23 November 2005

Greens and violence

Given the belief by many Greens supporters that their party is one of peace and non-violence, I thought I would post every time the Green’s put out a press release advocating the use of state violence against people who are not initiating force against others or their property. Remember that initiating force means everything from incarceration, to fines, taxes, assault, theft and trespass. It does not mean upsetting or offending you, or terminating a contract. Every time I find a clear example of the Greens supporting the state initiating violence, I will list it – other times I may list the odd occasion the Greens aren’t clear about what they would do.

Today I will start with Nandor Tanczos concern about the imminent closure of the Anchor milk factory at Hornby and the Meadow Fresh yoghurt factory in Christchurch. He asks Graeme Hart to reconsider this – which is fine, in itself. You can ask anyone to do anything. However, would the Greens stand back and let the closures happen if they were in government? Either they would force the owner of a business to operate parts of the business which were not worth operating (after all it IS his business) and pay for that himself, or force others to pay for it? Both involve fascism.

See Mr Hart wants to continue the viability of his whole business, which delivers wealth to him and other shareholders, people who have risked their own property in a competitive business. It also employs other people not in those factories and it provides products for willing consumers – out of choice. Tanczos says running a successful business is about more than profits. Is it? Is being an employee about more than making a wage? Is trading about more than receiving more value than you give? Mr Hart could run his businesses as a social service, meaning than he and other shareholders get less money for their investment, and spend less on other investments, or other goods and services – all of which also involve employing people – but isn’t that waste and aren’t the Greens against waste?

Would the Greens in government leave Mr Hart alone, or would they use the power of the state to force him to do their bidding? It isn’t clear – but if I were him I wouldn’t want to find out.

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