Monday, December 20, 2004

Sedition and democracy

No right turn is upset that sedition laws but he has the wrong end of the stick

"So, for example, saying that the royal family were inbred imbeciles who were intellectually outmatched by their incontinent corgis would be seditious"

Sedition obvious from its lack of use, requires a significant degree of seriousness so it is likely not to apply to this individual UNLESS he REALLY intended to axe Helen Clarke.

But we will work through NRT's points anyway to see if his logic is sound.

“Saying that we should practice civil disobedience or simply ignore laws that are stupid, unjust or a gross violation of human rights is a no-no as well."

NRT is telling us that conspiring to break the law is illegal... and that he thinks it should be legal? And his justification is "some people break it already" and "theoretically they could be justified" Which is really rather like saying murder should be legal because at times one might be justified in killing a person.

> And being a Communist or a unionist and stirring up the lower classes against their "betters" is obviously right out.

What the sedition law is doing here is protecting democracy. It is saying democracy is the way to change government. What NRT is advocating is the use of methods such as physical force to change governments. Sure that is all lovely when YOU are the one applying the force - but when it is a military commander or a Nazi party subverting democracy I’m sure NRT will get a new found love of sedition laws.

There is a simple scale democracy on one side and the law of the jungle on the other side. One allows certain individuals to apply force (and thus subvert democracy) in order to allow them to vent their frustrations – but at some point for example terrorizing the leaders in order to get them to change the government to the system that you want, this subversion of democracy goes too far. The magnitude of the benefit possible from such a strategy is immense – (an example would be a party which threatened all the politicians lives until they all passed laws they wanted) and therefore the deterrent must also be considerable.

> Note that this is about intentions - you don't even have to say any of the above, you only have to think it. In other words, we have Thought Crime in New Zealand.

Has NRT heard of "attempted murder"? If I drive very close to you as you walk across the road I am innocent but if I was actually aiming to hit you and I missed I am guilty - thought crime - yes indeed. Got a problem with that?

> I guess all those bookshops currently stocking that pretty new edition of The Communist Manifesto are in deep shit, then.

NRT is being ridiculous.

1) No they are not and he knows it

2) Even if a law is being broken that does not mean it SHOULD be broken - so his whole line of argument is specious.

> I can think of no better example of a stupid and unjust law - and like other stupid and unjust laws, it deserves to be broken. Until it is repealed, we should make a point of violating it, gratuitously and wantonly, simply to show how stupid it is.

Does NRT know what he is asking? His pathetic little examples won’t start up sedition charges and are hardly “gratuitous” violations - what will definitely do so is a conspiracy to kill Helen Clarke and replacing her government with a military junta. NRT can go play with those guys if he wants if so I hope they have a jail cell reserved for him.


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