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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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Individualism, Euthanasia, Car Crashes & Purpose of Parliament | The Actual Social Contract

From the euthanasia debate that has been stirred by my last post, which, note, was an attack on every sitting MP in parliament and ACT’s David Seymour, and then from Peter Cresswell’s appreciated efforts here and here, a couple of important points I have made in comments that I would like to highlight here.

First, from my post:

… regarding the euthanasia debate, you [christian commenter] have no right to have your opinion heard because it is VOLUNTARY. That is, you, like my father presently, are free to live in your pain, [when your time comes], thinking it's going to buy you a place in heaven or some such rot. But you don't get to decide for those of us who want euthanasia, that we can't have it.

That point again, expanded, from the NotPC thread:

… all libertarians should accept that those [faux libertarians / Christians] who don't believe in euthanasia have no right to have their voices heard, because it's voluntary: no one is forcing you, and so no libertarian would seek to not allow such law for those who want it.

Again, the social contract is NOT the damned tax state based on the tax take forced on us by statists, Left and Right, it's that society where I accept religious freedom, et al, for people to believe in the big tree frog for all I care, and the religious accept policies anathema to them, such as euthanasia, abortion, drug legalisation, et al. The binding principle is non-initiation of force and do no harm.

Finally, also from a NotPC thread:

… And again *for me* forget all the politics. I don't see many issues more important than euthanasia. If you're dying in appalling circumstances, there is nothing more important, and you don't have time for political niceties. At any one time there will certainly be tens, if not hundreds, in such a position - including the feisty old lady, cancer sufferer, featured on Seven Sharp last night, who was indignant she not be able to end her life peacefully. (I recommend going to watch that piece on demand : TV 1, Seven Sharp, February 16).

Or as I was trying to explain to the Christian in comments of my original post, who was trying to argue euthanasia as being narcissistic (FFS), I view politicians who can read or view the plight of people in such a dire position - again Faye Clark in my original piece - then do nothing about it, akin to someone who doesn't stop when first on the scene of a car accident, to provide, if nothing else, comfort.

What the hell is parliament for if not the lot of individuals? I have no time for political game playing and this dreadful pragmatism all the partisans are advocating for ACT, in ACT or any party. Politics is shit, frankly. Especially partisan, party based politics. A pox on it.

Anyway, back to work for me. But nice if Seymour might actually state his personal beliefs without having to focus group them first  ...

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  1. I agree with your argument for euthanasia. I don't agree with your condemnation of those who disagree. When mother is beyond home help, logic might suggest that a painless death is better than the family fortune being wasted on a few years of rest home existence. I have seen the pressures that creates. I can understand why someone would be in fear of the outcomes were the law to be changed.

    1. David

      Firstly, I don't condemn those who don't agree, I'm simply saying they're not libertarians or classical liberals, and their disagreement doesn't count, because it's voluntary. In a free society they don't get to determine what I can do if I am not harming or coercing them.

      Regarding your red herring about old granny euthanised to avoid rest home expense, let me quote a previous post of mine:

      '... Such issues are manageable, proven by those jurisdictions where dying with dignity is legal, the populations of which are not inconsiderable: namely, euthanasia where it is legal in Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg, but also countries/counties where assisted suicide is legal: Switzerland, Germany, Colombia, Japan, plus the US states of Washington, Oregon, Vermont, New Mexico and Montana. Although even this remains wholly beside the point, which is that such issues are to be managed, yes, but just as road deaths do not justify banning driving cars, these points in no way change the important principle that it remains a basic individual right to die in a manner we desire, and it is the right of those doctors who mercifully agree with this, to provide such a service. '

      Further, the hospice association of Montana were against assisted dying when Montana brought it in, but after five years were so impressed with how the law was operating swung in behind it.

      Now, given euthanasia operates ethically in all those above jurisdictions to give many thousands a dignified death, as opposed to a horrendous one, state whether you are for an against. State whether part of your position is informed by religious conviction.

  2. David’s point while not a philosophical argument is based upon practical expediency.

    Libertarianism does not take into account the frailty of the human condition. If it is taken to its logical conclusion, every adult prostitute is ‘in the game’ because he or she has a passion for it, every heroin addict is simply expressing his or her individual right to choose as a consenting adult.

    Of course we all know that’s nonsense, but that is the shortcoming of every ideology. It is dependant upon the free will and consent of human beings absent human failure deceit and coercion.

    Such a world only exists in the libertarian’s imagination.

    1. Get this through your head, Brendan. Euthanasia is voluntary; if you want to live in pointless pain and indignity as mindless subservience to the fairy tale you believe in, bully for you, but just as I would never force you into anything against your will, please get your medieval superstitution away from my volition :) It's not too much to ask, surely.

  3. Mark, 'voluntary' or not you cannot escape the reality of David's scenario. You cannot escape the pressure that is placed upon a loved one to end their own life in order to serve the 'common good' of the family.

    You live in a world of iconic individualism, where everyone supposedly makes choices in their own self-interest. Such a world does not exist except in the mind of the ideological libertarian.

    Like all ideologies it fails to take into account the human condition. We are not shaped by self -interest alone, we are not immune to the influence of family and 'friends' we are not completely autonomous self-governing individuals choosing for our own personal highest good.

    We are broken, frail human beings seeking to make the best of what life has offered up to us. Your clinical ideology of libertarianism makes no room for love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy, grace and beauty. It makes no room for what it means to be fully human.

    It is an anemic ideology based upon legalism and rights, devoid of beauty humour and irony. It is my friend a death cult most perfectly expressed in the desire for death on demand.

    1. God has his hands over your eyes, obviously, Brendan, as you seem incapable of reading what I write.

      Look at the highly populated jurisdictions where euthanasia is ethically practised. See my comment to David. There are safeguards to ensure that scenario doesn't happan.

      And again, it doesn't change the principle of the basic right, just as hundreds of road deaths every year leads no one to the conclusion we mustn't have cars or roads.

    2. Oh, and euthanasia is about compassion and love. God, however, is not.

    3. Mark, didn’t realize you were a theologian. ☺

    4. As you know, atheist ex-Exclusive Brethren. I know God all right :)

    5. You know religion, but you do not know God.

    6. Can I qualify that by saying you are right to reject religion. I'm with you on that.

  4. You may be right that experience elsewhere shows that the fear I hypothesised is ill founded. I still think that being concerned about the consequences is an understandable position. Whether it is contrary to libertarian or classically liberal thinking I don't really know. Is it contrary to liberal thinking to want to protect people from what you perceive as a threat to their life from others? The point being whether it would indeed be voluntary or whether elderly or sick people might be coerced into making a 'voluntary' decision. If you can convince people on that point you will have a much better response.

    1. Under the proposed law, only those with terminal illness, within a (judged) 12 months of death even qualify. Then, re the overseas examples, such a decision goes through a variety of people, including two trained, independent doctors, etc, to make sure no abuse, no coercion, etc.

      I don't have the Fallen view of humans that you and Brendan do, but even for the cynics there are plenty of safeguards.

      But as I've tried to say over and over. Even that is not the point: the basic right is. Classical liberals don't want the Nanny State between them and volition. Take your same argument, David, should the state be keeping us safe from ourselves and others in all sorts of ways? Dangerous sports, and past-times such as mountaineering; how can we allow that? Say you get cancer and decide you don't want chemo, et al, but would rather let the disease take its course: is that your right, or should the state force you to take treatment on the grounds perhaps your family are forcing you to take this line to get rid of you?

      See, take away volition, you give away your life.

      Euthanasia has strong safeguards, works well, for the first time will bring the already long practiced fact of euthanasia in NZ into the open: that's ethical.

      And again. My life. My death. Butt out. How hard is this?