Trevor Loudon's New Zeal blog has moved to

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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

No Sects Please, We're Libertarians

A recent comment posted on David Farrar's Kiwiblog on "yours truly".

"Loudon is a rather strange character at times. Sometimes reasonable sometimes rabid. He says he'll work with anyone moving in a more liberal direction then links to the Locke (the three of us are a) Foundation which contradicts that.

He links selectively. Certainly on some issues the Greens are proliberty (and on many they are not) but he doesn't link to them. On a small number of issues the rabid religious right is proliberty but very few and very far between. Yet he links to them. He's not a Randroid, I assure you. No real Objectivist would have anything to do with the Religious Right but there are few real Objectivists in New Zealand just a few self proclaimed messiahs of liberty. Right!"

W.M. raises some interesting points here. Why would I, a self proclaimed libertarian, link to the Locke Foundation? For that matter, why would I quote Maxim Institute publications and in an earlier post praise Maxim "guru", Bruce Logan?

Both organisations are Christian based and both have at times proposed using the state to ban certain activities such as abortion or prostitution.

The answer is very simple. On the vast majority of issues (education liberalisation, private provision of welfare, reduced role of the state, better defence, more individual responsibility, lower taxes, freedom of religion and conscience, parental responsibility for children etc etc) I am in complete agreement with what I understand Locke and Maxim's positions to be.

I am also generally in agreement with their moral outlook; I believe in "family values" and am supportive of the Judeo-Christian ethic, that I believe has underpinned western civilisation.

Where we differ is that I do not believe that the state is needed to support any of the "goods" they strive for. I believe in a cultural, philosophical and religious free market. I think that freedom will deliver excellence and constant improvement in all those "moral" areas. I believe that state intervention (such as laws "protecting" families) are retrograde, just as laws "protecting" maori have been.

Being libertarian, does not mean you are a moral anarchist. It simply means that you believe the state has no role to play in those areas. You can despise abortion or homosexuality, or line dancing, or pornography. You have a right to be agin or afore anything. Being a libertarian means you let people run their own lives, make their own successes or failures and let the free market sort out who's right and who's wrong.

I believe in seeking agreement with who you can, whenever you can. I make it very clear to my friends at Locke and Maxim that I don't agree with everything they do, but that our areas of agreement are great.

I am a proud ACT Party member, because that is the best vehicle for me. ACT is libertarian enough to inspire me, but pragmatic enough to get things done.

That said, I have friends and colleagues in the Naional Party and the Libertarianz, as well as heaps of others with no party affiliation, but a commitment to more freedom. I believe I have the right and indeed a responsibility to work with all who desire a freer society.

Our movement is too small and we are far too far from our ideal society to be sectarian. Why scrap over dead issues, when we have huge battles on education, tax reform and justice reform, before us.

The great freedom movements of our civilisation, such as Magna Carta and the American Revolution were achieved by people with huge differences, who buried them long enough to achieve something great.

That is the attitude which inspires me.


Blogger SHELTONSFAMILY said...



11:29 AM  
Blogger Just my opinion said...

Hear Hear Trevor. That discussion on Kiwiblog was a true waste of space anyway.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

A few people have privately emailed me saying they can't post on this blog. I'll check it out. here's one from Andy davies I'd like to post.

"There is a virulent strain of religious bigotry around that opposes Christians, not because of their ideas and opinions (which vary hugely) but because they are Christians. Not only does this show a marked lack of maturity, it is also ironical in that it is usually held by those who demand we all be tolerant and celebrate diversity in others.

Furthermore when the welfare state was set up we were told it was Christianity in action by its architect, Michael Joseph Savage. I have yet to see any of these secular fundamentalists demand the end of welfare, in fact they tend to be lovers of big welfare. Nor do we see them opposing the invasion of maori and other spirituality into public life. I could go on but their hypocrisy exposes their bigotry.

I agree with you about the market place sorting out relationship matters. As soon as the state defined marriage, marriage was in danger as the definition could be changed at any stage. The role of the state is to uphold the arrangements individuals make with each other whatever those arrangements may be. It is certainly not government's role to assume those arrangements, nor should it impose the cost of lifestyle choices of some onto every body else. I particularly resent having to pay for the choices of others, especially when I would never make those choices myself. This is a state sanctioned imposition of the morality of others onto me and reduces my freedom to choose how I and my family live.

By the way, for the benefit of all those religious bigots out there, I happen to be a born again hard core God botherer. Now you know you can safely oppose everything I have said. It is because of my Christian world view that I tend towards the Libertarian end of the scale."

11:56 AM  
Blogger andrewfalloon said...

You may want to change your comment settings to allow anonymous comments. If you do this you may want to add word verification to stop spam comments.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

Thanks Andrew, have done so. I'll see how that goes. Nobody would spam a nice guy like me would they?

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for opening the comments section up :) Keep up the good work Trevor!

4:46 PM  

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