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.
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