Blog description.

Accentuating the Liberal in Classical Liberal: Advocating Ascendency of the Individual & a Politick & Literature to Fight the Rise & Rise of the Tax Surveillance State. 'Illigitum non carborundum'.

Liberty and freedom are two proud words that have been executed from the political lexicon: they were frog marched and stood before a wall of blank minds, then forcibly blindfolded, and shot, with the whimpering staccato of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’ resounding over and over. And not only did this atrocity go unreported by journalists in the mainstream media, they were in the firing squad.

The premise of this blog is simple: the Soviets thought they had equality, and welfare from cradle to grave, until the illusory free lunch of redistribution took its inevitable course, and cost them everything they had. First to go was their privacy, after that their freedom, then on being ground down to an equality of poverty only, for many of them their lives as they tried to escape a life behind the Iron Curtain. In the state-enforced common good, was found only slavery to the prison of each other's mind; instead of the caring state, they had imposed the surveillance state to keep them in line. So why are we accumulating a national debt to build the slave state again in the West? Where is the contrarian, uncomfortable literature to put the state experiment finally to rest?

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Euthanasia and the Thought Police at our Border

I need say very little, other than point out the connection from this article, to Orwell’s nightmare Thought Police in his novel 1984.

A high-profile euthanasia activist was detained for more than an hour when he arrived in New Zealand yesterday as Customs staff searched his belongings for "objectionable material".
 Dr Philip Nitschke, the founder of voluntary euthanasia group Exit International, and his wife, Dr Fiona Stewart, were stopped by Customs officers after they landed in Wellington.

Officers then spent more than an hour carrying out a forensic examination of Dr Nitschke's laptop, iPad and Kindle e-reader, reportedly looking for material banned in New Zealand.

Dr Nitschke said the search would have been "comical had it not been so serious".

"To see New Zealand Customs officers searching through my Kindle library, amid my newspaper subscriptions and travel guidebooks, frantically trying to identify if my own 'objectionable' and banned book was there.

"What was so disturbing was the ruthlessness shown in the search for ideas that this country has decided are unpalatable and from which the community apparently needs protection."

Two 1984 quotations from the Thought Police seem apt:

It is intolerable to us that an erroneous thought should exist anywhere in the world, however secret and powerless it may be. Even in the instance of death we cannot permit any deviation . . . "

In that quotation, Orwell could have been writing with this exact story in mind. And:

"The ideal set up by the Party was something huge, terrible, and glittering—a world of steel and concrete, of monstrous machines and terrifying weapons—a nation of warriors and fanatics, marching forward in perfect unity, all thinking the same thoughts and shouting the same slogans, perpetually working, fighting, triumphing, persecuting—three hundred million people all with the same face."

 For the record, I obviously believe in legalised euthanasia. In a civilised and free society, all individuals have rights and responsibilities: the role of government is to protect those rights, not assume those responsibilities. If I choose, when my time comes, that I want to die with dignity, then that is my right, and one that should be protected by law. The state is not 'presiding over my destruction', it is protecting the wishes of a free man who rightly owns his life, and death. A reasoned morality of man qua man is where true human compassion is found, not the cold mysticism of those who would immorally deny me that choice.

Although this issue isn’t even about euthanasia. It’s about whether we want government officials searching our thoughts when we are at the border, to see if they agree with the contents of our minds or not. And the officers involved in this case were very obviously under orders to be able to single out Dr Nitschke like this - who gave those orders? I want to know the fascist involved who must be personally policing this issue from within the legislative fortress of one of our bureaucracies. 

We have been voted such a long way from the civil society, toward a form of society that is frightening.


For the record, there's a great post by Eric Crampton in comments ... :) 


I’ve been thinking about this issue, or more to the point, Dr Nitschke being so obviously singled out here by customs, looking for his ‘banned’ book. Those of us who deal daily with bureaucracy know full well the bureaucrats can, indeed, must, choose what to actively police, and what to turn a blind eye to – given they can’t be everywhere, thankfully. So on this moral issue, euthanasia, there is definitely a group of bureaucrats who wield not a small amount of power that drove this action. And I don’t think from that it’s hard to draw the inference there is some sort of conservative Christian (most likely) agenda being implemented through the state, in this case, not just on Dr Nitschke, but on all of us. Well those of us who don’t share this belief need to be rightfully enraged, and demand change: not only for legalised euthanasia, but also the curtailing of the power of bureaucrats  to act as moral arbiters, when their very position is one of immorality. Dr Nitschke’s treatment becomes yet another example of how the state in New Zealand has become the biggest abuser of my liberty, including my freedom of thought, and freedom of speech. The only fix is to move to a constitutional minarchy, under which so long as you initiate force or fraud on no one, the state has no sanction to interfere in your life, or death, on any grounds.


  1. Bizarre. Surely Customs would have to know that anybody expecting this would just throw stuff onto DropBox before flying over, then grab it back from any internet cafe.

  2. Perhaps fortunately our bureaucracies don't tend to be brainiacs: if they were, we really would be in trouble :)

    As Harry Truman said, "When you have an efficient government, you have a dictatorship.'