Monday, 28 November 2011

Old Wine In New Bottles

"The danger in dismissing other people's pursuit of values as "gratuitous" is that someone else might do the same to us should they have the political power of an unchecked majority behind them (which is why the Left want direct democracy)."
Myself, commenting on this old thread at Nathan Novak's place on Saturday. The point about direct democracy ought to be obvious: historically, the modern Left have always struggled against constitutional restrictions on the reach of government (they trace their origin to the bloodbath of the French Revolution) and it should therefore be no surprise that their insatiable desire to politicize all aspects of society can no longer be contained by the electoral cycle. And so...
"Set up a government Web site where activists such as myself can create an account and upload videos of polluters, YouTube-style. These could be grouped under different headings, such as smoky scooters, drivers who idle for more than three minutes, red-light runners, riders without helmets, license plates with an expired inspection sticker and every other issue that activists are trying to stamp out. Note that these are all offenses for which a person can be fined and that frequently go unpunished."
Torch Pratt, in a letter published in the Taipei Times today (emphasis added). You see it? Every other issue that activists are trying to stamp out.

Note his choice of the verb, to stamp.

That is the totalitarian impulse which George Orwell described in 1984; the government outsources its surveillance of the public... to the public themselves. Whatever Dan Bloom might say to the contrary, I'm taking Pratt at his word. No doubt he thinks such professional snitches should be paid too were there to be a lack of volunteers (although I'm not sure there would be).

I should also note that Torch Pratt has prior form. Here he is in another (this time somewhat more confused) letter published in the Taipei Times on the first of this month calling for the actual deportation of members of the TDFA (or perhaps more likely, myself - simply for expressing opinions he doesn't like):
"Taiwan’s police need to get on this case like flies on ... honey and deport these trigger-happy idiots to a country where they might feel more at home, say Mexico or Somalia."
Can the Taipei Times actually sink any lower than this? We'll see...

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