Individualism sets us free: Part two

ACT party Human Rights Spokesman
Stephen Berry


[…] They?re all deceptive sleights of hand for the same idea: collectivism.

The same trick is being played in the group application of rights. Women?s rights, transgender rights, Polynesian rights are an equally false dichotomy because rights are an individual concept. Rights exist in partnership with responsibility. Group responsibility has never been practical because, as the tragedy of the commons illustrates, when everyone is responsible nobody takes responsibility. Every individual has rights and they?re exactly the same. Admittedly, wrongs have been perpetuated against particular groups in the past. Some suggest these groups should have more rights than others. That isn?t the case, though clearly some people have suffered the injustice of not enjoying the rights that others have.

For LGBT people, enormous progress has been made in ensuring equal treatment before the law. Gay couples can marry and adopt. While some prejudices still exist and always will, their situation has never been better. That is a fact that the pride parade should celebrate.

Unfortunately, neo-Marxists depend on the feeling of oppression for living as much as they depend on air for breathing. The annual celebration of LGBT equality was self-sabotaged by radicals such as Emmy Rakete infesting the Pride Board. They successfully turned mainstream public opinion against them, alienating corporate sponsors and other parade participants by insisting police could not march in their uniforms. These social justice extremists blamed alleged systemic police brutality against transgender people for making some trans individuals feeling unsafe at the sight of a police uniform.

The identity group narrative employed by the cultural Marxists turns the world into a battleground for power between the oppressed groups and the oppressors. If you?re a woman or transgender or black, you are an oppressed identity. If you?re white, male or middle-class you?re an oppressor. New Zealand has become such a tolerant country that white male gays are now an oppressor identity group in the eyes of the extremists. How?s that for progress?

There are a number of obvious inconsistencies in this bleak world view. Those who call the loudest for diversity can?t see that millions of individuals will always be more diverse than dozens of identity groups.

Those who fight the hardest for minorities miss the smallest minority of all: the individual.

Some of those on the radical left have started to notice the cracks in their philosophy. Identity groups are highly arbitrary as is the conceptual conscription of their members. White male privilege was only the initial battle-cry in the fight for social justice. Now there is weight privilege, able-bodied privilege and physical attractiveness privilege.

The number of group labels has exploded from the initial ethnic, gender and socio-economic groups. The difficulty of assessing the oppression status of people who have multiple identity group labels has spawned the study of ?intersectionality?. A black woman is oppressed but does she have more privilege than a black woman who is also a single mother? What about a black woman who is a single mother, has been to prison, and is overweight? It is a simple progression of logic to see that intersectionality ultimately results in individualism but I doubt the radical left possess the honesty to admit it when they get there.

A look back over the previous century demonstrates two very different perspectives with two starkly different results. Individualism has delivered free speech, property ownership, capitalism, prosperity and liberty. Collectivism leads to genocide, famine, slavery, poverty and misery.

As the evil empire of the Soviet Russia and its satellites collapsed, the proportion of people globally living in absolute poverty fell. We have reached the point where the real number of people in absolute poverty is lower than at any point in history despite the global population being at its peak. The few communist regimes that remain are the strongest reminder of all that collectivism has nothing to offer but shared suffering. Individualism sets each one of us free to choose our own antidote to suffering.