Libertarian meat eater, right wing in the sense of conservative with a small c.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Freedom of speech has died in Finland

Via Samizdata, this article regarding the conviction of Mikko Ellilä for stating his opinion on immigration and crime. A translation of the trial is available in English here.

One of the peculiar facets of this case is that Mikko has been prosecuted in part for using official government statistics that show ethnic minorities commit a far greater share of total crime in Finland then would be expected given their share of population. There are probably a number of reasons for this; recent immigrants, (outside of the city of London), tend to be poor and for obvious reasons those in poverty have a greater motivation to be involved in crime, cultural factors both imported and due to alienation may explain part of it and in some jurisdictions, (I have no idea for Finland), there is some bias against ethnic minorities in the justice system, (it is entirely understandable to be biased when one group is responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime but that is still no excuse for poor administration of justice), so that may be another factor.

Mikko also brings up the idiots favourite of citing a lower IQ for africans, (BIG CLUE, there is a point or so difference on average but this is due to malnutrition as people who's parents were from these areas but grew up in the first world have no such disadvantage).

So in summary Mikko has brought to light some government statistics, argued well in some bits and badly in others and has helped to shed more light on an important argument, (whichever side of the immigration debate you take, there is never any excuse for shying away from the truth). For this he has been tried, convicted, fined and had his work pulled from his site. Not because he was inciting violence, nor due to him making slanderous allegations but because Mikko Puumalainen, Finlands Head of Thought Police Ombudsman For Minorities has pushed this shit through:

'...government “should intervene especially strongly” in the activities of those citizens who seek to maintain the current anti-immigrationist political climate in Finland by “using publicity”:'

Yes how dare they use publicity the bastards. God help us all if people are able to get their greasy mitts on the facts, civilisation would shake to it's very foundations. I think the only sensible solution is gag Mr Puumalainen and then slowly torture him to death while telling him how we would be delighted stop any time he asks, perhaps that might teach him the virtues of free speech.

Thursday, 27 March 2008

If only it wasn't against my priciples to bash sense into idiots using a hammer

I had been aware of the moronic Richard Murphy from my previous incarnation as a tax recruiter, (boo, hiss), but had thought I would never suffer his paucity of thought again until finding this via longrider. The deeply charmless RM, in addition to conflating tax avoidance and tax evasion, cannot it seems understand the difference between Libertarians and the far right:

"He moved out of the political mainstream and into the Neo-Con, libertarian hinterlands."

So far, so easy to dismiss him as a fool or perhaps less generously as a knave given that DK took time to provide him with the correct information and received poorly thought out insults in return, (if you wish to be insulting for fucks sake put a bit of effort in).

There does exist however, despite the obvious differences, a general perception by the hard of thinking that Libertarianism is an extreme right wing position. Part of this is that those schooled in the classical Left V Right model of political differentiation find it hard to pigeonhole Libertarianism. Left, Right and Centre will all come up with various fixes for the problems of the day and they all believe that more government in some form is the answer. Give us more power they cry, give us more of your money, let us take your rights away so that we can fight evil better and all will be well they tell us, the bastards.

The difference with Libertarianism is the desire to take back powers from government. Big government was an interesting experiment that has clearly failed. In the same way that multi-nationals will break themselves up to become more economic because disseconomies of scale have reached epic proportions, it is time to give our state a severe pollarding. Taxation should be reduced not only because this would let us keep more of our own money but because limiting a government's resources limits the government. This is not a classically right or left position, (though it sits more easily with the right), because it says nothing about where the remaining burden of taxation should fall.

We could for instance remove low earners from income tax altogether, rather than facing a 90% marginal tax rate as they do now, (the tax credit system makes me want to put out the Goblin King's remaining eye it's so wasteful and counterproductive). Or we could go with this idea:

"Dr Eamonn Butler wrote that, 'If the government sector had grown only in line with inflation, rather than far above it, taxpayers would be £200 billion better off – enough to abolish income tax, corporation tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax.'"

Any ideas as to which is the only party to think that getting rid of income tax is a good idea rather than shoving yet more cash into the endless maw of big government? Yes, that would be the Libertarian Party, (we're meeting on Saturday at 3, upstairs in this pub, do come along).

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

On a New Genealogy of Morality

The much maligned Freidrich Neitzsche, (maligned largely due to his Nazi bitch of a sister, (I'm not invoking Godwin's law here, she really was a Nazi), buggering up his work after his death), wrote several brilliant and several bonkers works. Of the bonkers we have Ecce Homo that included the rather odd chapter titles of "Why I am so wise" and "Why I am so clever" and given those it is hardly surprising that Neitzsche has a less than perfect reputation.

However, when he was on form he wrote some seriously important works including "The Birth of Tragedy", a seminal work in aesthetics and the towering "On the Genealogy of Morality". The Genealogy, written in a polemic style, traces a hypothetical history of how and why 'the good', 'the bad' and 'evil' have changed or been created over time.

According to the Genealogy, in the beginning, 'the good' was to be powerful, to have a positive effect on your environment, (solely from the perspective of the one doing the changing) and 'the bad' were simply those who lacked this power. This left 'the bad' in a terrible position—not only did they suffer but there was no reason for that suffering other than their own failings. It was to escape the pain of this situation that Neitzche saw the balance shifting, allowing 'the bad' to transform themselves into 'the good'.

No longer was 'good' to be defined by the exercise of power by individuals but by passiveness, meekness and forgiveness by the masses, an easier set of virtues for those who could take no action in any case. The previous good became the new evil—it was no longer good to act as one wished and the lack of such ability just a sad situation; evil as now constructed had become an active force.

This forging of new terminology allowed the weak to harness and control the strong, power shifting from the instigator to the victim. Further, the victim could now take comfort in the belief that it was not their own failings that led to their situation. Fault lay with the evil ranged against them and the good would eventually be rewarded and evil punished, in this life or the next.

This is a poor summary of Neitzsche's description of the development of Judeo-Christian thought but will give you the gist. I thoroughly recommend reading the book—it's short, easily accessible and a joy to read.

However, Neitzsche's depiction of the cult of victimhood did not provide the whole picture. People were and still are lauded for great achievements, as explorers, scientists, leaders and particularly as 'shields of the weak'. I believe that it has been a very positive development that we have progressed from the time of the 'good' being nothing but the exercise of power, but this change has come with an ever increasing price.

In modern Western society, being the victim has become almost an end in itself and has grown its own industry . People are considered virtuous simply because they have suffered, downgrading other qualities in the process. It is no longer necessary to even suffer yourself. Claim part of a group identity that is now or several hundreds of years ago was suffering and even if you haven't so much as had a stubbed toe, you too can be a victim. This is a peculiar but understandable development. If you give higher status to those who have been victimised then true victim or no, everyone will want a piece of the action.

Some of the problems that self-seeking victimhood throw up are obvious; if you can blame someone else you are less likely to want to fix things yourself—you will seek to identify with situations that should make you depressed and the rest of us have to listen to the incessant whining. Others are less immediate but the most life-strangling factor must be the desperate desire not to offend. This is shown in the way we self-censor and the cancerous growth that is the HR industry and the Grauniad jobs section. For even if we resist the ghastly lure of being a pseudo victim, we still have to contend with those who would decry us as evil for simply behaving normally. Whether you like it or not and even if you have the very best of intentions, an unguarded moment can see you categorised not as a bit of a wally but as evil, an oppressor, as one who must pay tribute to the victims.

So where do we go from here? No one I would wish to associate with would like to go back to the days of Neitzsche's thuggish 'Nobles' but neither is the current situation able to continue without choking the life out of living. Personally, I believe hope lies with the Libertarian viewpoint. Behave as you like, unless you bring material harm on others rather than just hurt their feelings. If you behave as a boor, you will be treated as such but I would rather be free to criticise the boor, the racist, the sexist and the total twat and deal with them being annoying, than live in a society so restricted that it is always the total twats that rise to the top.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Yes, I'm back and yes, I'm still livid

Sorry to disappoint those few who used to wander through here but between some personal stuff and the fact that I find the erosion of our liberties and constant venal corruption depressing, I haven't posted for some months.

Still things are looking up, I should be off to sunnier climes for a few months soon and I have finally found a party that I can support without smashing my head into a wall every day from self hatred. I have joined the new Libertarian Party, (a certain PDF's reaction was "You crazy fool" but I believe that he just wants to be Mr. T), and as just about the only party arguing for a vast decrease in governmental power I am happy to be counted among them.

There is less positive news in that our government(s) are still desperate to treat us all as criminals out on probation, in the case of two parties we are being sold down the river in direct contravention to their manifesto pledges, (by the by, if anyone holds a sincere belief that the Constitution and the Treaty are substantially different in substance then they deserve to be pitied for their idiocy, those who are obviously lying deserve to be beaten to a bloody mess with first one then the other document to see if they can tell the difference), and the accusation that we are now living under the highest tax burden in the history of the UK gets the response that they couldn't give a toss.

Our esteemed leaders are a bunch of totalitarian, evil, venal cunts of the first water and I hope they all die of the bad aids.