Dakta Green recieved a standing ovation for his speech and activism for freedom and Justice in regards to ending cannabis Prohibition.
He spoke about his experiences as a political prisoner, and the fact that he faces yet another stint in Jail because of his refusal to be broken and ‘Living like it’s Legal’.
Last Saturday (6-10-12) I attended the Liberty Conference in Auckland, convened by the Libertarianz Party for the propose of considering the best possible ways of furthering the cause of Liberty in New Zealand, and in particular to formulate a new strategy for getting Freedom loving Advocates into Parliament.
The Libertarianz were facing up to the Sad reality that their Party had failed to attract anywhere near enough support to make it an effective political player.
My personal opinion is that the Libertarianz party did many things wrong… many mistakes hurt the parties chances of gaining a more popular base, yet The Party …morally speaking….also did many things right… which also had a detrimental effect upon it’s popularity.
Simply put it set about to slay too many sacred cows to be borne by the Superstitious sheeple.
Now Galloping to war with sabers bristling and slashing away was fun indeed, yet such a zealous onslaught spooked the cattle… Peter Cresswell said something to this effect in his speech… and he is right.
This zeal springing from a steadfast rejection of the idea that politics requires compromise… and the conviction that populist politics is the domain of unscrupulous power hungry scum… like Peter Dunne and John Key.
The Hard arse faction within the Libertarianz Party had spent 16 years fending off ‘the soft cocks’… and their desire to water down our message… and though they had prevailed in maintaining the principled integrity of the party (to the limited degree of perfection that it’s Objectivist handicap was capable)… none the less as PC described it… we were trying to eat an elephant in one gulp… The Malicious Press absolutely ostracized us from the public debate, and the fickle and brainwashed Sheeple whom had the misfortune of coming into contact with us… washed their hands of us as if we were an infectious disease. Not even our own families supported us!… yet as rugged individualists we soldiered on alone…being upheld only by the shear faith that we were right, and that we really were the Bearers of the Sacred flame of Liberty… of the Political Holy Grail from which all whom drink behold the secrets of Peace, Civilization, and prosperity!
We Libz still believe this!
We have not given up upon our dream!
Yet we need to rethink how we set about making our vision a reality.
Many suggestions were presented by the various speakers.
A common theme was that We freedom lovers need to stop backstabbing each other and work together as a ‘band of brothers’.
Another suggestion was that we modify how we go about our business… be positive, abandon personal jibes and malice… leave that for the socialist’s…. Lead by example, and master the lost art of persuasion.
Now these suggestions sound great in theory, yet as the saying goes…you cant teach old dogs new tricks… and I seriously doubt you will be able to tame Rabid Hounds like Lindsay Perigo … whom relishes delivering such judgments as calling John Banks a “Leering Gargoyle!” … and “The Whore of Epsom”… to the Glee and hysteria of almost every Libertarian present (including myself!). Maybe some of the Non-libz found such comments to be in poor taste… Yet my point being that such disregard for pandering to the sensitivities of the wowzers is such a fundamental trait of many of us libz… we sincerely consider it a virtue!
And I wonder whether or not the whole idea of always being positive, and PC, and taking care not to offend… is anything more than weasely Used car salesmanship… and that such an approach is transparently slimy… untrustworthy, and in the end not a solution to the Libz woes at all!
Me thinks That Libertarians ought to be of good character, be tolerant, and well mannered, yet still be Dangerously capable and willing to deliver a well aimed bombardment of Invective when the moment calls for it. I believe this is good/ righteous/ honest politics!
Read Lindsey Perigo’s speech Here:
Peter Cresswell (PC) after diagnosing why the Libertarianz Party has failed, then went on to prescribe the remedies.
Firstly he suggested that instead of trying to eat the tyrannical socialist Elephant whole, that instead we set about consuming the beast… by slicing it up into portions… and devouring it one manageable bite at a time! (Genius!)
PC points out that such an approach does not involve any compromise at all, but in fact takes better cognizance of reality!
Eating the elephant is to be achieved via several different stratagems.
1. via transitional policies which spread the reforms over small steps, with the design of reducing the terror of the sheeple, minimizing the pain of transition, and hopefully gaining popular support as each step proves the reform works.
2. By reducing the Policy focus of the Party down to 5 policies that Polls already suggest have popular support.
This is a strategy which has worked for other minor parties, and the wisdom of it ought to be obvious!
I am very excited about this suggestion!
Personally I believe this to hold real potential for gaining at least 5% of the votes and getting Freedom lovers into parliament.
PC talked about separating the ‘Educational wing’ , from the ‘Party political wing’, by establishing an Independent ‘think tank’ to focus upon the cultural revolution.
Now I am happy about this if it translates into less encroachment of Objectivist dogma into the parties policies. I still have my reservations about what such a think tank would be like, yet I will leave criticism about this for another time.
Libz Legend Hooch Hellen, and her son Jay. Behind them is Muso Graham Clark, behind him Dakta Green, Behind Him ‘Eternal Vigilante’ Reed.
By the end of the conference several options for the future were on the table, and it was agreed to form a working group to busy themselves communicating with other parties and putting together a presentation of what options were possible, and the pro’s and con’s of each option, to be put to the vote when all interested parties convene again in the new year to make a resolution for the future.
The options were.
1. Dissolve the Libertarianz party and form a New Party with founding members from the dissolved libz, and Ex members of Act, and ex members of Aeotearoa decriminalize Cannabis party, and others. To do this would require the formulation of the ‘Five policies’ which would have an overlapping consensus between the various factions whom would unite as one.
2. Should the other parties prefer it… Maintain the Libertarianz party as a going concern, yet enter an agreement with the other parties (Like the ALPC) to form a coalition for a united challenge at elections. The terms and conditions, and the five policies would have to be agreed upon for this coalition to work, and the Libertarianz party may or may not re-brand itself, and modify its policies to the new strategy.
3. If no consensus of cooperation can be reached with Act, ALPC, True Liberals, etc then the Libertarianz party could continue to exist, yet implement the new strategy, and re-brand when a worthy Brand and logo can be agreed upon.
This requires the formulation of the five policies, and the creation of a Good brand and logo.
PC suggested for the five policies.
1. Tax reform…
2. Balance the budget
3. Legalize Cannabis
4. Legalize Euthanasia
5. End Waitangi Apartheid. One law for all. Get rid of the separate electoral rolls and racist seats, laws, and institutions.
He suggested these because they were both principled and already have popular support amongst the NZ people.
Now these are not written in stone, and vigorous debate and dialogue needs to take place… and options be prepared before the 2-2-13 conference.
Another benefit of picking the policies wisely is that there may be existing politicians and celebrities whom may wish to join us, and this would increase our chances of success.
There was heaps more than this said. The speeches were excellent.
Yet this will suffice for now.
Much discussion at the conference was in regard to Local body politics, including several fantastic speeches… one by NZ sporting Legend and Super city councilor Dick Quax.
Because I have much to report on this aspect of the conference, I will leave it for my next blog post! Say tuned folks!
For More Pics go here:
PART 2 HERE:
27 thoughts on “Liberty Conference. Auckland 2012.”
Thanks for this, Tim.
It’s a good summary for those who did not attend.
Great stuff Tim. I would like to have been there and had the pleasure of associating with like minded good people, even, or especially crazies like you and Hooch. I see you are getting a bit older, 44 I think. Keep up the good work.
I’ve just spent another hour tinkering with this …
Who came up with that one? Not a bad idea.
I heard a good analogy today about the free market. Guy makes milkshakes with sand and cats and milk and pepper then gets angry at people for coming to his shop and buying them. He doesn’t adapt to his customers, doesn’t believe in consumer sovereignty. Tells people they’re sheeples for not buying his fantastic milkshakes.
See where I’m going with this?
Another suggestion was that we modify how we go about our business… be positive, abandon personal jibes and malice… leave that for the socialist’s…. Lead by example, and master the lost art of persuasion.
^^ ie that “that one”
I think that would be me.
I was put on the spot and asked to speak just prior to my slot, most of what I wanted to say had already been covered by PC, so I was at a loss to come up with something good. I had been kicking some ideas around in my head for a long time about how insidious modern politics has become and how best to effect a return to a Jeffersonian ideal of democracy. I became obvious to me that we will not return to independent MP’s overnight so I came up with an idea of trying to change the nature of politics in NZ.
I had this idea about a code of conduct for political parties, that we will try to enact through good example I think it can be summed up as thus:
Before you say anything in the public domain ask yourself:
– Am I being Honest?
– Am I shooting the messenger, or the message? Stick to shooting the message.
– Am I being constructive?
– Can I find some common ground? People are a lot more agreeable if you agree with them.
It was a submission that was almost entirely off the cuff, and I was really surprised at the amount of positive feedback I got from it. I only got one tweet from PC so I guess I even had him captivated!
Now, I’m not a libertarian and certainly not an Objectivist.
I am, therefore, a part of 99.99% of voters. While obviously not representative, I think people who disagree with you are precisely the type of person this nascent “freedom bloc” needs to ask to figure out its next steps. So as a start, I am going to offer you my opinion free of charge.
If you ask me, the *last* thing you lot should be doing is talking amongst yourselves. That’s what you’ve been doing for the past twenty years, and that hasn’t worked out so well, has it?
Rick’s comment is on the money: roughly (and I don’t believe that politics are actually equivalent to commerce but the analogy will do for now) Libertarians currently have a product that have almost zero appeal to the consumer. The Libertarian response to this is to blame the consumer – it’s because they’re all stupid sheeple, you know, not like us clever Libs. Are our sand-and-cats milkshakes unpalatable to you? Well, let’s give you a little “sugar pill” to help it go down – your Nannies know what is good for you, after all! After lengthy debates, the various bickering factions of the sand-and-cats milkshake industry have agreed on this much at least. Unfortunately the whole point of freedom to choose in a market is that it quickly eliminates the sand-and-cat milkshake makers, the people who aren’t interested in providing what their customers want and even fundamentally view them with contempt. And this is precisely what has happened to the Libertarianz, and indeed ACT. All the personality issues and conspiracy theorising are just a smokescreen to avoid facing up to this simple fact. They are confusing proximate causes with ultimate ones.
It is however a positive sign that after two decades local libertarians have finally started to learn from people far more successful than they are – that is, their enemies. This is not a time for introspection and yet more conference-speechifyng by the same old failures. If it were me, I’d be out in there trying to discover how to make my vision of the world to come more successful in the world as it actually exists. I’d spend most of my time 1) talking to more successful politicos rather than denouncing them 2) understanding the voting public rather than denouncing them for their supposed philosophical corruptions. You’ll soon find that 1) are not entirely stupid after all (they are, after all, beating you hands down!) and 2) are neither homo economicus nor John Galt. These discoveries then should lead to 3) adaption of “freedom bloc” policies to best succeed in these conditions. Everything else is, to put it bluntly, just wanking. (Yeah, imagine: yet another barely funded think tank turning handouts from Mises.org, the ARI and WorldNutDaily into “Press Releases” posted mostly to their own unread site. That’s going to be so “educational”!)
Cresswell’s speech was heartening in that amidst the occasional outbreaks of reflexive Randism, there was a sense of this need to learn. He still needs clarity around why the Greens have done so well (clue: people are, in E.O.Wilson’s term, biophiles. Whether they are as attracted by abstractions such as “freedom” to the same extent is a very important question, particularly if they’re already in societies they consider to be mostly free) but at least he’s making a start.
Perhaps I have missed it, but it seems to me a blindingly obvious failure of the “freedom bloc”, easily remedied, is simply their use of language. Did anyone at the recent conference mention, for example, the well-known concept of “framing” to help with policy comms? In between “Atlas Shrugged” and “Human Action” has anyone bothered to read George Lakoff’s slim volume “Don’t Think Of An Elephant” – probably the most influential political playbook of the last two decades or so. This is Modern Politics 101. Maybe I’ve missed it, but are things like this even mentioned amongst the arias and pensees of a typical “freedom bloc” blabfest? Oh, but wait: it was written by a Democrat, so it must be evil!
It seems to me there is one new policy that libertarians must adopt above all others: learn. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from your enemies. Learn from the world outside your belief system. Libertarians have been strikingly slow to adopt this policy, even though it is the winning one. I suspect this is largely because of the influence of people like the clever yet deeply ineducable Ayn Rand and her hysterical rhetoric which has trapped the movement into a dead end. Like Rick Wakeman’s joke about Jon Anderson, libertarians are committed to saving the world whilst seemingly living on an entirely different one. Perhaps, after a sufficient duration of failure, that can change.
Good on you Daniel and I’ve put that book on request at my library. Would quite like to talk more. Where else are you reading on the blog traps?
I rather think that, speaking for my past self and those I’ve known, libertarians are in it for their own psychological reward. It’s a perverse reward that comes from putting awful salesmanship on an excellent product and being rejected for it. Part of how this is done is by talking about the free market but not exampling it by, for example, presentation skills. That’s where I’m putting my energy now.
“I came up with an idea of trying to change the nature of politics in NZ.
I had this idea about a code of conduct for political parties
Am I being Honest? Am I shooting the messenger, or the message? Stick to shooting the message. Am I being constructive? Can I find some common ground?”
I would really like to talk to you some more about this, you’re clearly truly attracted to libertarian ideals. Will facebook you too.
And I’m in. But first, before we try to convince politicians of the black arts to submit their way of life to this code, can we do a field test? Could we get some easier targets like school bullies or patched gang leaders to sign on and if everything runs smooth move on to successful statist pirates in parliament?
Had much luck using this method in your own personal life or anything?
Not fooling around, please let me know. I’m into it.
Thank you Daniel for your comments,
I must say that part of the reason the Libertarianz party has been unsuccessful at the polls is due to some errors on their part, I reject the idea that they were trying to sell a crap milkshake to honnest customers. In reality the biggest problem is that they are preaching a gospel which is way over the heads of the moronic masses… the brainwashed Idiots who vote National and Labour. Admission of our failure at the polls is not an oppotunity for the haters to belittle the integrity and intellegence the Libertarianz party! NO! I will not counternance the notion that the sheepish New Zealanders were correct to deny their votes to the Libertaianz party… and that the Libertarianz party were/ are fools. Libertarianism is up against the Gigantic Leviathan of socialism and the vested interests of the status quo. We are attempting a revolution with all the cards stacked against us, including the Media and education system. And The Idea that we ought to mimic the syster parties is reprehencible! May as well be the Act party! The Libertarianz have convened to rethink their strategy, and have come up with some logical improvements. I hope the new party distances itself from Objectivism, and unless it does this it will fail too, yet I have hope the new strategy will be more successful.
“moronic masses… the brainwashed Idiots”
“sheepish New Zealanders”
For those playing at home, this is the part where the milkshake proprietor attempts to reverse Say’s law.
Tim, these sheep are your clients, man.
…carry on voting Commy Fascist Rick you think that is a wise customer choice.
>In reality the biggest problem is that they are preaching a gospel which is way over the heads of the moronic masses… the brainwashed Idiots who vote National and Labour. Admission of our failure at the polls is not an oppotunity for the haters to belittle the integrity and intellegence the Libertarianz party! NO!
Very smart people can do very stupid things. And because they’re clever, they can also be very good at rationalising these stupid things to make them seem as if they’re smart.
My opinion is that the Libertarian tradition, while it has its serious problems, also has a lot to offer the political debate. But Libertarians have got some key challenges that hold them back. I think your response above is a good example of one of them, which is that because you assume the voting population is stupid, you don’t learn how to deal with them. Actually, the general low political engagement of the voting population in a typical democracy has a well-known logical explanation, an explanation that implies you are stupid and they are smart…;-)
This deep and underlying lack of respect for their opponents, and indeed their own potential supporters, makes many Libertarians extremely clever people who nonetheless choose to be ignorant of the very subject that might help them succeed.
Perhaps some people just like to lose!
The public beatings will continue until libertarian’s voter share increases.
>Good on you Daniel and I’ve put that book on request at my library. Would quite like to talk more. Where else are you reading on the blog traps?
Obviously I’ll plug my own co-blog, aynrandcontrahumannature.blogspot.com, even though Greg does most of the heavy lifting on that site these days. I read across the spectrum otherwise, from Krugman to Cafe Hayek.
I guess my comments could be seen as concern-trolling, but to me that’s just another excuse to avoid criticism. I really do think that Libertarians are trapped in the language they’ve inherited from skillful dogmatists like Rand and Mises – everything is couched in apocalyptic terms, and a True Believer, “band of brothers”, insular world-view is encouraged – rhetorically, at least.
This means they keep talking in a language unlikely to succeed with the general population. For a start, the general population considers themselves to be living in a reasonably free and just society, whereas a typical Libertarian considers that he – and it is usually a “he” – is living in an authoritarian police state, surrounded by gulags and Fascists with guns and only a heartbeat away from the total destruction of Western Civilisation by the Hegelian Hive Mind or some other sort of thing. If you have this sort of underlying framework as the basis for communicating your policies, is it any wonder that the majority of the population don’t take them seriously? There’s actually lots of ways Libertarians could be talking about their policies that would probably resonate with the public, but living in The Matrix isn’t one of them. For example, state education. Instead of discussing it in terms of “freedom”, when most people already consider themselves free, you perhaps could frame that as debate about monoculture vs biodiversity; the monoculture of a single industrial-state product, killing off the diverse ecosystem of ways of learning that emerges in a marketplace. Learn something from the Greens!
Funny stuff Reed.
“The public beatings will continue until libertarian’s voter share increases.”
Do you pick up chicks that way and run your business that way too?
The metaphores for this mo are lots of fun…
“…carry on voting Commy Fascist Rick you think that is a wise customer choice.”:
You really care about promoting freedom. So why peddle sandshakes? Where’s the free market conviction to be found in saying it and not living it?
Look at us. Do we try to convince one another with name calling and humiliation? When’s that supposed to be OK?
“Obviously I’ll plug my own co-blog”
Yeah that’s G’s stuff as you say.
So you’re perfectly right and to my mind quite polite and reasonable. But I think to be consistent you need to go even further.
Check out the reaction of Tim and Reed here. What you’ve said and probably me as well is still not mellow enough for them to digest. The idea still tastes like a sandshake to them. We are not reaching them with this message of the free market even though they understand it so well on the more abstract level.
Did you misunderstand my comment? I agree with you and Daniel.
… however I think libz problems are deeper than marketing. IMO there are lots of people that Libz don’t like (in some cases hate). It’s a driving force of the party. I can’t bring myself to vote for Libz even though they have the most policies I agree with.
Why do I waste my breath on you Rick?
We know we have to modify our operation, yet this does not involve ‘kissing anus’ like you suggest… never speaking our minds…never speaking the truth!
I said this much in the post!
You actually think your comments are some sort of Marketing ‘Genius’?
I must refrain from expressing my full contempt for your Pathetic condescending puerility!
Daniel, thanks for your comments. Exceptional value for money!
Now, can I interest you in one of our new Desert Lion milkshakes?
Now you’re talking….;-)
But to be clear, I agree with Reed: the issue is a little deeper than one of just marketing and language (even though understanding the emerging cogcsi of language has been a hugely decisive factor in moving political opinion in the US for the past twenty years). I bring that up as just one example of a blindspot in the movement. To me, the whole “band of brothers” type attitude is not the solution but an essential problem. (Plus, in practice the “brotherhood” thing never lasts much past the conference speeches anyway…).
Incidentally, learning from your enemies is not like kissing their ass. It’s how you ultimately beat their ass!
Libz has been the Hell’s Pizza of political parties.
It’s been obvious that they wanted to offend some people.
The goodwill at the conference was encouraging but, as Daniel said, “band of brothers” is a problem. To me it says let’s not stab each other in the back… there are plenty of other people that we can all stab (John Banks for example).
“Look at us. Do we try to convince one another with name calling and humiliation?”
That was supposed to be rhetorical!
If you’d like to talk about this on the phone I’d be happy to call you up.
“He who dares not offend cannot be honest”. ~Thomas Paine
Oh that Rick. 🙂