Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 11/09/2000

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, KAYA ORAAAA & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Monday September 11, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.

[Music up, music down]

Full of good intentions on Saturday to hit the gym & then have a good tying-up of the loose ends from the week, I was instead struck down by a pain in the neck - not Clark or Neanderton or any of the usual ones, but what I assume was a muscle-tear from previous gym-work - which made all movement excruciating. So I spent the entire day in bed with David Boaz, who required minimal movement of me. David Boaz is the Executive Vice President of an American, libertarian-inclined think tank, the Cato Institute, & author of Libertarianism: A Primer, a thumbnail sketch of the history of libertarian thought & the libertarian approach to various contentious issues of the moment. It was this that I romped through on Saturday. Though it was familiar territory to me, & though he says things I would take issue with, I found it an invigorating refresher course, & would recommend it warmly, AS a refresher course ... or as a beginner's guide for those unfamiliar with the tenets & applications of libertarianism.

Here he is, for instance, laying out the starting point from which the rest of libertarianism proceeds:

"Freedom, in the libertarian view, is a condition in which the individual's self-ownership right & property right are not invaded or aggressed against. Philosophers sometimes call the libertarian concept of rights 'negative liberty,' in the sense that it imposes only negative obligations on others - the duty NOT to aggress against anyone else. But for each individual, as Ayn Rand puts it, a right is a moral claim to a positive - 'his freedom to act on his own judgment, for his own goals, by his own voluntary, uncoerced choice.'

"Communitarians sometimes say that the language of rights is incomplete. That's true; rights pertain only to a certain domain of morality - a narrow domain in fact - not to all of morality. Rights establish certain minimal standards for how we must treat each other: we must not kill, rape, rob or otherwise initiate force against each other. In Ayn Rand's words, 'The precondition of a civilised society is the barring of physical force from social relationships - thus establishing the principle that if men wish to deal with one another, they may do so only by means of reason: by discussion, persuasion & voluntary, uncoerced agreement.'"

It strikes me often & struck me again on Saturday that, since this is precisely the way we behave towards each other much of the time anyway, why is libertarianism so controversial - why is it deemed to be "radical," "extreme," "utopian" etc.? Most of us wouldn't dream, for instance, of allowing the government to dictate our choice of romantic partner or force someone into a relationship with us against his will; we accept that this area of our lives is, properly, a free & open marketplace where all interaction is voluntary - why then is it so difficult to persuade so many that this is the way it should be across the board? The logical extension of the liberty violations by government that we currently tolerate IS government regulation of romance - Hitler, for one, didn't find that idea far-fetched, & promised husbands for all spinsters in the Third Reich.

Well, that IS far-fetched ... & so, for the same reasons, is most of what government does now.

I urge you to get yourselves a copy of Libertarianism: A Primer - may it galvanise you all into reclaiming your freedom & beating the bastards back.

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