In his opinion piece today Matt McCarten slams the "cult of individualism" and blames it for ACT's meltdown.
Matt McCarten does not understand what individualism is. But then neither do some in ACT. And, coincidentally, a commentor on this blog earlier in the week.
Individualism puts individual rights and personal responsibility over collective rights and collective responsibility.
Let's use an example to explain the difference.
Raising a child. Individualism would put the responsibility for this with the parents. Collectivism puts it with the largest group - society.
Obviously there will be shades between the two positions and a mix of both philosophies co-existing but a true classical liberal party would endeavour to pull the balance in the individual direction.
Individualists believe that groupings should be voluntary, not enforced by the state. They reject the use of force as much as it is practically possible. They especially reject the use of state force to penalise some collectives and reward others at its whim.
Individualists abhor the idea of class and tribal hierarchy. Individualists will make sacrifices for others but are repulsed by the idea that the collective dictates who those others should be.
Individualists believe in the right to live their own lives with a minimum of rules and regulations which should be replaced by tolerance, non-interference with others and mutual respect for that right.
Individualists believe that self-interest, when practised peacefully and co-operatively produces the maximum amount of mutual gain. Trade is good. Entrepreneurship is good. Profit is good. Greed is not.
Get it now Matt?
Individualism can't be blamed for the impending downfall of ACT (just as collectivism couldn't be blamed for the downfall of the Alliance Party). A party that doesn't even have stated values or philosophy can hardly be the victim of them.
Audi parking redux
26 minutes ago