Friday, April 24, 2009

Time to cut the VUWSA off at the knees

Yes I believe in Voltaire's maxim - if Jasmine Fremantle wants to burn a flag at Anzac Day, then she should have the legal right to do so. If she wants to damn those who saved New Zealand from Japanese imperialist occupation, who helped save Western Europe from Nazism and Fascism, who helped deter the Red Army from rolling across the Iron Curtain, who helped roll back the Korean People's Army and "Chinese People's Volunteers" from making all of Korea Kim Il Sung's slave state, who helped prevent Malaysia from being an outpost of Communist slavery, who helped push back Saddam Hussein from occupying Kuwait - she can.

It is one of the freedoms defended and fought for by those who died in wars that they would rather not have had to fight.

However, if those forced by law to belong to an organisation that expresses these views opposes her, they should say so to.

Wherever the VUWSA Executive is on ANZAC Day should be confronted head on by those, who silently, tell them to go fuck themselves. Go contemplate how New Zealand would be had the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere been running for a few years - go contemplate how an OE in the UK would have been under the jackboot of the Third Reich. In fact go to fucking North Korea and enjoy the free speech there.

Meanwhile, if the government ever needed a stronger reason to abolish compulsory student union membership, it has it now.

The VUWSA can be a tinpot club for Marxist apologists for appeasement and letting fascist and communist imperialist forces impose tyranny on the world.

However, why the hell should anyone be forced to join it?

So go on - burn your flag - but enjoy the free speech of the others watching you, taunting you and telling you what childish ungrateful fools you are. I have yet to see anyone commemorating ANZAC Day glorifying war - but I've seen enough immature little "heroes" taking for granted the freedom that men and women fought for, which make any privileged little leftwing student look like a cowardly little nobody.

Oh and students? Time to demand your student fees back, to protest the university and really tell the VUWSA what you think, while it's time for a Bill to roll through Parliament.


Amy said...

Agree that VUWSA's Anzac Day stunt was retardiculous, but that's not necessarily an argument for VSM - if people bothered to take two minutes to vote for who represented them, they wouldn't end up with a exec apparently voted in solely by the communist fringe.

"Time to demand your student fees back, to protest the university and really tell the VUWSA what you think, while it's time for a Bill to roll through Parliament."

Yeah right, like they'll bother doing that when they can be bothered to vote who represents them in the first place.

It's compulsory to pay taxes in NZ, and only an even more extreme fringe would tell people to withdraw from being a citizen of the country in the first instance, instead of voting for the people who represent them along with that taxation.

Libertyscott said...

Amy: Indeed not of itself, but it illustrates what is morally wrong with compulsory membership.

The student union does not give a student a passport, a criminal justice to protect students from each other or a defence system to protect them from outside attack. It is NOT an arm of central or local government. The student union fees are like taxes argument is completely bogus.

Student unions are no different from trade unions, ratepayers' associations or the like - the idea anyone should be forced to join an organisation that fundamentally is contrary to your point of view is abhorrent.

It is not an argument to say the answer to an organisation I am forced to belong with is I should participate in it and vote in it when clearly it is so irrelevant to me that I have better things to do with my time than vote for people who stand for it (most of whom typically I don't want).

Forcing people to belong to an organisation they don't want to belong to is fascist, pure and simple. Those who argue for the status quo most vehemently are those on the left who regard student unions are training grounds for their future political careers as professional do-gooders.

Amy said...

I oscillate between thinking VSM is a good idea and a terrible idea. One complication is that students' associations provide services and facilities as well as political representation (which I think they should dial back on for the simple reason that they cannot easily represent the diverse political views of all students). The University provides some services, the students' association provides others - you wouldn't refuse to pay for services the uni provides because you don't like their political position on student fees and financial support.

It would be difficult for students' associations to fairly provide those services only to those who sign up under VSM without extra cost and bureaucracy (eg how would you stop non-members from picking up a copy of the campus magazine?). Most students use those services without bothering to participate in the political side of things, or even think about who is providing them (it's vaguely "the University," right?). The political side of things should be a minor part of what students' associations do.

Anyway, it would require participating in the political process to get a students' association to move to VSM, so at that very basic level, yes, yes it is a valid argument to say participate in the darn process because you disagree with it!

Libertyscott said...

Amy:I understand students' associations offer services, but this is a matter of segregating those easy to deal with (i.e. can't join clubs, can't use a wide range of facilities without a card), and those you just accept as free riders. Businesses and other voluntary associations do this all the time. Many students pay for these things and rarely use them, which is hardly fair.

People pay fees to a university for education, they should not be forced to join an organisation that purports to represent them.

VSM can be accomplished by legislation, it is about freedom of association, you cannot segregate it from that. It is immoral to force people to belong to any association. Every other argument evades this simple fact, nobody should be forced to join anything - no matter what it provides for them (unrequested).

Amy said...

You have a choice whether you want to be a student or not, and the same thing about paying for services you hardly use could be said about many of the services the universities provide. And what happens if you want to use the services the Association provides, but still disagree with the politics? VSM may solve a moral issue, but many of the problems vexing students' associations will remain.

Anonymous said...

Cool - choice to not be a student at VSM.

I like it. done deal!