Peter Cresswell's 'Not-PC': Greens and Dreams
Greens and Dreams
Two 'Not-PC' opinion-pieces by Peter Cresswell from his Blog Not PC
This week, the Greens losing their freedom mojo, and In dreams begins responsibility
1. Greens Lose Their Freedom Mojo
Many, many New Zealand Green supporters are enthusiasts for personal freedom. It's true. They want government busybodies out of their bedrooms, government hands away from their films, magazines and books, and government agents out of their pot plant patch.
Every time we run a 'World's Smallest Political Quiz' booth, Greens supporters consistently score in the 40s to the high 90s for personal freedom, yet the only place this is reflected in Greens policy is their cannabis policy -- and their only MP advocating relaxation of cannabis laws has been demoted in their list in part for doing so.
And one thing more: on the conviction and sentencing of Schapelle Corby, New Zealand's Greens have been studiously silent when all logic surely tells them that -- guilty or innocent -- poor Schapelle is a martyr to the War on Drugs to which their principles shoudl tell them they should surely be opposed. What better 'poster-person' for legalisation do they want, and just in time for an election in which they're struggling to find the king-hit issue they found in 2002?
The Australian Greens have been more vocal, but even they have refrained from pointing out how the War on Drugs has martyred Schapelle. Speaking on TVNZ's 'Agenda' programme Australian Green Senator Kerry Nettle (here to speak to the Greens conference) defended the unproven assertion of Australian Greens' leader Bob Brown that Schapelle Corby "would never have been convicted in Australia," but failed to even mention the iniquity of the drug laws that convicted her. It's okay for Greens to criticise the Indonesian justice system it seems, but not the injustice of their own country's laws.
The Greens have lost their freedom mojo, if indeed it was ever really there.
Original blog here
2. In Dreams Begins Responsibility
Why don't people get excited about freedom? I'm not talking about the people who used to risk everything going over the Berlin Wall to freedom, or those Cubans who brave shark-infested seas on inner tubes in a bid for the freedom they don't have. They're pretty excited about being free. No, I'm talking about most people in most modern democracies who have happily traded their liberty for a little temporary security, and in most cases have ended up with neither.
Why, as Bob Jones once asked when fronting a party promoting 'Freedom and Prosperity!' is it so easy to promote prosperity, and so damned difficult to get people excited about freedom? The answer, dear reader, is that to be free means to be free to fail, and as HL Mencken observed, "most people want security in this world, not liberty." To be free means to take responsibility for one's actions. Too frightening. Much easier, many people think, to hide behind Nanny's skirts instead.
As libertarians often point out, the flip side of freedom is responsibility. If you are free to live your life as you choose, you must also assume responsibility for your choices. You cannot saddle someone else with that responsibility; in particular you cannot make him pick up the tab forchoices that have adverse consequences.
Like teenagers still living at home, it's amazing how far some people will go to escape that fact, or to evade it
- In a bid to get all heads into one noose, liberal intellectuals try to prove that responsibility is an impossibility by preaching the doctrine of determinism – i.e. none of us can help what we do, all of us are helpless playthings of our genes and our environment, and the successful businessman is no more responsible for his success than the criminal is for his dishonesty, or the politician for her power-lust.
- In a bid to tie us all to the state, politicians offer womb-to-tomb security, while relying on an all-care-no-responsibility get-out clause for their own innumerable failures.
- In a bid to smoke their pot and eat their cake too (and to mercifully overlook munchies metaphors like that last one) many advocates of marijuana reform like to ignore the health problems associated with the drug's use, and demand that others pay for their lifestyle choice.
Says Tibor Machan, "There simply are too many people who want to take shortcuts, refuse to take responsibility for their own conduct and believe they can get away with this—and sadly often do—by calling upon the government to force others to shoulder burdens they ought to assume." But without responsibility there can be no freedom, and nor can their be any maturity. Like teenagers still living at home we must all, if we want to be fully human, someday spread our wings and feel the warm winds of freedom beneath us.
Taking responsibility for ourselves is not just the first step towards freedom, it is also the first step towards making those successes possible, and rewarding ourselves for them. In the modern parlance, it is 'taking ownership' of our lives. 'In dreams begins responsibility' said Yeats -- to truly live our dreams, we must begin to take responsibility for them.
He's right, you know.
Original blog here