Sunday, August 29, 2010

Matt McCarten's diatribe is drivel

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.


James said...

Excellent Lindsay!MaCarten is a bitter ignorant dropkick.Individualism is not in conflict with voluntary benevolance towards your fellow IS in conflict with gun-point altruism as practised by the redistributive, socialist minded state.

Everyone is an individualist at some degree...even Matt who pursues his own (misguided )values in writing his piffle.He is seeking to gain a value,a value that HE,Matt MaCarten,prizes as an individual....namely slagging off ACT.

ACT,sadly,are no where close to being Ayn Rand fanatics...there is too much sell out pragmatism overiding principle But they are the best of whats there...

Shane Pleasance said...

I read with quiet amazement McCarten's piece.

He is either misinformed or deliberately evil.

And one must ask, how is that collectivism working out for you, and the world, Matt?

Disagree on your last point, of course, James...

James said...

Which part in particular Shane?

Shane Pleasance said...

LIBERTARIANZ are the party of principle.
In fact the only real opposition?
Galt help us.


James said...

When I said "the best of whats there" I meant in parliment.

If Libz had sorted themselves out 10 odd years back and not self destructed I might agree with you.

Lindsay and I remember better, halcion days in the Libertarianz eh Lindsay...? sigh.