Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 08/03/2001

[Music - Die Fledermaus]

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Thursday March 8, 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!]

This week's debate about the census has highlighted again how difficult it is to get people to think in principles. Philosopher Leonard Peikoff posits a scenario where a group of people are sitting around chatting, & one asks, "Should we rob a bank?" The first response from one of the others is, "Which bank?" Then you can imagine the discussion getting bogged down in practicalities such as which bank's vaults store the most money, which bank's location affords the easiest getaway, whether one should wear a disguise, etc., without anyone ever chiming in to ask, "Hey, wait a minute - isn't bank robbery wrong?"

Much of the census discussion has been like that. Try though I might to keep it focussed on the question of whether the government has the right to demand information at gunpoint in the first place, listeners have veered off to worry about whether that information will be kept confidential, whether one is obliged to put one's signature on the document, whether the enumerators can be trusted not to read the forms as they collect them, etc., with very few people grasping the point that the government should not be engaging in this exercise in the first place.

It was like that during the anti-NaZis On Air campaign. The sole potential value of that for me was to get people to realise that the government should not be involved in broadcasting at all & it should not be funding that involvement with compulsorily extracted money. Many of the campaigners never came to that realisation. They objected to the NaZis On Air tax because government television ran too many ads, or government television didn't broadcast the rugby, or government television screened too many repeats. Government robbed the bank, in other words, but then did the wrong things with the loot.

Now of course it's true that the government routinely demands money or information from us at gunpoint, & that the census & the NaZis tax are just two rather insignificant examples in the scheme of things. It's also true, however, that people more readily grasp a small example than they do the big picture ... & that by grasping the small example they might then PROCEED to the big picture. "If it's wrong in instance A," they might ask, "is it not also wrong in instances B to Z?"

I suspect that this is partly WHY many people veer off on tangents when confronting issues like the census. They dimly intuit that if they were to address the FUNDAMENTAL wrong that the census entails, including the question of WHY that wrong IS a wrong, then they would be obliged to address that same wrong in all other instances of it. THAT would turn their lives upside down. It would turn the country upside down. And they're not quite ready for that! Better to throw up all sorts of red herrings about confidentiality, the enumerators, the number of ads on telly, etc..

It's so frustrating it makes me want to murder someone. But who?

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