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.