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Monday, October 23, 2006

The Future Belongs to the Liberals

ACT and the Greens strongly oppose any move to raise the liquor puchasing age from 18 back to 20.

Other parties are mainly for the move or are divided on the issue.

Why are pro free market ACT and the socialist Greens united on this issue?

Former ACT on Campus president, David Seymour has posted an excellent piece on the AOC website that explains much.

Entitled "Left, Right, or Liberal", the article's central thesis is that the two main parties, National and Labour and their appendages are essentially conservative (ie wedded to the status quo, whatever that may be) while ACT and the Greens are both liberal parties with a strong desire to improve the existing social order.

I don't think anybody will be surprised to hear that the National party are a conservative party. With the exceptions of Ruth Richardson (who openly supports another party now, ACT) and possibly Don Brash, it is difficult to think of a Nat who has had any appetite for changing the status quo. There are two possible conclusions to this: Either National have each term governed a perfect country left behind by their Labour predecessors; or they use their political power to protect those with vested interests in the status quo. Aside from their history- voting against the civil union bill and therefore other people's right to choose- is a classic example of conserving vested interests, in this case of the church and its followers, at the expense of others' freedom.

It might come as a bigger surprise to learn that the Labour party is a conservative party, but I think it's fair to say that the Labour party have sold out. They have sold out to the unions and state employees who support them in return for favourable policies. When it comes to being re-elected the Labour party would be lost without the armies of union volunteers, the Brethren-style campaigns against opposition education policy by the PPTA, and the massive funding coming indirectly through union dues. A quick glance of where Labour's new MPs came from after the last election shows just how important union representatives are to the party. With the party proper preoccupied by serving supporters' vested interests, I feel sorry for Labour's young, idealistic supporters.

ACT wants major societal change and so do the Greens. On many social issues our ideas coincide. Unfortunately the Greens lose the plot bigtime on economic issues, but libertarians/liberals should support good ideas where they find them, even from Green socialists.

Social progress comes from good ideas. The best new ideas come from society's liberal fringe.

Conservative ideas have their place, but they'll never set the world on fire.

The future belongs to the liberals.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is actually a load of bollocks to conclude that conservatives are opposed to change. What they are in fact opposed to is CHANGE FOR CHANGE'S SAKE.

Conservatives believe that social, political and economic institutions have evolved in the manner they have, in most cases, for good reasons. Therefore, before a conservative will endorse change, it must be demonstrated conclusively that the change will produce better outcomes than the status quo (whatever it is).

In my experience, socialists (if you go back far enough into their backgrounds) are society's losers and rejects (e.g. fat ugly women who don't meet society's standards of pulchritude or little bespectacled punes who can't play rugby).

Accordingly they have a pathological and malicious compulsions to tear down and eradicate all the institutions of the society responsible for marginalising them. Their diffuse personal dissatisfaction makes them ready recruits to any movement promising to do this. In a nutshell, they are not well-adjusted individuals.

Act people need to watch the fact that in their drive to appear "liberal" they don't inadvertently collude with leftists in the eradication of social institutions like heterosexual marriage that underpin the civil society on which the classical liberal vision rests.

The left is about ever-increasing licence in the social and personal sphere and ever-increasing regimentation in the political and economic sphere. Nero had it down: "Bread and circuses." In other words keep the people diverted with self-gratification and facile amusements in order to eradicate their freedom while they're not watching out for it.

5:02 PM  
Blogger Trevor Loudon said...

There is very little you say anon that I would disagree with.

For example while I supported the legalisation of homosexuality and civil unions, I was not blind to the abuses that certain radicals might commit as a result.

While I share most conservative values, I believe those values are best preserved or enhanced in a free society.

For example I hate drugs, yet believe in drug legalisation. I have no illusions about the damage drus cause. I simply believe that legalising drugs, while at the same time freeing up health , education and the economy, will, through market forces, actually reduce drug usage.

I believe I have reasonably good understanding of leftist subversive goals and strategies.

However, if a leftist supports liberalisation of some area, even if his intent is subversive, I will likely support it.

I certainly do not think all conservatives are anti change.

I know many what I call "enlightened conservatives" and find them very open minded. In fact ACT has many its ranks.

I just think conservatives should have more faith in their ideas and values and be prepared to test them in a totally open market.

I think many might be surprised at how well they prosper.

8:32 PM  

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