Neo-liberal Libertarian holds up Victorian England as “model for success”
As the sun slowly sets on the political tragi-farce that was the rich man’s parliamentary vehicle – the ACT Party – it’s core supporters are desperate to find a new Party to call home.
Colin Craig’s Party is most likely anathema to socially-liberal and fiscally neo-liberal ACT-types and Libertarians – they would view the Conservatives as another ‘false god‘, to be studiously avoided.
Libertarians are of a strange species who hold ideological views diametrically opposed to socialists/marxists/social democrats – and even National Party policies.
For Libertrarians, the State is something to be cut back and allowed to wither away.
Which, strangely enough, is what Marxist/Leninists also propose in their vision of a communistic society, where the State “withers away”.
The difference, of course, is that in a Libertarian world (which I shan’t call a “society” as societies do not exist in an individualistic, Libertarian model) property is individually owned and protected by all means, including use of deadly force.
In a communistic society, the same property is collectively managed, though again deadly force is used to prevent counter-revolution taking place…
It’s interesting to note that whilst marxist/socialist/communist regimes have existed in various forms, throughout the world – not one single modern nation has ever existed using a Libertarian model.
In some ways, Somalia came close, with two out of three Libertarian tenets in play; minimal government and no taxation. The third tenet, a strict rule of law to protect private property rarely exist – though property rights were often enforced by force of private militias.
Indeed, the use of private militias to protect one’s own property is naked libertarianism at it’s truest form. After all, if Libertarians argue that taxation is theft; that individuals should not contribute to the education of everyone’s children – then it stands to reason that one should not have to pay for a Police Force to protect someone elses’ property.
When Richard McGrath was asked on TV3’s “The Nation” about the implementation of libertarianism in any country, his response was eye-opening,
THE NATION: ‘Is there anywhere in the world that’s a model for how you think?”
RICHARD McGRATH: “Well though it sounds strange, Victorian England actually had a lot of institutions that really looked after people in need, the friendly societies, and those sorts of voluntary organisations. And a lot of that’s gone now because the government’s moved in, muscled in, and taken it over.”
Is that the model of a Libertarian nation? A society that was class-ridden; poverty-stricken; poorly-educated; rampant with disease and crime; and where factories were free to dispense massive pollution into the air (causing the infamous London “fog”) and Thames River, turning it into an open-air sewarage channel?
Is McGrath holding up, as the ideal Libertarian model, a society where mentally ill were incarcerated as criminals; ill treated; and poorly fed? Where children worked as slaves in vast factories? Where, if a husband deserted his wife and children, she’d be forced into prostitution to survive?
McGrath refers to the charity work of “ friendly societies, and those sorts of voluntary organisations ” – which was indeed the case. There was no organised State social welfare, healthcare, or superannuation for pensioners.
Whilst factory owners made vast sums of profits on the backs of lowly-paid, over-worked, and mis-treated workers – those without work; the sick; the infirm; and other unfortunates survived on the meager handouts from charities that relied solely on the generosity of some benefactors.
‘Oliver Twist‘ was not some fanciful tale of a dark Fantasy World. It was a slice of life from our nasty, brutish past.
A nasty, brutish past that Libertarians want to bring back?
To show how utterly mad these people are, and how disconnected they are from the real world, I refer the reader to another Libertarian, Peter Cresswell.
In the same programme, on Christchurch’s rebuild, Peter Cresswell suggested,
” You could say, no taxes; get rid of the RMA; so for 3 or 4 years or 5 years you’ve got complete freedom for people to do what they wish with what little they have left.”
“ Complete freedom for people to do what they wish“?!
What – like rebuild on the same fault-lines where previous buildings crashed into piles of rubble on 22 February, last year? Or re-build using techniques , designs, and material that would be wholly inappropriate and dangerous to occupants?
Perhaps build a fifty story high-rise in the same manner as the ill-fated CTV Building?!
It is little wonder that in last year’s general election, the Libertarianz Party won only 1,595 votes (See: 2011 general election official results).
Very few people would want to live in a Libertarian nirvana that replicated Victorian England. It might be a fine thing if you’re a rich Estate holder, Industrialist, or Merchant.
But it’d be Hell to be working in one of their factories.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
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~ A Living wage at $19.25/hr
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~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
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