Slavery Tax on your purchases. You can buy books you won't find in shops, including the most sacred book in the universe, my ew Kindle book! You can buy medicines prohibited by governments, knowing that it's caveat emptor. You can express your opinions, no matter how batty, about anything at all. Someone right here even has a blog site devoted to a goblin. Never mind all the airheads — you don't have to deal with them. No one forces you to do anything on the Internet. You don't have to join the social media, and if you do, you can do as I do — go on to Faecesbook or Twit-Witter when you absolutely have to, just long enough to cast a pearl, and then flee immediately, taking a shower if you inadvertently get tainted by all the banality.

And even the social media can transcend their customary imbecility when it matters, and be a potent force for the freedom they tacitly represent, as we see whenever oppressed populations rise up against tyrants.

Free trade, free association, free expression, non-coercion, government that steps in only to protect life and property: this is not a virtual libertarian society, it is a libertarian society. To those who say what we promote is a utopian, pie-in-the-sky pipe-dream, incapable of implementation: point them to the Internet and ask them if that doesn't work! Richard McGrath, next time you're asked where our ideas have been put to the test, you don't have to cite Victorian England and have hostile media put up images of smokestacks: point them to the Internet. There are our principles at work — and their success is demonstrable and incontrovertible.

There's no doubt the Internet is coming and will come under ever greater threat from the United Nations, rapacious politicians, rampaging Muslims and others wanting to prohibit, tax, regulate and restrict. Let's ask our critics if they think that's a good thing, and if not, why it becomes a good thing outside Cyberspace.

So, to the geographical areas we could once cite as close to our ideals — Hong Kong, Taiwan, West Germany when there was an East Germany, South Korea, America and Britain prior to the success of Gramsci's socialism-by-stealth, a blend of Singapore's economic freedom and Holland's social freedom — we can add a potent propaganda tool that is up-to-the-minute current, very close indeed to our ideals … and takes in most of the planet.

If we can get by quite peaceably and prosperously in Cyberspace without the the Helen Clarks, the Jim Neandertons, the John Bankses, the Sue Kedgleys, the Peter Dunnes, the Russell Normans et al ad nauseam of this world, why the hell would we want to indulge their filthy authoritarian power-lust in New Zealand?

It's not our dreams that don't work, it's their nightmares!

That's my first point today. What we're fighting for is already here, and flourishing. We just have to draw attention to the fact and exploit it to the hilt. As of now I fear the point has eluded us somewhat.

Second, regarding a rebrand, name change and so on. As the party's founding leader and resident grumpy old fart — not even resident for a couple of years — I'm all in favour of it. Give the old tart a makeover by all means. I worry, however, when I read the process described as “toning it down.” I think it's not a toning down that's required, and I venture to hope that is not what is being proposed.

I believe what is required is that you desist from dumping the whole load every time you enter the fray. I suspect we've all evolved to the point where we know there is no point in campaigning on the achievement of a full-fledged libertarian society in five minutes … or four years. To accomplish that would require endorsement of such a programme by a majority of voters. To accomplish that would require a cultural revolution that is beyond the brief or scope of a political party.

That revolution should be the objective of a dedicated Think Tank — or as Mr Ansell would call it, Teach Tank. Its job would be patiently and diligently to provide intellectual fuel for long-term cultural change. It would make the philosophical case for individual rights and capitalism. It would demonstrate why real capitalism, as opposed to crony capitalism, is not an orgy of cutting throats and cutting corners, but a guarantor of the brotherhood of man, the opposite of what the collectivists depict. It would deal with all the supposedly tricky historical issues such as smokestacks and children up chimneys — an expanded version, if you like, of “Common Fallacies about Capitalism” in Capitalism the Unknown Ideal. It would deal with the bromides we still face: capitalism is ruining the planet, it causes poverty, it alienates people from their inner human being, etc, etc. It would extol the virtues and values of entrepreneurialism: self-reliance, self-sufficiency, productivity, the earning of self-esteem, the pursuit of excellence, developing one's talents to the full, Shiraz, and so on. It would demonstrate how the Nanny State and compulsory welfarism are the enemy of these virtues and values. It would agitate to have its materials taken on to enemy territory: schools, which are currently brainwashing centres of collectivism and statism. The kind of Teach Tank I envisage would be the Business Roundtable without its contradictory premises. Its starting point would be individual liberty, not the mythical “common good.”

A Teach Tank would deal in the whole load and dump great wads of it at every opportunity.

A political party, I think we've all now come to realise, must offer a small number of bite-sized morsels that can be assimilated by at least the upper end of a voting population dumbed down by state schools and state television.

A political party must accommodate attention spans that are microscopically short, and the anti-conceptual mentality: the inability to think in principles.

Writing about this deficiency, Leonard Peikoff posited a group of people who sit down to discuss whether it's moral to rob a bank. One of them asks, which bank?

He also tells a real-life story of someone he spent six months persuading that it was wrong to nationalise the coal industry. At the end of that time the person said, “OK, I get it that coal shouldn't be nationalised. But what about steel?”

Now, a libertarian political party in New Zealand must count on at least five per cent of voters who can concentrate for a few minutes, and can connect dots, in spite of having gone to school — and even worse, university. It must err on the side of brevity, concreteness, simplicity and the short term. Leave the long term to the Teach Tank. Remember the good news: the long term might not be as long as we always feared, since we have the Internet to point to as an example of how well the whole load works already.

This involves no sacrifice of principle. Let's say hypothetically the party were to be called the Freedom Party, or the More Freedom Less Government Party, or True Liberals, as opposed to the supposedly less accessible term Libertarianz. Is there any compromise of principle involved? Clearly not.

Let's say it campaigned for five specific things: my 4/15 tax plan; a balanced budget; voluntary euthanasia; legalisation of marijuana; abolition of the Maori seats and other special representation. Is there any compromise of principle involved? Certainly not. A society in which they were implemented would be palpably freer than the one we have now. Three of them — marijuana, euthanasia, the Maori seats — already have majority support. The tax plan shouldn't be that hard to sell given its $15000 tax-free threshold and the phasing out of GST by two and a half per cent a year over 7 years. A flat rate of income tax of 15% on all income above the threshold should also have broad appeal. The toughie would be the balanced budget, requiring government to trim its cloth. This is when you'd raise the spectre of abolishing useless and anti-freedom agencies of government such as the Ministry of Ugly Wimmins Affairs, Economic Development and Te Puni Kokiri. You'd also be looking to stop paying people with taxpayer money who can least afford to support children to go ahead and breed anyway. But all of these, I submit, could be sold to voters who've survived the dumbing-down and the brainwashing with their thinking abilities intact — and there'd be enough of them to get you into Parliament.

Standing fast to principles will enhance, not reduce, your prospects.

I had to laugh at commentator Bryce Edwards's observation in the Sunday Star-Times that the problem with Libertarianz is that they're too principled!

Wear that as a badge of honour!

What he could more accurately have said is that the other parties that are supposed to believe in true liberal principles never so much as mention them, let alone advocate policies consistent with them. Libertarianz do both — and because they're the only ones who do, they seem to be overdoing it. Don't ever change that!

The National Socialists' list of values includes:

Individual freedom and choice
• Personal responsibility
• Competitive enterprise and rewards for achievement
• Limited government.

Limited government?! The National Party?!

Guffaw!

As for ACT, you all know I've had inside experience of their commitment to principle.

When I signed on, hopeful that Don Brash would reinvent the party as the classical liberal party it's supposed to be, my intention was to help him by taking its primary principle and ramming it home at every opportunity:

“That individuals are the rightful owners of their own lives and therefore have inherent rights and responsibilities; and that the proper purpose of government is to protect such rights and not to assume such responsibilities.”

That's so perfect you'd think a libertarian wrote it.

A libertarian did write it: the founder of Libertarianz, Ian Fraser, wrote it during his short involvement with the fledgling ACT Party back in 1993, before leaving in disgust.

And in 2011 I knew it was still there. Notwithstanding all the compulsionism whereby ACT violated it, it had never been dumped.

On my first day with ACT at Parliament, I went to the web site to print the principle out. Slight problem: there was no mention of the party's principles on the web site. Inquiries of other staff: does anyone have a hard copy of the principles? Blank stares. Phone call to HQ in Auckland. Where are the party principles? Good-humoured banter: “Was I right all along? You don't have any!” “Can't seem to locate them, Lindsay.” “Have you looked under the carpet?”

Many phone calls later: “We've found them. A certain person removed them when he revamped the web site.”

So, the principles were restored and I set about invoking them, or that one in particular, at every opportunity, especially in the speeches I would write!

At that point the strategy for the looming election campaign was a hard-hitting, straight-talking, Chris Christie-like effort spearheaded by the genius of National's 2005 campaign that almost made Don Brash Prime Minister, John Ansell. His billboards featured Helen Clark's face on the left, Don's on the right, with appropriate words superimposed:

Tax. Cut.

More personal attacks. Less personal tax.

Beaches: Iwi. Kiwi.

What Are Schools For? PPTA. ABC.

And so on.

That was the kind of campaign we intended to duplicate. KASS, as I'd say on SOLO.

Others within ACT, though, most notably Parliamentary leader John Boscawen, wanted a squishy campaign that offended no one. Boscawen had made it known, incidentally, though not to me, that he wanted to stop “all this libertarian stuff.” The public relations oleaginites — oleaginites as in oleaginous, meaning oily and slimy — headed by the #2 candidate on the list, wanted a bland campaign also. Don't give anyone a reason to vote for you; just don't give them a reason to vote against you.

John Ansell walked out after the Maorification debacle, but the straight-talking strategy remained, and I was to be its wordsmith. How straight-talking? Well, we called it the “bomb strategy.” Each weekend for 6 weeks we'd drop a bomb via the Sunday newspapers. Ansell had called it “stroppy copy.” A potent explosive on a different major issue each week. A generic bomb first. Then — the economy. Education. One law for all. Social welfare. Law and order. The idea was that after the outrage had subsided and the carnage had been cleared, the people who mattered would see that we were right and that we had the courage to be right. And that they would vote for us. We figured “they” were up to 15% of the electorate. I came up to Auckland to build the bombs. After a week they were all done, tweaked and signed off on by Don. We were ready to drop the generic bomb.

At that point, alas, the campaign committee displayed the bombs to Boscawen and other Kumbaya blandifiers. They all fainted. Needed smelling salts, oxygen and ambulances. That was the end of the bomb strategy. A generic ad was placed that Don had hurriedly rewritten himself, which was not only not a bomb; it wasn't even a pop-gun. It attracted no comment and no one remembers it. The only time Don captured headlines after that was with the marijuana speech, which of course was one of mine and for which I was cut loose while all the brave classical liberals who were supposed to speak up ran for cover, including Act on Campus. Don received 72% per cent support for his stance in a Campbell Live poll that had a record number of respondents, but was ordered to drop the subject … and me.

Don had been carrying around with him an article by former Prime Minister Mike Moore entitled “Reflections on Political Courage.” It included the Martin Luther King quote I began with. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It included a line which Don had underlined: “Opinion polls make cowards of us all.” Don had hand-written a note to himself at the top of it: “Re-read at regular intervals.”

If only he did.

The point I'm making from all of this is: never, ever be tempted to blandify. ACT blandified and got 1.1% of the vote—not enough even to get Don into Parliament. Those who like bland have got National. Leave them to each other's oleaginous embraces. Present your case with the qualities I argued for at the time and argue for at all times: courage, clarity and conviction. You might just be surprised by how many voters respond favourably.

The bomb strategy, I should say, was the brainchild of the then-Communications Director, David Bridgman. The same David Bridgman who appeared at the end of the TV3 feature on ACT and the Libertarianz last week and said classical liberals were great at putting the world to rights in smoke-filled rooms but hopeless when it came to a strategy for actually doing it. Well, his one would be worth a try, and I'm surprised he didn't mention it.

One more thing. The stinking corpse of ACT must lie down, and none of the bacteria from its decomposition must contaminate the new force. The compulsionism, the conservatism, the culture of ACT: begone! I don't need to explain “compulsionism” — it was there from Day One and was the reason I called ACT the Association of Compulsion-Touters. Right to the end and to this day Roger was and is still itching to force people into superannuation and health insurance schemes, for their own good of course.

“Conservatism”: well, it's the reason it was impossible to make ACT socially as well as economically liberal. It's the reason the marijuana speech and its author had to be buried. A grotesque, feral conservative, the antipode of a classical liberal, is now ACT leader. This leering gargoyle, the ultimate in homophobic bigotry and wowserism, who once said barbed wire up a homosexual's rectum would be a waste of barbed wire, votes for gay marriage and keeping the drinking age at 18 solely because ACT on Campus threaten to pull the plug if he doesn't. Next to John Banks, Winston Peters looks principled! John Banks is the Whore of Epsom.

Mr Banks, you are a hypocrite and a harlot.

Mr Banks, end this charade.

Mr Banks, tear down this facade.

Mr Banks, leave politics. And leave Lady Liberty to her lovers.

But even an ACT Party without the Whore of Epsom should not be resuscitated. A culture had taken over within it which a freedom party must never countenance. The party was run by people for whom the game of politics — and the dirtier the game the better — was more important than the reason they were in politics. The game had become the reason. These people are gamers first, classical liberals an occasional and distant second. What gets them out of bed is not, what can I do for liberty today, but, whose back can I stab today? It's not Mises who turns them on, it's Machiavelli. Directed not at Labour or the Greens, but their own colleagues. Most of all they are morbidly, postmodernly cynical, contemptuous of any notion of sincerity. They are disgusting.

Let us welcome the refugees from ACT who genuinely want to fight for liberty, especially the youngsters within Banks on Campus who shudder at the prospect of prostituting themselves working the streets for Banks again. But let's ask that they self-fumigate first.

I don't care who might stupidly and wrongly accuse me of collectivism for saying it: A freedom party should be a band of brothers, not a band of backstabbers. In carrying the torch of freedom we must be: all for one and one for all.

So, in sum:

The Internet, showing liberty at work … and that it works.

A Teach Tank, explaining why liberty is man's proper estate, and why, as such, it can't help but work.

A rebranded, rejuvenated, reinforced Libertarianz with a new name and new friends: spiritual soulmates advocating for freedom in palatable political chunks, with clarity, courage and conviction — inspiring support from a significant minority of voters … and even from ex-libertarian Deborah Coddington, who asked me to pass on her regards and best wishes.

Remember the words of Sam Adams: “It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

Don't be silent about things that matter. Be irate. Be tireless. Set those brushfires.

Now get the hell on with it!


I would say!

Jules Troy's picture

I would have loved to see Freddy Kempf shaking your hand after you watched him play Tchaikovsky! I very much agree with your assessment on the abominations passing for art these days, forced upon us and adding insult to injury forcing us to PAY for it with our own stolen money!!!

If there is to be any bright side, when one comes across a piece of music or art that is absolutely inspiring, for me those diamonds shine all the more brightly.  In this way one can some how crawl out of the soul killing filth that assaults us from day to day and do what one can to reward excellence and condemn trash!

Yes by all means a sequel would be great!!

Jules

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Sounds as though you're ploughing through it. Do I need to ready a sequel already? Eye

linz

Jules Troy's picture

2227-2229 of your book really hits home when Mr Brown who wrote " How I found freedom in an Unfree World" also gets "worked up" over the horrible state of government's encroachment on everyone's freedoms.  It is strangling people to the point where they can hardly stand on thier own two feet.

People DO need to get worked up! Apathy only allows this encroachment to flourish!

Gregster

Rosie's picture

That's a very nice new photo, Greg; closely listening in to outer space travel news, are you?!

And it would be a resort only for those at the end of their tether.

Club Med, Mars - a place to relax when you are at the end of your tether - wasn't exactly what I had in mind or for whom. Eye

I was thinking more of a Castaway Island for militant Muslims who are driving others to the end of their tethers!

Ms Purchas

gregster's picture

"How long until humans will be able to inhabit Mars?!"

Some already inhabit another planet. But seriously, with humanity so close still to the stone-age - it's some way off. And it would be a resort only for those at the end of their tether.

Jules

Rosie's picture

So as an alternative instead of dropping bombs send them laptops with wireless and a 6 month subscription to World of Warcraft?

Very droll but not the solution.

The intermediate solution is as Razi Kahlili says: to dismantle these tryannical regimes in the Middle East and get the people who do not want that religion out and let all those who do want it live together either there or somewhere else. (How long until humans will be able to inhabit Mars?!)

The problem with that, of course, is that part of their ideology is to have the entire world Islam so they wont be satisfied with being geographically isolated.

The idea of the melting pot is well and good but for those Muslims who are staunch and dedicated to transforming the world to Islam, usually by bloodshed, it ceases to be a melting pot. These Muslims are the acid that destroys, rather than melts, the pot.

Jules

Rosie's picture

A dubious thank you for posting that terrifying article from the Inquisitr. Sad

It makes me feel that terrible weight of responsibility knowing now that those Christians are suffering like that while I am doing nothing but idly turning my mind over with ideas that are incoherent to all but myself. Sad

Now that you mention it..

Jules Troy's picture

I think alll polititians that dont advance individual rights, and work towards shrinking government should be shipped off. ((smirks))

http://www.nationalpost.com/m/...

Seeing as you mentioned Canada, now if you see what is happening in Nigeria were the muslim population is roughly 50% and the current political power is christian, if you look at any place on earth were the muslim population is high something sets them off and it always ends in a bloodbath.

So as an alternative instead of dropping bombs send them laptops with wireless and a 6 month subscription to World of Warcraft?

We are not stopping them from having internet, thier own government is.

 

 

Linz - I think I have it!

Rosie's picture

It might help if you explained why looking to the Internet to see the principles of freedom working magnificently is incompatible with proposing a ban on Muslim immigration while Jihad is in effect.

What I am trying to do is use your analogy to the Internet (showing the principles of freedom working magnificently) to include the ban on Muslim immigration (while Jihad is in effect) within the analogy .

Adding those latter words about Jihad gave me an idea and possibly the solution (so that the analogy can continue to develop in my mind).

Here it is:

While Jihad is in effect, Muslims could be considered a very dangerous virus that threatens to destroy certain ports, cables and servers. The immigration ban is therefore a piece of software that seeks to prevent the virus from entering the networks using those ports, cables and servers.

How is that?

I knew I could depend upon the Great Mind to give me my solution!

The problem now is to refine it if it is agreed that not all Muslims are dangerous viruses. Hmmmmm.
Do you agree that not all Muslims are dangerous viruses? These would be the ones claiming refugee status as discussed earlier.
If so, and I think that is the truth, my problem in continuing the analogy would be how the software would distinguish a dangerous virus from a non-dangerous virus .

(My hope is that in working with this analogy, and if I can get it right, it might be possible to come up with appropriate legislation that does not impinge upon principles of freedom.)

Incoherent now?!

Rosie's picture

"An idea must not be condemned for being a little shy and incoherent; all new ideas are shy when introduced first among our old ones. We should have patience and see whether the incoherency is likely to wear off or to wear on, in which latter case the sooner we get rid of them the better."

-Samuel Butler

"I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying. " (Oscar Wilde)
When another can not understand me it means I must be doubly so! (me)

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I can't tell if it's facile because you've now made it incoherent. Equally unworthy of the attention of Great Minds.

It might help if you explained why looking to the Internet to see the principles of freedom working magnificently is incompatible with proposing a ban on Muslim immigration while Jihad is in effect.

No, no, no, no!

Rosie's picture

The Great Mind said look to the Internet to see the principles of freedom working magnificently.
The Great Mind also said there should be a ban on all Muslim immigration to NZ.

The Not So Great Mind is looking to the Great Mind to reconcile these two statements using his analogy to the Internet but bearing in mind the principle of freedoms working magnificently on the Internet.

Do you think that is facile? Sad

Rosie

Lindsay Perigo's picture

And I am eagerly awaiting the response of the Great Mind behind the analogy to provide his input, and possible solution, to my problem.....

I'm reluctant to believe that your "problem" is reconciling the fact that some governments clamp down on the Internet, which I lamented in my speech, with my exhortation to freedom-lovers to point to the Internet as a decisive example of libertarian principles working spectacularly well in practice, contrary to the claims of our opponents that libertarian principles are pie-in-the-sky stuff that could never work in the real world. If that really is your problem, I'm sure your own "Great Mind" can work out the solution for itself. I'm sure you'd agree that it's important that as few "Great Minds" as possible waste their time on facile things.

it is only going to get worse...

Jules Troy's picture

Jules

Rosie's picture

OK

So! You have now already qualified your very strong original position on both immigration and deportment (but not grooming!) by allowing the ones who claim to hate Islam , love freedom and desire "refugee" status to (a) enter and (b) stay.

But what about that little passage in the Koran that talks about the legitimacy of lying in order to fool the enemy in order to gain his trust then later strike him dead?!

How are you going to determine the true, formerly Muslim, refugees who were all the time secret freedom lovers from the dastardly lying pretenders with the SAW videos (only the Muslim version you mentioned!) to keep the fires in their hearts burning as they settle in to their quarter acre pavlova paradise of New Zealand (or Canada)?!

I think I read the other day that a town or city in Canada actually has a legitimate practising Muslim for its Mayor. Would you have him thrown out of the country for his menacing and threatening religious practice? Or is he, too, like Cat Stevens, just a useful idiot?!

As for your friend, Mo, when you asked him what he would do if you drew a cartoon of Mohamed, I think he muttered under his breath after the words, "please don't do that"........ "(or I'm afraid I'll have to kill you!)"

Ahh haaa!

Jules Troy's picture

You see Rosie that is were you misunderstood my intentions, my own fault for not elaborating.

The west is not at war with refugees fleeing totalitarian islamofascist regimes. For those that are in fear of thier lives and would renounce Islam but have no choice but to endure it just to avoid being slaughtered like sheep by all means give them refugee status!

 

The dangerous ones are those that express outrage at a cartoonist depicting the prophet in a bad light, as are those that screamed bloody murder when Salman Rushdie was knighted.

Let us not forget the outrage expressed by those that want to build a mosque on ground zero and people had a problem with that.

Let us also not forget the videos they proudly took of thier "freedom fighters" sawing away at the necks of infidels for over a minute, slowly decapitating them and then proudly placing the head on the corpse.

I am not a racist I judge a person by what is inside thier heads, not by thier color.

Islam is a warrior religion and as such should be treated differently than sayyyy.. buddists, of course there are exceptions to the rule, Cat Stevens was not brought up as a child, waking up hungry and having his cleric tell him " it is america's fault you are hungry", he is a hippie at heart and nothing more than what is termed "a useful idiot".

 In todays world not all muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are muslims. (well now that the IRA isnt doing much).

We screwed up in Libya too!  It was not enough to simply depose the dictator, sooo they elected a government democratically..oops they forgot about the whole "install a constitution that guarantees the rights of the individual, we see how well that went over when they stormed the US embassy.  Nice of hillary and Obama to remove the marine's guns too..

As to the problem of what to do with Islamists already among us? Who knows if they will remain peaceful if tensions in the middle east escalate even more. Sleep with one eye open?

I have a good friend that I work with that is muslim, I asked him "Mo? what would you do if I hypothetically speaking of course..were to draw a cartoon of the prophet?" His only answer to me was " please dont ever ever do that".  Not a ringing endorsement that my rights wouldnt be violated..

Marcus

Rosie's picture

Well, that is the point I am exploring. I.e., the Internet may NOT be the epitome of freedom working and may well be just as restricted as the real world.

My next quest, in fact, is to look at the legislation governing the Internet.....

.....then, of course, there is the problem where the Internet meets the real world in terms of any apparently "free" international business transaction over the Internet...Customs!

And I am eagerly awaiting the response of the Great Mind behind the analogy to provide his input, and possible solution, to my problem..... Stare

Jules

Rosie's picture

What a very interesting article. Thank you very much for posting that. I will definitely read this book.

So those "shows" of protests by little children holding those terrible threatening placards are all organised and orchestrated by the ghastly regime and those citizens merely puppets of the regime whose payment for their act is to avoid death, most of the people loathe both the regime and the religion and would vote for the demise of both if it were a democracy but can not protest against the regime or risk execution - and yet you want to deport and send the ones who have been fortunate enough to escape this tyranny BACK THERE?! And possibly to their deaths?!

It strikes me as rather a ruthless and unscrupulous desire. Sad
Isn't it?

It reminds me of the boatloads of Jews coasting the shores of the USA during WW2 who were not given permission by the authorities to land and so returned to Mother Germany and were slaughtered. Sad

I definitely prefer your alternative option. Smiling

I met an Iranian doctor at a party who said pretty much the same things as Raza Kahlili says in that article about the people's fear of the regime. He did say some positive things as well though - about the hospitals and the high standard of education and how education is highly valued and that in this respect Iran remains a very civilised, sophisticated place in many ways despite the regime. He considered himself fortunate to have been able to leave it though - if only to live amongst the gung ho of NZ! (Actually he and his wife love it here!)

On another personal note, I bet you didn't know that the Shah of Iran spent some time in a private citizen's country house in Southland, NZ after his exile.....

I thought the article was great regarding his unabashed, pointed criticism of President Obama's apathy despite the ever-increasing urgency as Iran engages in a nuclear build up of weapons:
(for those with a short attention span to read the article, here are the two excerpts below regarding this sham)

CB: (Interviewer :)What do you think the American government can and should be doing today to help the Iranian people end this regime and establish a free republic?

RK: To be perfectly candid, it may be too late now. We lost the biggest opportunity in 2009, when, unfortunately, President Obama was wheeling and dealing behind the scenes, sending letters to Ayatollah Khamenei assuring him that America wouldn’t interfere with Iran’s internal matters, giving the regime the green light to suppress and kill—all with the hopes of negotiations at the October meeting in Geneva.

At this point what is needed is for America to have a serious discussion with our European allies and to let them know that they have to cut diplomatic ties with the Iranian government and expel all Iranian agents from their countries—we know who they are, as I worked for the agency for several years in Europe. We must tell our allies to ban Iran Air from their airspace and to close their ports to any ships going to or coming from Iran. We also need to tell the Iranian people that we support their aspirations for freedom, that we deny the legitimacy of the Iranian regime, and that we are willing to help them overthrow it. If we want them to overturn this regime, then we have to provide them with moral and material support.

Now, we are running out of time because the Iranians—with the help of North Korea and China—are developing nuclear warheads. They now have over a thousand ballistic missiles, including missiles that can hit every capital in Europe, and they’re working with North Korea to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Once they get the bomb, all bets are off. It’s checkmate. They will arm Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Venezuela, and others. Every U.S. ally in the region and throughout the world will be a possible target. Israel will be destroyed. America will either be hit or live in constant fear of it. And Iran will substantially control the world’s energy resources—40 percent of oil passes through the Persian Gulf.

The race is on, and our understanding should be that the Iranian regime must not obtain nuclear warheads. Whether we help the Iranian people end the regime or whether we take the regime out ourselves, the regime must go—now.

The question is: Do we want war before they have the bomb or after they have the bomb?

CB: Amen.

RK: But I’m sorry to say that the Obama administration is delusional, it’s weak, and it’s confused. Apparently nobody in the administration understands the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran. Their dual process of negotiation and sanction has not worked. It has failed—as I predicted in February 2009 in an open letter to President Obama. And now they have thrown in the towel, they have no clue how to deal with events in the Middle East, and the Chinese and the Russians are taking full advantage of this situation.

....

RK: Right. Our purpose is to stop them or delay them in the pursuit of a nuclear bomb. And even though Stuxnet has been very successful, they’re continuing to make progress.

What’s more, as I reported three months ago, Iranian scientists have been sent to North Korea—with financial aid from the Iranian government to the North Korean government—to do joint tests, which were delayed because of the earthquake in Japan. The South Korean intelligence agency revealed right before the earthquake that the North Koreans were getting ready for a third nuclear bomb test.

There was also a report last month of an Iranian-bound Chinese ship being confiscated in Malaysia; the ship was transporting two containers with materials used for nuclear weapons. The Chinese are collaborating with Iran just as they collaborated with Pakistan.

Here’s the thing: Once our enemies see a weakness in U.S. policy, they redouble their efforts and speed up their activities. At this rate, it’s quite possible that this year or next Iran will have the nuclear bomb. Actually, I reported a couple of months ago that a Revolutionary Guards commander said, “Our project is going to shock the world very soon.”

CB: Frightening times. And all the more so when America is appeasing and cowering and failing to do what we can and should do to end the nightmare.

To try ending this interview on a somewhat positive note, what message do you have—not for the American government this time, but for the American people—about what we can and should do to help the Iranian people put an end to this regime?

RK: Well, I would first point out to everybody here in America that the events in the Middle East and the policies of the Iranian regime affect our economy, our security, and every aspect of our life here in America. It should be our top priority to address this matter—and to address it immediately.

So people should call their representatives and demand that they support the Iranian people in their efforts to oust the regime and establish a proper, rights-respecting government. People should also support the Iranian-Americans who are working tirelessly to bring this to the attention of the Congress and the White House. And finally, Americans should help get the word across to the Iranians that we support their aspirations for freedom and that we encourage them to overthrow the regime.

So, it looks like President Bush went looking for nuclear weapons in the wrong country
(which wouldn't surprise me!) and President Obama missed an opportunity to stand against Iran in 2009 and is too weak, and/or possibly the USA is too impoverished by its enormous national debt, and/or too dependent on the Middle East for its oil supplies, to make the decision to overthrow the Iranian regime.

http://www.theobjectivestanda

Jules Troy's picture

http://www.theobjectivestandar...

 

Perhaps this is a better option Rosie, if such a thing were to ever happen and the Iranian people were liberated, with a government that not only was democratically elected, but also installed a constitution respecting the rights of the individual that would be a different story.   Imagine if you will the ensuing prosperity and freedom of an Iranian people.  Other nations would follow, and I believe for the first time, Iranian internet would be free and uncensored.

Rosie...

Marcus's picture

...you can apply that to any real world example.

You could say the publishing of books in the west is limited by the censorship in China.

Bit silly, don't you think?

Marcus

Rosie's picture

In some respects that is true but if there are "Enemies of the Internet" and "Countries Under Surveillance", NZ's Internet and freedom of communication is affected and limited by this.

For example, Marcus, if you were living in Bahrain or Syria instead of the UK, we may not be talking now and NZ's infamous blogging website, SOLO, may have been deprived of your valuable perceptions! Eye

Rosie, what matters the regulation of the Internet...

Marcus's picture

...in other countries?

The example need only apply to NZ.

Jules

Rosie's picture

I appreciate the pragmatic reasons for the wish for an immigration ban of all Muslims to N.Z. and which you extend to deportment (petalism) of the current NZ citizens who are Muslim - by the way, does this extension include native Nzers who are born and bred in this country and whose parents and family live here? - and your answer is very clear and succinct, thank you.

But that isn't really what I was asking.

The question I asked was how (and maybe 'how' should actually read 'can') any wish for a Muslim immigration ban to NZ be reconciled to the analogy of the freedom of the Internet?
The point being to examine whether it can be reconciled to the analogy at all and, further, if it can't be, to examine whether the analogy to the Internet is in fact so limited in scope that it is not, in fact, really such a good analogy after all. In which case, it can't really be used as a working example of freedom as claimed.

I am working through the idea myself - just because I have nothing better to do and this exercise in logic and reasoning interests me!

But at the same time I am trying to find a purely logical or a purely moral rationale (or a well thought through analogy if there is one - hence my examination of the Internet analogy) for the assertion for a ban on all Muslim immigration to NZ that is not based on mere pragmatism (a doctrine that evaluates any assertion solely by its practical consequences and its bearing on human interests) for its policy.

Already the analogy is limited to the abstract since there can be no physical violence or such like but, even in this limited sphere, it can still be a good analogy if it is pure and can incorporate something like a ban which is prima facie an infringement on freedom.

Even though you say all Muslims are at war with everyone else, and compulsorily so according to the Koran, I am not sure that this is sufficiently reliable evidence for the assertion of both compulsory deportation and immigration bans, for fighters for freedom. Fine enough evidence for any totalitarian state or a dictator, I am sure, but I am not convinced that it is or should be acceptable intellectually or righteously sufficient for advocates of freedom.

The Jews are bound by the Old Testament where stoning people is advocated. I am not sure that this goes on any more amongst the Jews. And if it did, amongst some extremists, would this induce an immigration ban on Jews to NZ?

To make my point, by specific example to a Muslim person, Cat Stevens (Yussef Islam) is a Muslim and a greater advocate for peace would be pretty hard to find - as are many others I have met in my life or read about - and it seems as worryingly intellectually lacking, potentially falsely accusatory, unrighteous and unjust to dictate such an outright ban and deportation without any form of real evidence or any distinctions outside of the ground of race or religion, whilst at the same time advocating freedom.

Hence my desire to find something a little more resilient on which to base this desire to curtail a freedom than mere pragmatism.

My starting point for Linz's analogy has to be the internet itself.

How "free" is it, in fact?

The Internet

The Internet is already quite considerably censored in certain countries:

This is the list of countries exercising censorship of news and information and includes the repression of users of the Internet.

In 2006, Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières, RSF), a Paris-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press, started publishing a list of "Enemies of the Internet".
The organization classifies a country as an enemy of the internet because "all of these countries mark themselves out not just for their capacity to censor news and information online but also for their almost systematic repression of Internet users." In 2007 a second list of countries "Under Surveillance" (originally "Under Watch") was added. Both lists are updated annually.

2012 Enemies of the Internet:

Armenia
Bahrain
Burma
China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau)
Cuba
Iran
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Syria
Vietnam

2012 Countries Under Surveillance:

Australia
Belarus
Egypt
Eritrea
India
Malaysia
South Korea
Sri Lanka
Thailand
Tunisia
United Arab Emirates

OK. A long enough post for today.
"I'll think about that tomorrow!" said Scarlett O'Hara!

Rosie

Jules Troy's picture

Rosie, the country and people of NZ and other free nations may not realize that they are at war with Islam, the same cannot be said that of them.  Islam is at war with everyone and every thing that ISN'T Islam.  It says so right in the Koran that it is every muslim's duty to root out and strike against the infidel.  That would be you..and me..and every ine else that holds western values and freedom.

It makes absolutely no sense to afford an enemy you are at war with the same freedoms we enjoy within our countries.  Not when they want to destroy every thing that these countries stand for.

Would you allow card carrying nazi's into the country during wwII and believe them when they promise to behave?

Not only should we not allow access, but we should deport the ones we have back to the shit holes they came from.

Linz

Rosie's picture

How do you reconcile your analogy for freedom to the freedom of the Internet and your wish for a Muslim immigration ban in NZ?

Wouldn't this make your analogy to the Internet, an analogy to the Chinese Internet?! Eye

Ross

Richard Goode's picture

And I particularly endorse the summation:

You particularly omitted the summation:

Remember the words of Sam Adams: “It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

Don't be silent about things that matter. Be irate. Be tireless. Set those brushfires.

Now get the hell on with it!

You tell us that freedom fighters have to put aside their internal conflicts and move the ball forward.

Linz tells us that freedom fighters have be tireless and set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

Last time I met Linz was at a freedom fighters conference and he was (metaphorically speaking) exhausted, covered in soot and suffering from smoke inhalation.

Last time I met you was never and I've been to a few freedom fighters conferences in my time. So which ball are you going to move forward? The left one or the right one?

Richard...

Ross Elliot's picture

...why do speak in riddles?

Is it congenital, or acquired?

Ross

Richard Goode's picture

The Left has always been good at putting aside its internal conflicts and moving the ball forward. Freedom fighters have to do the same.

Which ball are you going to move forward?

(Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.)

Yes, it was brilliant

gregster's picture

And even better live. Lindsay spoke it as if it was his last.

An excellent speech

Ross Elliot's picture

And I particularly endorse the summation:

"The Internet, showing liberty at work … and that it works.

A Teach Tank, explaining why liberty is man's proper and estate, and why, as such, it can't help but work.

A rebranded, rejuvenated, reinforced Libertarianz with a new name and new friends: spiritual soulmates advocating for freedom in palatable political chunks, with clarity, courage and conviction — inspiring support from a significant minority of voters … and even from ex-libertarian Deborah Coddington, who asked me to pass on her regards and best wishes."

The Left has always been good at putting aside its internal conflicts and moving the ball forward. Freedom fighters have to do the same.

The price of freedom ...

Richard Goode's picture

Someone right here even has a blog site devoted to a goblin.

... is Eternal Vigilance.

The take-home message

Richard Goode's picture

Remember the words of Sam Adams: “It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

Don't be silent about things that matter. Be irate. Be tireless. Set those brushfires.

Now get the hell on with it!

Linz received a standing ovation after this.

Good speech spot on...

Marcus's picture

...you could have mentioned the environment too. I think a policy of removing environmental regulation as a barrier to progress must be popular with the public. Surely there is no other party in NZ taking that line. Especially if you constantly remind the public what these regulations have stopped happening. (Act took that line once to good poll numbers, but sold themselves down the river as soon as they got into government.)

Party structures must obviously be critical too. One that can handle message, communication and strategy etc, one that is flexible and able to change too.

That's hard. Not even large established partys can always get that right. Especially the flexibility.

A brilliant speech

Rosie's picture

Free trade, free association, free expression, non-coercion, government that steps in only to protect life and property: this is not a virtual libertarian society, it is a libertarian society. To those who say what we promote is a utopian, pie-in-the-sky pipe-dream, incapable of implementation: point them to the Internet and ask them if that doesn't work!

What an excellent and very persuasive analogy.

It also highlights what a government is left to deal with which the freedom of the Internet can not: for example, protection of the citizen's physical safety and environment.

Thank you for publishing that speech, Linz.

(Perhaps it could be the first article of Volume 2 of your kindle book?!)

60

Stephen Berry's picture

60

How many are attending the

Mark Hubbard's picture

How many are attending the conference? (Roughly)

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