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Interview with Kane Daniel of Vice Magazine and Benjamin Marks of Economics.org.au, on the upcoming event: Westralian Secession — for this piece: Kane Daniel, “Viva Westralia!,” Vice Magazine, vol. 9, no. 12 (undated [December 2011]), p. 22, in which the great Sukrit Sabhlok of Liberty Australia is also featured.

Can you give a brief idea of what you do and the history of economics.org.au?

I am editor-in-chief of the economics organisation of Australia, Economics.org.au, which features funny biting reputable intellectual shit-stirring. Because our name — Economics.org.au — is so respectable, we can get away with anything. Our staff includes John Singleton, Kerry Packer, Lang Hancock, Maxwell Newton, Bert Kelly and others. Some of those names may mean something to your readers. We call all of them our staff because we employ their work. Economics.org.au is the only publication to make their work available in over 20 years. So we respect our history more than any other organisation in Australia.

Neville Kennard, founder of Kennards Self-Storage, writes a weekly column for us, which makes all the so-called free-market think tanks look like the pinkos they really are. It is rare to have someone with so much at stake willing to speak out so bravely, and acknowledge that taxation is theft.

Unlike every other organisation and publication, we respect our readers enough to give them our reasoning. On the middle and right columns of every page of Economics.org.au, we show why tax is theft and government criminal. All Vice Magazine readers will be convinced that tax is theft if they simply go to Economics.org.au and read our reasoning.

As briefly as possible, can you explain the rationale behind secession?

The rationale behind secession, ultimately, is simply the fact of self-ownership. Since we are each the rightful owners of ourselves, it is our right to secede from government, to evade tax, to employ people for whatever you want provided they’re willing to work for it, to consume drugs, to deal drugs, etc. That government does not allow us to do this does not make it wrong; it just makes it inadvisable for the moment, at least to do so openly. The black market and the cash economy is an example of partial secession.

What would be required, practically speaking, for Western Australia to secede?

For secession to occur, Westralia would need to stop providing aid to a foreign power, which is what they are currently doing paying taxes to the Canberra Kremlin. In Federal Elections, the result is often known before any Westralian votes have even been counted. If Westralia could decide to join the Federation, then they can decide to leave it. In our age where marriages are not forever, it is amusing that invalid contracts involving constitutions are considered to last forever. The constitution is an invalid contract, since no one signed it to say they are bound by it, as is a basic legal principle. Moreover, everyone who did sign or vote for such a thing is long since dead, and so their supposed contract died with them. No one has a right to bind future generations to any commercial arrangement that future generations cannot extricate themselves from.

You have to agree that wanting Western Australia to secede is a very marginal view. How seriously should Australians take it? Is it an exercise in rhetoric and ideology or a genuine option for Western Australians?

Yes, secession is currently a marginal view, but you are hardly going to effect change by proposing that things stay the same, and you are hardly going to provoke a response and inspire a movement if you only propose minor changes. But secession in Westralia should be much more popular: Lang Hancock used to often equate W.A. and New Zealand, whose capitals of Perth and Wellington are both separated from Canberra by about the same distance of nothingness — sand in one case, sea in the other. Hancock saw no more reason why W.A. should be associated with the Canberra-Sydney-Melbourne axis than should New Zealanders.

Is the amount of trouble it will take for Western Australia to secede going to result in tangible benefits for ordinary Western Australians? What are these benefits?

The benefits of Westralia seceding is that, freed from all government interference, the economy will thrive. Hong Kong has little government interference in the economy, and it has no natural wealth, and look at its economy. So imagine how Westralia will benefit!

If you want an example of the power of economics to show you the harm of government interference: The typical example is minimum wage laws, which are meant to help the poor. But in reality, their only effect is compulsory unemployment for those who are not skilled enough to work for the minimum amount the government decided. So rather than learning on the job and slowly working their way up, unskilled people get government unemployment benefits, which erodes their incentives to work for money and get skilled, since they can’t slowly work their way up into better paying more skilled jobs, and they are getting paid for doing nothing anyway.

How do people propose to police the border? And will the new nation have a military? Wouldn’t the money and resources required to establish independent infrastructure, utilities, a police force and the like require higher taxation on Western Australians in the short run?

Defence does not need to be provided by a government monopolist. Monopolies provide an inferior quality product at higher cost than if there were competing providers to contend with. Either this is true, or economics is not a science and cannot be used to defend anything. It is likely that insurance companies would provide defence services (more on this can be found by browsing the right column of Economics.org.au). What we have now is not protection, but a protection racket, that forces us to pay them so they can defend us from others trying to do the same.

The common unthinking argument in favour of government is simply that without government provision of, say, education, no one would provide it. This shows that no serious thought has been given to the issue. And the ridiculousness of the belief that government should provide education is made clear when you try to work out the principle involved: if government should force-feed the minds of children (through compulsory attendance, compulsory financing and compulsory curriculum), why should the government not force-feed their bodies too?

The borders between Westralia and the Empire of the Canberra Kremlin would not have much need for police protection on the Westralian side. I guess the Canberra Kremlin might want to build a Berlin Wall to stop all the productive inhabitants from fleeing to freedom in Westralia. Maybe that will be their next great project after the National Broadband Network.

(in order of appearance on Economics.org.au)
  1. Acquiescence
  2. Why Sports Fans Should Be Libertarians
  3. Ron Manners’ Heroic Misadventures
  4. Government Schools Teach Fascism Perfectly
  5. Deport Government to Solve Immigration Problem
  6. The Drugs Problem Problem
  7. Self-Defeating Campaigning
  8. Gittinomics: Economics for Gits
  9. Exclusive Ross Gittins Interview on The Happy Economist
  10. Population Puzzle Solved
  11. An Open Letter to the CIS
  12. Principled Foreign Policy Options: Reinvade or Shut Up and Get Out
  13. WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Political Corruption Exposed!
  14. Feedback please: Is this worth doing?
  15. CIS and IPA Defend State Schooling
  16. A Thorough Review Without Spoilers of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
  17. Dead Reckoning and Government: A Proposal for Electoral Reform
  18. Quadrant Defends State Schooling
  19. The MPS 2010 Consensus
  20. Slogans for Property Rights Funeral
  21. Government is Impossible: Introduction
  22. Government is Criminal: Part 1
  23. Exclusive John Howard Interview on Lazarus Rising
  24. Response to Senator Cory Bernardi and the IPA
  25. Earn $$$$$ by Justifying Government Against Anarchocapitalism: Survey
  26. Statism is Secrecy: WikiLeaks vs Economics.org.au
  27. One question the Labor Party, the Liberal Party, the Greens, the CIS, the IPA, Ross Gittins, Ross Garnaut, Ken Henry, Gerard Henderson, John Quiggin, Clive Hamilton, Tim Flannery, Catallaxy Files, Club Troppo, Larvatus Prodeo, Phillip Adams, Robert Manne, Michael Stutchbury, Miranda Devine, Andrew Bolt and Dick Smith are scared to answer
  28. Libertarian Philanthropists Should Exploit Tax Evasion Convictions
  29. Ronald Kitching Obituary
  30. The Minarchist Case for Anarchism
  31. Libertarianism in a 300-word rant
  32. Economics.org.au in the news again
  33. Libertarianism In An Executive Summary
  34. The Banking Bubble Blow-by-Blow
  35. WARNING: Libertarianism Is NOT ...
  36. Would Anything Possibly Convince You that You Are Living Under a Protection Racket?
  37. An Open Letter to Dick Smith
  38. Economics.org.au at 42
  39. "My boyfriend calls himself a Marxist and votes Labor, what should I do?"
  40. "He says if I leave him due to politics, I should leave the country too."
  41. No Booboisie at Gülçin’s Galt’s Gulch
  42. "Hey, Mr Anarchocapitalist, show me a society without government"
  43. The Three Epoch-Making Events of the Modern Libertarian Movement
  44. Government is Criminal: Part 2 - Methodological Individualism
  45. Government is Criminal: Part 3 - Subjective Utility
  46. Government is Criminal: Part 4 - Praxeological Synonyms
  47. Government is in a State of Anarchy
  48. Limited Government is Absolute Government
  49. Why the 2012 double Nobel laureate is coming to Sydney
  50. Exclusive Oliver Marc Hartwich Interview on Hans-Hermann Hoppe
  51. A Critique of the Opening Two Sentences of the "About CIS" Page on The Centre for Independent Studies' Website, www.cis.org.au
  52. An invitation for ANDEV members to the Mises Seminar
  53. Sell the ABC to Rupert Murdoch: Lid Blown on ABC Funding Disgrace!
  54. www.inCISe.org.au, The Centre for Independent Studies new blog
  55. The Unconstitutionality of Government in Australia (demonstrated in under 300 words)
  56. The Best Libertarian Film Is ...
  57. Launch Southeast Asian Military Operations to Free Australian Drug Dealers and Consumers
  58. Workers Party Reunion Intro
  59. Hoppe's Inarticulate Australian Critics: The Hon Dr Peter Phelps, Dr Steven Kates and James Paterson
  60. Vice Magazine Westralian Secession Interview
  61. Sideshow to Dr Steven Kates' criticism of the Mises Seminar: Davidson vs Hoppe on Adam Smith
  62. The Best Australian Think Tank Is ...
  63. Announcing a new magazine to rival Time and The Economist
  64. The exciting new Australian Taxpayers' Alliance
  65. Neville Kennard Obituary
  66. Contrarian Conformism
  67. An invitation for Dick Smith, the IPA and other Walter Block fans to the 2nd Australian Mises Seminar
  68. Westralian mining legend Ron Manners of Mannkal belongs in The Property and Freedom Society
  69. What would Bert Kelly think of the Mises Seminar and Walter Block?
  70. Bad news about the Mises Seminar
  71. Gina Rinehart Fan Club gives big to Australian political education
  72. Sam Kennard wins North Sydney by-election by unanimous consent
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