New Zealand

Politics Will Make You an Anarchist—at Least in New Zealand

|

That's right, mates! I'm taking a saw to government. As soon as I charge the battery.

New Zealand's classical-liberal/libertarian ACT Party, founded by people who introduced free-market ideas to a once-statist country and dragged it back from the brink, is hanging on by its fingernails. Always a smaller party after its founders left their original home in the Labour Party (yes, really), ACT only has one seat left in parliament. But if ACT helped to bring libertarianism to New Zealand, it also brought libertarians into government — which helped turn at least one of them into an anarchist.

Rodney Hide, who led ACT from 2004 to 2011, is now a columnist for the New Zealand Herald, and his inaugural column for the paper, on April 29, revealed some details about his life — and about his take-away impressions of politics.

I started in Parliament a libertarian. That means I wanted government nice and small and confined to just a few keys tasks such as protecting us from the thugs and bullies.

I ended up an anarchist. I have concluded we would do better with no government at all. New Zealand before 1840 had some downsides. But the downsides were small beer compared to the social and economic devastation wrought by big, bloated and out-of-control bureaucracy.

I reckon we could fix the down sides of no government without having to give a small bunch of people enormous power over the rest of us. I have no doubt I was the first Anarcho Government Minister. It is a great contradiction.

By the way, you have to have a soft spot for a country where a former high-profile politician turned anarchist can run into the Prime Minister while sneaking a shower in the basement of the parliament building.

And wouldn't it be encouraging if more politicians took away the same lessons from government that Hide learned?

NEXT: Not Being a Felon Is Not Enough to Avoid Going to Federal Prison for Being a Felon in Possession of a Gun

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. And wouldn’t it be encouraging if more politicians took away the same lessons from government that Hide learned?

    Well, except he started as a libertarian, so he didn’t have a heck of a lot to learn from being in government.

    1. If you’re not a libertarian when you’re twenty, you have no heart. If you’re not an anarchist when you’re forty, you have no brain.

      1. I’ve always heard “What’s the difference between a libertarian and an anarchist? Six months.”

        1. “Six months … if you’re paying attention.”

          Alternately:

          “What is a libertarian? Someone who has had the epiphany, ‘That government is best which governs least.’ And what is an anarchist? Someone who took about 10 seconds more to google the definition of ‘least’.”

  2. And wouldn’t it be encouraging if more politicians took away the same lessons from government that Hide learned?

    Why would they. For most, getting into government is the pathway to unparalleled power. Not a lot of power in anarchy.

  3. Unfortunately, ACT has completely imploded. That lone seat held by ACT is not held by anyone resembling a libertarian (he’s a former police minister who’s a hardliner on drugs, and doesn’t support gay marriage).

    It’s been sad to watch, actually.

  4. This column of his on trusting to police is brilliant. It’s also hilarious, considering how small-potatoes police misconduct is in New Zealand compared to here in the States.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/crim…..d=10810307

  5. That was a really good article. A good read.

    Y’all should read it. I’m gonna try and catch Hide’s column if I can remember (frequently printed excerpts by Reason wouldn’t hurt HINT HINT). Or hell, get the guy to write a couple for HampersandR, we could always use more info on how our international brethren are fairing in their respective socialist utopias.

    You forgot to mention that Hide was covered in shit from a plumbing mishap when he ran into the PM.

  6. doesn’t support gay marriage

    The horror…the horror!

    1. Next thing you know these cosmotarians will want the gays treated as regular human beings. I tell ’em what I tell everybody, and my libertarian buddy Tulpa agrees, “Jesus was the first libertarian, and Jesus hates fags!”

      Love it or leave it cosmonnists!

      1. Imagine the US Senate with 30 Rand Pauls and 30 Jim DeMints. Throw in a Supreme Court with 5 Clarence Thomases and 4 Janice Rogers Browns…

        Would you trade the resulting political outcome for gay marriage, taxed n’ regulated medical marijuana and government-funded fetal stem-cell research?

        If the answer is “Yes” you just might be a cosmotarian.

        1. This question is so fucking retarded that you either have to be intoxicated or you just had a lobotomy. Well done.

          1. Shouldn’t you be pedaling your single speed bike off to pick up a free trade soy milk decaf latte?

            1. Your capacity to compound your stupidity with even more stupidity is quite amazing. So it’s lobotomy, then, I see.

              Please, give us more stupidity. I can read it all day. It’s quite entertaining.

        2. 30 “You can’t be a fiscal conservative without also being a social conservative” DeMint and Clarence “No Right To Privacy, State-passed Anti-Sodomy Laws are A-OK, as is Strip-Searching Little Girls Looking for Aspirin” Thomas? Not sure on that one.

          1. That’s what Sandusky was doing with those kids, looking for aspirin, right?

            1. Ho ho, gotta love ‘ol Sandbanana. Always the trixster. Or as we called him in college, “Jerry ‘I’ll only put the tip in’ Sandbanana! What a kidder!

          2. ^^^COSMOTARIAN!!^^^

            I’d bet you’d let the gays walk outside in public during the day, being all gay and stuff. Hell you’re probably a dirty mexican muslim anyways. A dirty gay cosmotarian Muxilan. I know your type, Yuseph Hernandez.

            Freedom is what Jesus tells us it is and Jesus tells us that Freedom is dead moozlims and no fags, get it commie!

          3. Actually, Clarence Thomas did not say “State-passed Anti-Sodomy Laws are A-OK”, he said they were not unconstitutional.

            He also wrote in that opinion, which he wrote separately from the other dissenters (who basically did say “State-passed Anti-Sodomy Laws are A-OK”) that if he were a state legislator he would vote against an Anti-Sodomy Law.

        3. SIV, your dream world sucks, dude. What the fuck, five Thomases?

          And fuck man, Rand would drone bomb your goddamn house if he thought Mittens might give him a kiss on the mouth for it. He’d personally kill a child just to be felt up by the Great Mormon Hope.

          I don’t even like to ponder the repercussions of 30 DeMints in office.

          Rogers is cool.

          1. His dream world would be a vast improvement over the status quo. It might still suck, but it would suck a lot less.

            My dream world would be better, but it ain’t gonna happen either.

  7. The political spectrum has collapsed such that one is considered a communist if they suggest any form of social welfare and thus one quickly runs out of debate. The miseducation supporting things such as tax cuts and trickle down and hard work=gain has been so great that we fail to grasp onto harsh realities such as income inequality and the social costs of things like prison, homelessness and mental health.

    1. You’re the worst sockpuppet ever, Nando.

      1. I like Nando. He is so obvious that I can’t believe when people actually argue with him. With some of the other SPs it’s hard to tell, but Nando is obvious.

        Cue Sevo to start arguing with it…

          1. Oh please tell me you made your post before reading mine. I’ve been looking for confirmation of my psychotic abilities!

            1. I’m not about to confirm psychosis…

            2. Isn’t being bullet proof when your clothes are off confirmation enough?

              1. Hey, when you find what works you go with it. Don’t fix what ain’t broken.

                Amirite? rite?! or what…

                1. “or what…”
                  Probably that.

                  1. HAHA, you said, “or what’! That means you have to eat the biscuit.

      2. You’re a towel!

        1. Wanna get high?

          1. Don’t forget to bring a towel!

    2. Nando|6.14.12 @ 7:31PM|#
      “The political spectrum has collapsed such that one is considered a communist if they suggest any form of social welfare and thus one quickly runs out of debate.”

      Could be true, but what does that have to do with your idiotic posts?

    3. There’s no such thing as income inequality once you adjust for taxes and government programs.

      And those things are unsustainable, thanks d-bag.

      What scares me is these idiots that think Greek Like Debt is good for us, oh and btw you are a raging socialist.

      1. hk,
        Nando is a target-rich poster. You’ll have a GREAT time!

  8. Just saw a guy get shot down by 5-10 cops on live TV, murder suspect at Tujunga and Valerio in North Hollywood. Admittedly, the chopper on KTLA had a great zoom in view and you could tell the guy was pulling out either a weapon, or something made to look like a weapon.

    It’s kind of strangely nice to see a justifiable police shooting for once.

    1. Dude, didn’t you just say he was only a suspect? So if he’s innocent, it’s ok that the cop shot him?

    1. Could we just nuke that country? Maybe when one of our navy ships is in a New Zealand port just set it off and call it an accident?

      1. Why not, it worked before. Maybe then we can get in on that lucrative wool market there. All we need is some shady media to gin up outrage.

        1. Careful. No sheep jokes to Kiwis. They’re sort of sensitive to that stuff.
          ‘New Zealand, where men are men…’

  9. Random anti-anarchist Commenters circa 1200 A.D.:

    Popular democracy has collapsed and been conquered everywhere it’s been tried before! That means it’s completely not viable, and thus we should confine ourselves to what we know works: absolute monarchy.

  10. Sorry, it’s OT, but this Craigslist posting is too funny not to share:

    http://dallas.craigslist.org/d…..73873.html

    1. In the picture, which one is Susan?

      1. Good question. I have a pretty rare breed that’s still only six months old, and her full adult coat hasn’t grown out yet, so I want to send this chick a pic and see if she can tell what it is.

        If she wins, I’ll hook her up with that homeless dude who got his face eaten, free of charge.

    2. That’s great. We should send her a picture of Warty and see what she makes of that.

      …still having the Xmas tree up in June FTW

      1. Hey it’s plastic..not like it’s gonna catch on fire or anything.

        1. Hey! Warty is a real, live living thing.

          He’s not “plastic”!

          1. Lots of real live living things need to die in a fire (spiders, politicians, termites, STEVE SMITH, politicians, spiders)…jus sayin.

  11. OT:
    “Calif. work release bill OKed over MADD objections”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/…..644D73.DTL

    MADD might have a point (and I emphasize *might*) if:
    1) ‘drunk-driving’ were other than random stops and
    2) an arbitrary B/A limit
    3) and if those tossed in the clink had all caused real damage
    Show all three, and you got my support.

    1. There shouldn’t be any DUI laws at all. The only time it should matter is when charging after damage is done…bumping the crime up a notch from say involuntary manslaughter to manslaughter or murder.

      1. Why would even that apply? If you are not capable of driving without causing damage, I don’t care why; you’re guilty of causing damage.
        DWS (driving while stupid) is every bit as applicable.

        1. It goes toward intent. People can’t help being stupid, but you can avoid being drunk.

          1. Lol. Actually, people CAN help being stupid. It’s called thinking.

            1. I think we are working with two different definitions of stupid. My brother-in-law is stupid. I have no animosity towards him, but no amount of furrowed brow deep concentration will make him smart. People who can avoid stupid mistakes by thinking, are in fact not stupid people but reckless smart people.

              1. Fair enough, but I think if you’re smart enough to be able to operate a vehicle, your smart enough to know when you’re capable of doing so safely.

      2. “A look far enough back into Anglo-American legal history reveals that intentional harms to another, fatal or otherwise, gave rise to claims which had to be paid out in compensation to the injured, or survivors, as the case may be. However, over time the sovereign claimed to be the administrator of the peace, such that intentional harms of another were recognized as crimes, acts against the Kingdom, commonwealth, or what have you. The victim was but a witness to the proceedings, with the Crown the moving party and the accused the defendant. … It is the State and not the victim who is the offended party in criminal law as we see it today.”
        http://lfs.org/newsletter/029/03/Anarchist.shtml

        This is the problem. It shouldn’t matter what caused you to harm someone while driving, whether it was alcohol, drugs, texting, or ordinary stupidity. You owe the damaged party compensation, and that should be all.

  12. What the fuck is “small beer”?

    1. US idiomatic English; not worth concern.

  13. Hide’s biggest “achievements” were to centralise Auckland’s local bodies and vote with every state-growing move National made. Now that’s anarcho capitalism.

  14. Seems like a pretty good plan to me dude. Wow

    http://www.Anony-Web.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.