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by Ronald Kitching, dissenting editor

Was Federation A Mistake?

It is time we questioned whether having a Federal Government is a valid proposition. Originally, Federation was touted to be the co-ordinating body for Defence and Foreign Affairs.

However, from day one, political opportunists have seen it as an opportunity to promote their favourite ideology. For instance:

  • Those who have a redistributionist philosophy have seen it as an income redistributing apparatus. (The Labor Party).
  • Those who have adopted the Rousseauean philosophy of “shaking off the very restraints to which they owe their productivity and numbers” and return to the glorious state of the native savage. (The Greens).
  • Those who see the free market system (christened capitalism by Marx), as necessary, but who desire to see a more egalitarian society, by adopting some redistributionist policies. (The Liberal/National Coalition).

This leaves the productive sector with no political party to defend and promote the personal liberty-free market-low taxation philosophy upon which the modern highly productive industrial society was founded.

The result is the activities of the above mentioned parties are slowly but surely removing the foundations of modern productivity and hence prosperity.

Under the circumstances the dissolution of the Federal Government seems to be a highly desirable objective. Taxing powers and other coercive activities of government would be returned to the states, thus producing the necessary competition between states for productive people and their industries.

And a bonus would be no more squandering of scarce resources on foreign interventions and inane unwinnable wars.

The State and Secure Private Property Rights

A State a monopoly of coercion is granted to ensure protection of secure private property rights from aggression by internal and external thugs.

However, politicians championing socialist ideology have captured the reigns of power and in all Australian States secure private property rights are being rapidly eroded.

Even in Western Australia with a Liberal government in power, the department of the environment is sending people bankrupt by limiting their production.

In Tasmania, third generation timber millers and communities are being put out of business by Green legislation.

In Queensland, granted silica sand mining leases were cancelled by the Beattie government, in spite of billions of tonnes of the material being available. And Premier Bligh cancelled viable shale oil leases on which some hundreds of millions had been spent and upon which 700 jobs depended.

Bligh’s “wild rivers” legislation, has already cancelled the operations of a viable bauxite mine. No industrial activity of any sort may be conducted on practically the entire Cape York Peninsula.

This, to garner green preference votes, is corruption on a grand scale.

All State governments are engaged in the destruction of private property rights. And in Queensland opposition politicians are stating policies which are even more intolerant of private ownership of resources than are the governments.

Thoughtful people are now questioning why we are tolerating this erosion of property rights and intrusion by the state into legitimate industry.

Perhaps the State, concentrating upon destruction instead of construction, has outlived its usefulness.

Health Services and The State

The Queensland health problem of unpaid and overpaid staff is now into its seventh month of disastrous administration.

It was a philosophical and political blunder to get the affairs of State involved in heath, education and welfare services. The sole legitimate business of the State is to protect us from internal and external thugs.

Health services are a business. Businesses have to answer to the profit and loss system. Bureaucracies cannot. Bureaucracies and their bureaucrats must be controlled by budget.

This case in Queensland Health, is a classical demonstration of what happens when the State gets involved in running a business. Can anybody imagine what would happen to the senior executives of a public company if such blunders were made. Especially for what is now an extended period of unpaid and overpaid staff. They would all be in jail and forbidden to take part in running a business for ever.

It is not surprising that thoughtful people are now questioning the validity of the state. Are state affairs as we know them today, an atavistic relic from bygone days?

Albert J. Nock and Proper Liberalism

The late Albert J. Nock Wrote in his Essay, titled “Liberalism, Properly So Called”:

When the Whigs came into power, they worked steadily towards curbing government’s coercive power over the individual; as did the Classical Liberals who succeeded them.

In this connection they combed the statute book and when they found a statute which bore against ‘the liberty of the subject’ they simply repealed it and left the page blank. This purgation ran up into 14,488 out of 18,110 acts passed since the the reign of Henry III.

The thing to be observed here is that this negative method of simple repeal left free scope for the sanitive processes of natural law in dealing with all manner of social dislocation and disabilities.

These processes are usually slow and usually painful, and impatience with them leads to popular demand that the government should step in and anticipate them by positive statutory intervention when anything goes wrong.

The Classical Liberals were aware that no one, least of all a “practical” politician can foresee the ultimate effects, or even all of the collateral effects, of such interventions, or can calculate the force of their political momentum.

Thus it regularly happens that they bring about ultimate evils which are not only far more serious than the specific evils which they were meant to remedy, but are also wholly unexpected.

Today this Nation urgently needs the application of Classical Liberal ideology; repealing interventionist acts would be a great start.

For those people who are interested, most of Albert J. Nock’s works are available Online and as hard copies here.