Lindsay Perigo
Lindsay Perigo

The Politically Incorrect Show - 12/10/1999

Music - Die Fledermaus

Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show on the free speech network, Radio Pacific, for Tuesday October 12, proudly sponsored by Tuariki Tobacco 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!

A few days back, caller "Nathan" rang & asked how a society based on individual liberty would handle what is known as "biosecurity." Nathan then e-mailed me as follows:

"Hi there Lindsay,
I rang you on Tuesday about the problems of keeping out unwanted nasties from this country, but unfortunately there wasn't time to discuss this properly. I can't see how a totally free-trading system can reliably protect NZ's native, productive agricultural and horticultural ecosystems from the potential influx of dangerous weeds, invertebrates and larger pests. We already have idiots who think that they know better than the law and release species like parakeets in Auckland, without stopping to think that important native species could be facing further competition for resources. Doesn't retaining the present biosecurity arrangements conflict with the long-term goals of the libertarian movement? I guess some form of funding will be required to keep it (biosecurity) going.... shock, horror, not a tax from the Libertarian Govt?? I think from what you said on air that there were some changes you had in mind to this arrangement, but didn't have time to elucidate.... your programme is too popular. Fragment the biosecurity system and it won't work properly, yet it would seem to impinge on individual rights. Surely there isn't such a thing as the common good.... is there?"

No! There are individual rights (to life, liberty, & the pursuit of private property & happiness), which anyone who talks about the "common good" is usually itching to trample on. For examples I refer you to the Nazi quotes in my editorial of October 6. The fact that individual rights can be threatened en masse does not bring this "common good" into being. It just means that the rights of a lot of individuals are being threatened or breached simultaneously. The number of individuals is irrelevant. If rights are being threatened or breached, the government must act. In the case of biosecurity, the government is seeking to prevent the importation of organisms that would devastate the properties of large numbers of New Zealanders, & possibly threaten their lives as well. In principle there is nothing unlibertarian about that, though one can & should argue on a case-by-case basis whether the mere possession of such an organism necessarily constitutes such a threat. If it doesn't, then government should do nothing.

What disturbs me about Nathan's e-mail is his reference to "idiots" who "think they know better than the law" who have "released parakeets in Auckland." For one thing, mankind's moral progress in the direction of individual rights has been largely due to "idiots who thought they knew better than the law." For another, I am unclear as to how parakeets, assuming they're undiseased, threaten the lives, limbs or properties of New Zealanders. For yet another, what on earth is sacrosanct about the utterly boring, colourless sparrows - the Alliance Retards of the bird world - that dominate our bird life right now? My only regret about these parakeets that Nathan claims have been let loose here is that I haven't seen any of them. In Australia one sees these gorgeous creatures all the time. To the best of my knowledge no one has died as a result, & whatever may be threatening the Australian economy, parakeets are not part of it.

Nathan, I suspect, is really looking for an Achilles' Heel in the philosophy of individual freedom just so he can reject the whole body of it. Hosting this programme has certainly made me aware of how much hostility there is to the idea that people should be free to do what they like as long as they don't threaten other people. Control freaks are everywhere. For the most part they have it all their own way. Give me a dangerous imported organism any day!

Politically Incorrect Show, beating the bastards back. 309 3099.

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