Lindsay Perigo: Two of the Best
- Lindsay Perigo and his troublemaking libertarian ideas can be delivered everyday to your in-box. Simply visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Perigo and subscribe. Here are Two of the Best from this week.
Lindsay Perigo: The Price of Liberty
PI Show editorial that would have been, September 24, 2001
Music - Die Fledermaus
Good afternoon, Kaya Oraaaa & welcome to the Politically Incorrect Show for Monday September 24, proudly sponsored by Neanderton Nicotine Ltd, the show that says bugger the politicians & bureaucrats & all the other bossyboot busybodies who try to run our lives with our money; that stands tall for free enterprise, achievement, profit & excellence against the state-worshippers in our midst; that stands above all for the most sacred thing in the universe, the liberty of the human individual.
[Music up, music down!]
President Bush's speech to both Houses of Congress, his countrymen & the world, was remarkable for its steely delivery, its uncompromising message, its liberal use of the term "freedom." It was a moment to be thankful that he, not Al Gore, is in the White House - & to be hopeful that he will live up to the rhetoric that resonated from his lips.
It was also a moment to sound a note of caution - not in a spirit of party-pooping pedantry, but in the tradition of "The price of liberty is eternal vigilance." Freedom-lovers the world over ought at this time to prepare a check-list of things to be vigilant about, even while lining up behind the President of the United States as he leads the historic charge against a thoroughly diabolical enemy.
We should remind ourselves that our own governments had themselves been growing ever more despotic prior to September 11 & showed every sign of carrying on with it. The governments of both the United States & New Zealand - to mention the two countries where these editorials have greatest distribution - had both waged campaigns of terror against their citizens via their respective Inland Revenue bureaucracies. Ditto, the War on Drugs. In both countries, property rights are a joke, sacrificed to the "rights" of trees & puddles. We need to be alert to the possibility - nay, likelihood - that the additional powers our governments are assuming in the War on Terrorism will be used as an excuse for gratuitous invasions of privacy unrelated to terrorism.
We should view with alarm the knee-jerk recourse to Keynesian economics as we move to a war footing. The key to prosperity - freedom - remains the same whether in war or in peace, & anti-freedom interventionism should be resisted as a quick-fix response to short-term traumas.
We should remind ourselves that, though bin Laden's is indeed an assault on civilisation, many decidedly UNcivilised countries have joined the counter-attack. Mindful that Communist China is one such country, the President conspicuously failed to add "Communism" to the list of "Nazism, Fascism & totalitarianism" that he cited as discarded "lies of history." If we are to accept the cooperation & participation of these countries in this instance, it should be on the basis of "no false pretences." We should not pretend that the yawning chasm between outright dictatorships & relatively free countries has ceased to exist or is not still of life-&-death significance. Communism SHOULD have been on the President's list.
Finally, we should remind the President that this IS a battle for freedom, not for God. Mr Bush's eulogy to Islam at one point, & his claim to know the mind of the Christian God at another, were disquieting, to say the least. It may seem churlish to argue the point at a time of unprecedented crisis such as this, but the inescapable reality is that freedom is rooted in the nature of man, not in the supposed will of a hypothesis. To go to war in the name of a subjective fantasy is to risk winning that war militarily while losing it morally. (Imagine, in the light of their post-September 11 pronouncements, the fate of freedom in the hands of Jerry Falwell or Pat Robinson.) We are fighting bin Laden BECAUSE OF the theocratic totalitarian nature of that which he seeks to impose on the world; let us ensure that we don't oblige him even as we defeat him. The triumph over terrorism will be, at root, a triumph of the mind over the anti-mind, of reason over unreason. In that conflict, contrary to the President, "God" is indeed "neutral," since he's not even there.
Lindsay Perigo: Colourfully, Quirkily, Fanatically Radical
PI Show editorial that would have been, September 25, 2001
Early this morning I signed off on the 49th issue of my magazine, The Free Radical. The only people who have seen it in its entirety at this point are myself, my assistant-editor Peter Cresswell, my personal assistant Cameron Pritchard, & my designer, Graham Clark of Kale Print. We all had the same thought: What a shame this isn't the milestone 50th issue. We are so darn proud of it.
International terrorism saw to it that this ended up being a significantly different product from the one we had cosily prepared pre-September 11. We were obliged to re-think the issue hastily, expanding it, dropping the more "timeless" articles (they will appear in the next issue), & devising a new cover that would do justice to this monstrous INjustice. I believe the cover we eventually settled on will serve as one more moving symbol of America's founding values & Americans' defiant reassertion of them for a long time to come.
Coincidentally, the longest article this time round is about ... architecture, as Mr Cresswell, himself an architect, tackles the question: What IS architecture? This was prompted by a discussion on the SOLO Forum as to whether architecture can be classified as "art." Mr Cresswell argues resoundingly in the affirmative! His article, unlike the book whose title he has paraphrased, What Art Is, is amply illustrated.
And there is so much more. Joe Rowlands, whose one-page homilies, happily, have become a regular fixture of the magazine, offers a timely reminder to Objectivists that they should resist their tendencies to be misanthropic & focus on the essential decency of most people they deal with. Chris Sciabarra continues his series on Objectivism & homosexuality with a profile of the Rattigan Society. There is an interview with Australian internet radio host Prodos which must surely rank as the most colourful & quirky feature ever to appear in an Objectivist publication. Prodos is the driving force behind the forthcoming global Walk for Capitalism, an event that will take on enormous poignance in the light of the terrorist attacks on capitalism's citadels.
"Colourful & quirky" is the way we like it. We do not subscribe to the view that a commitment to reason & freedom requires us to become po-faced, robotic & funless - we leave THAT to Muslim fanatics - & we strive to avoid any entertainment/information dichotomy in our pages! Issue 49 captures the spirit of its writers & editors surpassingly well.
Readers who have not subscribed to what has been called "the best libertarian publication in the world" & would like to sign up in time for this issue can do so via the Subscribe button on its web site - www.freeradical.co.nz - or through Helen Miller at Gordon & Gotch - HMiller@gordongotch.co.nz.
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