New Freeland

Green is not the colour of freedom

Think about the things that over the recent centuries have enabled the commoner to be free in Western countries. What are they?

Socialism? Marxism? The insipid fascism of Social Democracy? The United Nations?

No. Every major war has been fought to depose statist regimes that after sating themselves on the lives of their own citizens turned outwards towards their neighbours. The motives for going to war against these evil empires were not pure nor always rational. But the fact is that these wars ended in the destruction of the statists and sometimes in the liberation of their subjects.

But just removing the worst of the worst, destroying those who did turn outwards isn’t enough. In each society where people enjoy reasonable freedom from the old bondages imposed by early statists, monarchs, emperors and so on there had to be underlying social change. It is obvious in retrospect that the deadly theories of the likes of Marx, Mao, Mussolini, Lenin, … could not possibly liberate anyone but only impose another regime no better than what they overthrew. Why? Because they were all theories of control, not liberty.

The keys to freedom come from within the societies themselves. Foremost is the ability to move. The most simple and least glamorous freedom. The ability to choose where to live, where to go and how to get there. Can you imagine a time when you couldn’t go online and book a ticket to almost anywhere in the world with nearly no impediment, at a price that was anywhere from a few weeks wages to almost nothing? Yet it isn’t so long ago that people rarely moved more than a few kilometers from where they were born, even to make a trip if not move house. The less free you are to move the less free your country, it stops people seeing too much and getting too many ideas above their station.

Then there is a secure supply of food, water and warmth. This basically comes down to a proper supply of energy, for direct heating and cooling, for transport, for cultivation and for purification. Fundamental to the security of the basics of life is a reliable and affordable supply of energy in its various forms.

Finally there is the freedom of thought and expressing those thoughts. Without it no one will think of anything new, kick around a new idea or argue against political theoreticians.

The other freedoms, all our modern human rights, cannot exist without the truest freedoms, movement, a secure home, food and water. If you remove any of these then the other rights become merely theoretical, talking points for activists and empty promises for parties.

So what do we have?

  1. Freedom of movement and choosing where and how to live.
  2. Securing cheap, plentiful and secure energy sources.
  3. The freedom to express any idea.

Now tell me how on Earth the Green’s can seriously claim to be in favour of freedom or interested in liberating the poor or even average man?

This is the party that backs the EFA, an unnecessary and potentially dangerous law that they are only too willing to support in order to shore up their faltering support. How do they imagine future governments, hostile to themselves, will wrangle the law to impede their own rights? They seem only too willing to embrace that future and it cannot be out of naivete but with malice aforethought, or total stupidity.

Is there any other party that is so hostile to the poor than the Greens? Suggestions that NZers must restrict their travels to save the planet by not taking advantage of cheap air fares. Desiring the restriction of the only true form of individual freedom of movement, for any distance greater than a few kilometers from home, while laughably suggesting that buses and trains can possibly satisfy the needs and desires of even a fraction of the adult population. Promoting policies that would enable affordable, unrestricted and voluntary travel to only the well off and politicians going to Bali for conferences.

And of course the Greens are all in favour of “smart growth”, city planning and dreams of agrarian purity untouched by the plague of modern technology. Backing building restrictions to prevent development of cities, making new housing hideously expensive, limiting choices in housing to all but the already well-off.

Finally the Greens impose restrictions and costs on developing power stations, dams, oppose developing nuclear power, using gas or coal or in short cheapening the cost of energy to homes and industry. They promote technologies that will possibly be viable options in the future but do nothing to enable those now living to reduce the costs of heating, eating and drinking. They promote technologies that will never be able to supply the entire world’s population in a state of reasonable comfort and freedom. Again, only those well off can really feel secure in their energy needs.

The Greens talk a big line in human rights and their ideas of goodness. Smacking. Recycling. Summer protests in wine valleys against spying. Marijuana. Clean slates … But these mean very little to a poor family buying food, heating the house in winter and considering how far they can travel. For the rich it also means nothing, for obvious reasons.

But when it comes to the fundamentals that truly enable each citizen, poor and rich alike, to be free the Greens are actively working against every citizen, poor and rich. But mostly the poor because the rich either buy their way out or take just that extra bit longer to become poor.

The Greens only have theories of control, not liberty and you have to seriously question the motives of a party that is not in favour of liberty and actively promotes policies that benefit wealthy.

Green, like Red, is not the colour of freedom.

22 January, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments